Not one BUT most women in our society do not speak up against violence and bear the pain due to insecurity, succumbing to cultural traditions and an unsupportive environment. ‘Mahila Mitra’ (MM) movement therefore is an initiative aimed at empowering women by organising and mobilising them, creat... Read More
- Mahila Mitra: Community with Police addressing Gender Based Violence
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Work Description X Close
Dr. Keerthi is spear heading half a century legacy Not for profit organisation Vasavya Mahila Mandali, which is working for and with development and empowerment of women; working with a vision: “Empowering women, children and families by increasing happiness and ensuring a sustainable society with human values”. Keerthi is leading a social movement Mahila Mitra with Andhra Pradesh Police on triggering change in the attitudes and behaviours of patriarchy, capacitated women to be confident to SPEAK UP for violence, transformation social work by bringing change among eve teasers without repeating offense, she balances professionalism and humanism in creating change and making a difference. She does multitasking with focusing on research for designing interventions and policy changes. Community engagement for creating sustainable change with multi stakeholder collaboration among state and non-state actors, More information about work on website www.vasavya.org. Reached to 3638210 people: men, women, boys and girls in unreached tribal and rural areas and urban slums in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha states in India. The work has impacted the communities in general particularly women and girls with capacitated sustained knowledge and skills to uphold their rights and improved the quality of life and became social change makers supporting others in crisis… She Creates Change.
The lives impacted me so much are: 1. In my childhood studied the story of Helen Keller who out of all challenges in life being able to achieve it made me that a physical disability will never be a barrier to reach heights. 2. Indira Gandhi who brought up with comfortable life after entering in politics which is normally a male domain has challenged and won as first women Prime minister of India and also very very few women leaders of the countries. 3. My grandmother Rangamma brought up in a traditional Hindu family but when lost her husband at 30s successfully brought up her four children with her determination and showed to society how a young widow was successful in managing her family. 4. My father Seshagiri Rao impacted so much that how a life partner can support his wife’s progress by way of education, entry into politics. He is a great source of inspiration that if men are committed for women’s progress there lies the success. 5. It’s my own life which taught me that your life is your message, every women coming into the campus for support is great inspiration to forget my own worries and made me to think of others.
A short video about Keerthi
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She is post graduate in social work with a first rank from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. Keerthi is a trend setter in transforming the attitudes and behaviours of people for establishing a gender friendly society.
She has a sense of social responsibility, commitment and passionate; behind her broad smiles although there is lot of tragedy that SMILE motivates others with positive wibes and keeps her going. She is very simple and down to earth, her hugs and warmth are a boon to many to get HOPE on life. Keerthi walks while talking. She practices what she preaches... a doer.
Her weakness is taking others personnel problems as hers and become so emotionally connect with her personal life.
She was born in a village called ‘Patamata Lanka’ near Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. And currently living in Vijayawada city.
A short video about Keerthi: https://youtu.be/LkFJvXiICY4
Mahila Mitra: Community with Police addressing Gender Based Violence X Close
Not one BUT most women in our society do not speak up against violence and bear the pain due to insecurity, succumbing to cultural traditions and an unsupportive environment. ‘Mahila Mitra’ (MM) movement therefore is an initiative aimed at empowering women by organising and mobilising them, creating awareness and networking towards preventing and resolving violence against women and thereby bring about change and transformation in the society. The experimental model was launched by Vasavya Mahila Mandali (NGO) partnering with the Vijayawada City Police in Andhra Pradesh, India, on 24 January, 2017 (Girl Child Day) and eventually working in association with various stake holders in an inclusive and collaborative manner and was scaled up in August 2019.
‘Mahila Mitra Committees’ were formed at all the 21 Police Station limits in Vijayawada comprising of 200 Members (mostly women). Each of the ‘MM Committee’ in turn has mobilised and organised ‘Support Groups’ with a total membership so far of 8120 women volunteers spread out in the city and surroundings.
Issues afflicting and challenging the women section of the society are identified apart from individual instances which calls for intervention and acted upon by the MM Committees and or the Support Groups. Participation of the community social structures and other stakeholders, both formal institutional mechanisms like the police, Panchayat, Municipality, Government departments and non-formal such as NGOs and activist groups are actively sought towards an inclusive, collaborative and participative engagement while addressing them and finding solutions.
Regular trainings are imparted, apart from the MM members, to the Police and women groups in universities, colleges, schools, work places, colonies and localities across the society in association with various other stakeholders on Gender based violence (GBV), laws and law enforcement, women’s rights, cybercrime and safety, life skills, self-defence, networking and activism etc.
As many as 8932 eve teasers apprehended in the last 36 months in collaboration with the police and counselled at VMM along with their family members bringing about a reformation and positive transformation in them with no instance of repeat offender (recidivism) amongst them.
652 families were counselled at the VMM as regards marital and other discords with a success rate of 83% percent.
452 colleges and 1000 schools nurtured as part of the outreach program to sensitize and create awareness amongst the student community and particularly inspire, train and network amongst the girl students. In 85 Colleges MM Support Groups formed and are active.
MM movement has made considerable impact by triggering change in attitudes and outlook of women at the bottom of the pyramid, making them more bold, confident and courageous to face crisis and challenges with the wide and active support network. It not only evolved a potent mechanism in contributing and creating a safety network for women in the society, but also a deterrence and restrain towards harassment and exploitation of women at large in the city and its precincts affecting a population of 2 million.
The initiative also brought about a significant transformation in the attitude and mindset of the Vijayawada City Police in making them sensitive and responsive to women’s issues and working with community participation and active involvement of stakeholders rather than confining to conventional police intervention alone.
The movement initiated by Vasavya Mahila Mandali (NGO) as the Lead organisation, working together with Vijayawada City Police, Community women and men activists, educational institutions, women self-help groups, other State and non-stake actors in a collaborative manner has been successful in effectively bringing a convergence of purpose.
Keerthi had kept a petition on Change.org for “Save the dignity of women and Girls #NoSilenceForViolence #MahilaMitra” which has received support from 106540. http://chng.it/5rSkXGdQ. Advocated with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and made Mahila Mitra a state wide program in reaching to 958 Police stations up from 21, Community based Mahila Mitra members about 10000 up from 200, Mahila Mitra coordinators that are women Police Constables 1916 up from 42. The Police were sensitised on gender sensitivity and equality and trained 18718 Police personal from 3500.
This project is an innovative community involved social initiative receiving positive response from other state Police units in India.