After the crime, the shaken and traumatized victim (anyone who is affected by the crime irrespective of age, sex, caste, class, creed or colour) activates the criminal justice system, but he has a minimal role to play even after registration of a cognizable offense. If the crime is violent in nature, he is rushed to a hospital. But the main purpose of taking him to the hospital is not medical treatment but to collect medical evidence. Due to overcrowding, shortage of doctors and medicines, faulty equipment, the victims do not get ‘immediate & quality’ medical treatment in the Government hospital. In fact, the government has set up ‘One-Stop Crisis Centers’, ‘Bharosa Cells’ and ‘District Trauma Committees’ to provide social, legal, psychological and medical facilities to children and women victims under one roof, but unfortunately, they are not working. If these facilities are not available for young children and women, it is unexpected for male victims to get some help.

On a personal level, the physically and mentally exhausted victim alone faces social stigma and harsh legal proceedings. On the one hand, the victim has to raise money for medical treatment, quit his job, while on the other hand, he has to endure pressure and threats from the accused without getting help. When an earning member dies in a crime or becomes permanently disabled, his entire family collapses. His widow, who has never worked, is held responsible for the family, raising money, educating the children, caring for the elderly and fighting for justice. In such cases, not only the neighbors but also the close relatives deny the responsibility to help the victim. Then the children in that family help the mother to run the family and gradually get out of the stream of education. If the victims are children themselves, they have to face many difficulties at a young age. If they are sexually abused, they are expelled from school for false reputation. Victim children are simply excluded from living a normal life to minimize the adverse effects on the rest of the children, to avoid recurrence of crime, or to serve the punishment.

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While on the one hand the victim is recovering from consequences of the crime, on the other hand the case of the accused progresses in the court. Often the victim does not even know the status of the case. Only if the victim is a complainant or a key witness then he is called to the court or informed about the progress of the case. Otherwise, in the normal course, the busy police stations do not inform the victim about the progress of the case. If a victim decides to get information about what is going on in the case online or offline, he cannot find that information without the help of the police or the public prosecutor because in his case, the government is prosecuting the accused on his behalf. The victim often lacks the basic details of the case like the session’s trial number, name or number of a court or the name of the public prosecutor assigned to him etc.

The frustrated victim finally stops going to court. Here the courts make appropriate decisions based on the evidence against the accused in which the issue of compensation of the victim is rarely dealt with. The court forgets to give the police a copy of the judgment and the police forget to inform the victim of that judgment. Only when the accused appears in the village does the victim understand that his case has been decided. According to a recent amendment to the law, if the victim feels that way, he can appeal against the decision. But when the victim realizes this, time and opportunity are out of his hands. And the main thing is that he lost his mental and financial strength to face the trouble and rude process again for justice.

What’s more, the impact of the crime on their lives, the social neglect they suffered, the trauma they suffered in the courtroom, forced them to silently accept injustice.

The legal status of the victim is the same all over India and the aftermath of the crime is more or less the same. The definition of a victim was first mentioned in the Code of Criminal Procedure in 2008. According to that definition, a victim is someone who has suffered loss or injury because of a crime. As the criminal justice system in India is offender oriented, the Code of Criminal Procedure or other fundamental laws discusses in detail the procedures used for ‘trial and punishment’, the role of the sub-systems in justice delivery, and the rights of the accused. However, the law does not specifically comment on victims or their rights, and it is left to the interpretation of the legal practitioner. Due to the rapid socio-economic changes and women’s movement in the early -1980s, the rights of the victims were recognized in the report of the 154th Law Commission, the report of the Malimath Committee and various notable cases before the Supreme Court. To complement these changes, a significant event took place in 1986 when India adopted the United Nations’ Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of crime and Abuse of Power.  However, minor changes were made in the law, sometimes to meet the needs of women, sometimes to meet the needs of child victims, but the comprehensive law was not implemented for the rights and rehabilitation of all victims. This work was neglected for almost 20 years thereafter.

In the year 2009, DISHA revived this concept and started the work of ‘Rehabilitation of victim of crime’ based on the United Nations Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime in Amravati district of Maharashtra. In a rural district like Amravati, this work was started deliberately because the victims here were very poor, ignorant and there was no person or organization to help them.

The organization is helping to rehabilitate the victims with the following initiatives.


Assistance to victims

The United Nations Declaration of the Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime emphasizes the provision of necessary material, medical, psychological and social assistance for the complete rehabilitation of victims. DISHA identifies some of the specific needs of victims that must be served for holistic rehabilitation as follows:

Psychological First Aid

Crisis events happen on a personal or large scale in every society in the world. Large-scale crisis events include natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, bombings, epidemics that cause enormous damage to people and society. On a personal level, it includes the accident, theft, assault, death of a loved one and other things that affect one or a few people. Crisis events, whether personal or on a large scale, have physical, social and emotional consequences for the victim. As mentioned earlier, crime is also a crisis for the person and family against whom it occurs. 

Therefore, DISHA uses the ‘Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers’, a guide published by the World Health Organization in 21 languages, to help victims and their families. This guide includes psychiatric first aid that provides humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering from serious crisis events. It is written for people who are in a position to help others who have experienced traumatic events. Supported by many international agencies, this guide reflects the emerging sciences and the international consensus on how to support people immediately after a highly stressful event.

Psychological First Aid is first-line psychosocial support that DISHA’s social workers provide to people affected by crime. Psychological first aid is human, supportive and practical assistance to humans who have recently had severe stress. Psychological first aid is similar to medical “first aid” and not enough on its own. It has always been observed that early neglect or misdiagnosis can lead to long-term mental illness in victims and their families. Therefore, when critical patients are found after an initial visit, social workers refer those cases to a psychiatrist or psychologist for necessary treatment.  With the help of Psychological First Aid victims of crime feel safe, connected to others and stay calm & hopeful. Psychological First Aid helps victims to have access to social, physical and emotional support and regain a sense of control by being able to help themselves. 

Education to children of victim

The child is most affected by the unpleasant incidents that take place in the house. Children who are shaken by the incident take time to recover mentally, so initially their school discontinues. Later, they miss school and stay at home, sometimes to care for younger siblings and sometimes to care for older grandparents. Gradually their interest in schooling diminishes and they drop out of the stream of education to help their mother. Their mother is also surrounded by so many difficulties that she cannot afford to pay attention to her children’s education. There is no one to convince his family of the importance of children’s education. Children who dropped out of school and start odd job for a living as farm laborers or unskilled laborers for little money. Due to lack of education, the victim’s family is always ignorant, deprived of opportunities and underdeveloped. The effects of poverty and oppression have plagued the victim’s family for generations.

That is why after this incident, the social workers of the organization focus on the children of the victim’s family. They understand what is going on in the minds of children and allow them to ventilate their feelings. Social workers help children identify their own problems and needs and explain their role in solving them from time to time.

The organization provides school kits to its children throughout the year, including school bags, notebooks, compasses, drawing kits, lunch boxes and water bottles. Uniforms and psychiatric first aid are provided to child victims whose uniforms have been collected as medical evidence. Social workers monitor children’s educational development and mental health throughout the year. If an expert is needed, children are referred at the expense of DISHA. Some children studying in private schools are given educational sponsorship to stay in the same school. Those who cannot afford it are encouraged to continue their education by getting admission in government schools. DISHA monitors child victims up to college education and provides educational sponsorship through a variety of donors. The child of a victim with good academic performance is honored at the organization’s annual event. The same children are placed as role models in front of other victims. Listening to their real experiences inspires other children and makes them determined to do something. Social workers create hope in children and parents for the holistic development of the victim’s child.

Livelihood

The entire responsibility of running the house falls on the victim’s spouse due to her husband’s murder or permanent disability. This woman has never been out of the house for employment while her husband is earning. Her parents would have forced her to drop out of school and get married. Lack of education and skills makes it difficult for her to find adequate employment in rural areas. At the same time, she doesn’t know how to make money in the village and there is no one to guide her. She does not have the necessary documents to take advantage of government schemes (employment) and does not have enough time to follow up. As a result, she falls behind and cannot meet the needs of the family. Then either her children drop out of school to help her or she goes to the cities to earn more money. Even there, these families are more likely to fall victim to the urban problem or take the wrong path.

The social workers of DISHA help the victims to stay in the village and get adequate employment so that the families of the victims do not fall victim to the situation again. First, the person’s education, skills, interests, current employment in the village is studied. The victims are then given the opportunity to think and decide what can be done to earn a small amount of money in the village itself. DISHA pays the seed money of rupees seven thousand to the victim to start a small business on the condition that the chosen business should be sustainable. This type of seed money is given after complete study of the individual, the need and the possibility of running the business in the said village. Victims in rural areas choose occupations related to agriculture like goat rearing or poultry rearing. Also some victims choose occupations such as selling dairy products, sewing clothes, setting up a daily necessities shop or beauty parlor, selling cosmetics or setting up AATA CHAKKI. Otherwise this seed money is given for skill development of the victim. After the skill development course, DISHA helps the victim to establish a business with the help of relevant government scheme. Therefore, the victim does not need to migrate or neglect the child as he / she has started getting employment in the village itself. At the same time, in adverse circumstances, the victim was able to live a dignified life in the village as she successfully fulfilled all the responsibilities.

Emergency Aid

 

Immediately after the crime is committed, the victim’s spouse has to take care of the house, take care of the children, take care of her mother-in-law’s laws and take care of the court case. If the victim has been murdered or permanently disabled, the family’s sources of income run out from that day. The savings made so far are spent on the medical treatment of the victim.

Household expenses, rent, electricity bills, water bills, children’s school expenses, elderly parents’ medicine expenses, travel expenses to court or other medical expenses do not end or stop until one member of the family gets another job. As a result, their problems are getting worse by the day. Often the power is cut off or the homeowner threatens to evict them, leaving the elderly parents seriously ill without medication.

In such a situation, they need temporary financial help until they can find a job or a source of income. DISHA provides rupees three thousand per month for three months to meet the basic needs of the victim’s family. The emergency Aid is primarily provided to avail medical, legal, psychological, counselling support or daily sustenance. The money is asked to be returned to the organization once the job or means of income has stabilized. So that DISHA can give the same money to another needy victim’s family. However, the families of the victims are so poor that they cannot return the money.

Availing Government Schemes

(Social Justice & Special Assistance Department)

As soon as the victim has the means of income in his hands, his problems do not diminish. Until the job is found, the victim has taken several loans to run the house, sometimes for the education of the children, sometimes for the medicine or operation of the elderly parents, or for the issuance of government documents. The victim’s sources of income are also not permanent. Therefore, to reduce the burden of the victim’s liability, DISHA links the victim and the family with other appropriate government schemes. The Department of Social Justice and Special Assistance of the Government of Maharashtra provides schemes related to education and training, economic upliftment, employment, special assistance, disability welfare, social integration and social remedies. Social justice schemes are applicable to the victims in Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes and special assistance schemes are applicable to all people. Although the assistance received in this scheme is less, the burden of the victim is lightened a little during their difficult times. DISHA helps the victim to apply, submit documents and follow up with the concern department till they get benefit of the scheme.

Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme

Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme

Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudan Yojana

Shravan Bal Seva Rajya Nivruttivetan Yojan

National Family Benefit Scheme

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme

Aam Aadami Bima Yojana


Access to Justice and Fair treatment 

Under this component, DISHA helps victims access to justice and rights through active listening and appropriate treatment and / or referrals and through our outreach activities so that they can make informed decisions in the criminal justice system.

Socio-legal guidance through Helpline

 

 When a crime is committed, the victim is physically and mentally scared and does not know what to do or where to go. In such a situation the victim needs the advice of a neutral person who knows how the criminal justice system works and its role in it. The victim has to face medical treatment, tedious police procedure and the community at the same time. The accused or his team pressured the victim in several ways not to file a case or withdraw the case. The victim has to suffer a lot because of the crime and also worry about making up their loss. Different people who come in contact with the victim give him different advice which confuses the victim. The victim needs the help of a professional and expert person who will understand the trauma, his confusion or questions and then guide in a social and legal way by keeping his information confidential. For such help he will have to contact a lawyer and mental health professional who is beyond his immediate reach and affordability. Therefore DISHA started a telephone helpline to provide social and legal guidance along with ‘Psychological First Aid’ to such people as soon as possible. In 2014 this helpline was inaugurated by Hon’ble Justice Bhushan Gawai, then Special Inspector General of Police, Shri Bipin Bihari, Superintendent of Amravati Police Mr. Veeresh Prabhu IPS, and many other dignitaries from the Criminal Justice System in Amravati district. After hearing the caller’s inquiry, he / she is counseled and helped to resolve his / her issue. If felt necessary he/she is referred to the police, district legal services authority or district hospitals for further help. Victims are also given the opportunity to actually meet and speak if needed. This helpline is used by a large number of people who do not want to be identified but want to stop violence against them or who are in remote areas. Police and Police Patil are also seen using the helpline to alleviate the problems faced by the victims.

Mobile Help Desk at Police Station

Police station is the first contact point for a physically and mentally disturbed victim after a crime.   The police machinery is understaffed, overburdened and not equipped to handle victim that results in hasty and harsh treatment to the complainant or the victim. The traumatized victim is expected to be treated kindly on arrival at the police station. The victim expects from police to hear his/her case peacefully and take immediate action against the accused. But the complicated and slow legal processes with low manpower make not only the police station but also the entire criminal justice system to act rude with people approaching it. Also, the purpose of the Indian criminal justice system is to punish the guilty; The system naturally focuses on the accused and ignores the victim. Therefore, in collaboration with the Amravati Rural Police, a help desk was set up in the police station to create a pro-victim atmosphere by DISHA. This helpdesk offers honest, appropriate social and legal guidance as well as ‘psychological first aid’ to help victims (men or women or others) make the right decisions to get justice. The police considered the work of the helpdesk so important that every police station started referring the incidents of vulnerable victim i.e. women, children and the elderly for proper rehabilitation. Considering the need for this work, the Forbes Marshall Foundation has supported this initiative in the form of a project of DISHA in all the thirty police stations in Amravati district. The mobile help desk has been approached by many victims irrespective of age, caste, class, gender and important stakeholders in the system such as police personnel, police patils, anganwadi workers and protection officers.

Legal Aid & victim protection

Legal aid is a means of ensuring that poverty, illiteracy, etc. do not deprive anyone of access to justice. However, as the victim’s party is represented by the government, this facility has so far been provided to the accused and not to the victim. The government registers and prosecutes accused on behalf of the victim but lacks to provide the victim the basic details like the session’s trial number, name or number of a court or the name of the public prosecutor in the case. Because of this he remains in complete ignorance. The roughly handled and frustrated victim accepts injustice silently. These victims’ issues, plights came to the fore after 2012 in various notable cases that created public outcry and as aftermath the victim is also given the right to ‘legal aid’ and ‘appeal’.

DISHA comes in contact with the victim 15 days after the incident. At that time the victim is completely unstable physically and mentally. He is angry about what happened and he is determined to get justice. But as the legal process progressed, the victim realized that it was difficult to get justice. The time wasted on a court date, the aggression and skill of a defense lawyer, the attack on his character, the hostility of the witnesses, the out-of-court settlement, the pressure of the accused’s party, the lack of cooperation of police in stopping threats by accused’s party, forced the victim to lose hope of getting justice. Eventually the victim lost faith in the criminal justice system. Victim then turns a blind eye on the case for the benefit of himself and his family or seeks revenge by breaking the law. To change this picture, DISHA began to mentally prepare the victim for incidents that occurred while going to the police and court so that he could understand the legal nuances. Such preparation allows the victim to fight for justice in a neutral way without being emotional. The victim feels empowered by knowing how to access the facilities for protection of the victim, what documents are required to get legal aid, what care to take in the village, how to handle stigma, how to approach higher police officials if necessary, how to face any temptation or threat by the accused. So even though he did not get justice in the trial court, he dared to move the High Court and the Supreme Court with courage.

Compensation to the victim (Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme, 2014)

As noted earlier, the concept of victim rights, victim rehabilitation and victim compensation began to emerge from the United Nation’s Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice and Abuse of Power 1985. The key factor in helping the victim is compensation for rehabilitation, which the Indian judiciary has read as an integral part of the ‘right to life’. The Criminal Procedure Code was amended in 2008 to bring this principle into existence, which came in force in 2009, and each state took its own time to formulate the scheme.

In the same year, DISHA was established in Maharashtra and started action research for the rehabilitation of victims in Amravati district. During this action research, DISHA found that the system understood and identified the victim’s plight, but found no provision in the law book that guide or direct them to help the victim of the crime. And in this situation DISHA found that the amendment in Section 357A is a very important but neglected provision that could help the victim within the legal framework.

Till 2011, except Maharashtra, few progressive states in India formulated the victim compensation schemes. DISHA approached the state and central governments to find out the cause of inactivity in Maharashtra. Unfortunately, the state and central governments transferred the responsibility of implementing the compensation scheme in Maharashtra to each other.

As a last resort, DISHA approached the Hon’ble High Court of the Nagpur Bench to implement the scheme for the benefit of the victims of crime. The Hon’ble High Court, in view of the plight of the victims of crime and the importance of Section 735 (A (Compensation Scheme)), considered it a Public Interest Litigation (49/2011). However, as per the assurance of the Government of Maharashtra to prepare the scheme soon, the Hon’ble High Court dismissed the PIL.

Even after the end of PIL, the determination and confidence of DISHA in activation of the victim compensation scheme remained intact. After the dismissal of PIL, DISHA waited patiently for a year to catch progress on the scheme at the ground level. In that one year, the Maharashtra government did not formulate a victim compensation scheme. In the year 2013, DISHA filed a new PIL (66/2013) for the activation of the Victim Compensation Scheme, which was concluded with formation of the Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme in year 2014 with budgetary provision of rupees 1.23 crore. The Maharashtra Victims Compensation Scheme 2014 provides compensation to victims of murder, permanent disability and acid attack. Since then, DISHA has been involved in both – checking the implementation status of the scheme and raising public awareness of the scheme among system stakeholders. Every year, DISHA collects data from all DLSAs in Maharashtra to know the status of implementation of the Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme, 2014. 

A study of the last six years has concluded that even though the number of murder and attempt to murder cases in Maharashtra is more than five thousand a year, less than 1% of the victims are compensated.

This is not because the victim does not need this help or the government does not have the money but it is due to ignorance, confusion and negligence.

Police, victims and some public prosecutors are also unaware of the scheme. Some District Legal Services Authorities feel that the trial court should refer eligible cases; the trial court is of the opinion that the victim should not be compensated unless the accused is found guilty. In some cases, the court found the accused guilty but forgot to compensate the victim. Some District Legal Services Authorities demand a lot of documents, while others work on FIRs, say of Investigating Officers (Police) and report of Probation Officers (WCDs). Who will decide the amount of compensation and what to do if the victim becomes hostile? In some districts, there is no coordination between the District Legal Services Authority and trial court to exchange information to compensate the victim. For these and many other reasons, the scheme has not yet reached the real poor and needy victims.

So DISHA raises awareness about this scheme in the system stakeholders like police, public prosecutor, trial courts and in the society. At the same time it strives to create a standard operating procedure for the better implementation of the scheme. Through this effort, DISHA has reached out to the criminal justice system in every district of Maharashtra and with their help is raising awareness in this regard.

Creating Responsive Criminal Justice system


The United Nations Declaration calls for regular review of existing laws and practices to determine the responsibility of the criminal justice system in the numerous cases of victims. Also it mentioned is the promotion of training programs. However, the purpose of the Indian criminal justice system is to punish the guilty and therefore the system naturally focuses on the accused and ignores the victim. The police, the public prosecutor, the trial court are important components of the criminal justice system. The main focus of their training is on the accused and the trial. The induction training provides brief information on ‘Victim Rehabilitation and Compensation’. Although impartial work is expected from this system, there is always more vigilance in this system that the accused should not be treated unfairly and the victim will be ignored. Also these systems are not equipped on how to deal with the trauma of the victim,  how to win victim’s confidence so that he will provide appropriate cooperation, help victim to set appropriate expectation from criminal justice system, explain stages of cases to victim and brief him about his role, talk and behave in respectful manner, how to keep victim updated about case status, what services victim might need and how to arrange it in police station and court, how and when to ask cooperation from other agencies that might help victims. Also in reality these systems work in very low manpower so are always overburdened. As a result, they do not have the time or the mentality to understand the plight of victim. These systems are skilled in prosecuting the accused but are struggle to rehabilitate the victim. Recognizing this need, DISHA started imparting training on ‘Victim Rehabilitation and Compensation’ to the police, government prosecutors and judicial officers in year 2011. As the DISHA’s experience of rehabilitation work with victims grew, so did the demand for this training from the system. DISHA also started training grassroots level systems like Police Patil, Tanta Mukta Samiti, Anganwadi sevikas on the topic of crime prevention and awareness. This kind of training of DISHA has increased Police Patil’s understanding of crime, law and his role in helping the police in investigating or preventing crime and maintains peace in the village. 

With many years of experience, DISHA has become a regular in government training institutes like Maharashtra Police Academy, Police Training Centers, Judicial Officers Training Institute (JOTI). The Judicial Officers Training Institute invites DISHA for training on ‘Victim Rehabilitation and Compensation’ for each new batch of Public Prosecutor.

Subsequently, in collaboration with the Maharashtra State Additional Director General of Police, DISHA developed a comprehensive training module for the police on ‘Rehabilitation and Compensation of Victims’, which will be used uniformly in all police training centers across Maharashtra. The content of this training is designed in such a way that they explain to the police about the plights of victim, their problems, and relevant provisions in the law, possible rehabilitation, other government departments or NGOs that can help the victim. 

Recognizing that the police can play a vital role in rehabilitating the victims through this training program, the Special Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), State of Maharashtra given letter to DISHA to conduct training on ‘Compensation to Victims (Maharashtra VCS 2014 and Manodhairya) all over Maharashtra and directed all the Commissioners (City/ Railways), Superintendent (District/ Railways), and Mumbai Police for its execution. 


Crime Prevention & Awareness

From the beginning DISHA believed that equal efforts should be made to prevent crime. The needs of different types of population depend largely on their age group. DISHA identified three groups, such as children, adolescents and young people, women and community members with different safety information requirements. Depending on their understanding and educational qualifications, DISHA has launched and conducted many ‘Crime Prevention & Awareness’ programs for schools, colleges, universities, hostels, anganwadis, village level institutions or even for MIDC workers.

At School Level:  Surakshit Balpan (Safe Childhood):

For children, the awareness sessions DISHA conducts in schools is known as ‘safe childhood’. In these sessions, using storytelling methods, simple games and quizzes, touch on various important issues related to safety such as ‘Circles of Faith’, ‘Safety Circle’, Good Touch – Bad Touch, Body Awareness, Safe and Unsafe Relationships. ‘No – go – tell’ rules and more. In these interactive sessions social workers also receive some of the children’s questions and briefly discuss some of the child-friendly features in the POCSO Act and how to stay safe as well as report the case in police station if needed. DISHA educates teachers, parents and school staff alike about important features of POCSO law and their role in protecting children from any kind of violence. DISHA has been invited by all the recognized and government schools and colleges in Vidarbha for this event.

At College Level: Tarynyachya Umberthyvar (On the edge of younghood)

DISHA organizes this session for teenagers and youth. This session explains how to stay safe and happy without falling prey to emotional ups and downs, competition, temptations, challenges, attractions, one-sided love, violence in a love affair, addictions during adolescence. At the same time, detailed guidance is given on what to do if there is a problem in this regard or a crime is committed inadvertently or someone else is committing violence or harassment. At the same time, information about the people, government system, NGOs who can help them is discussed along with the contact numbers. DISHA explained to them some of the features of the POCSO and Juvenile Justice Act that will help them stay safe.

Many students make phone calls after sessions for fear of being stigmatized and share stories of physical, sexual assault, relationship violence, suicide attempts, or blackmail by a partner. DISHA helps them understand that these are crimes and even people in a relationship cannot abuse each other. They are given ‘psychological first aid’ over the phone and suggested ways to get out of it. DISHA explains how they can get help from their parents, teachers, police or any other trusted adult as the case may be. However, if it is found that the offense falls under any provision of the POCSO Act 2012, DISHA makes an attempt to enable the victim to report the crime or would itself report the crime to the nearest police station as a commitment to the protection of children. All the reputed colleges of Vidarbha have appealed to DISHA for guidance under this program and this program has also been included in their annual orientation to fresher’s.

At village/community: Suraksha aani Gunha Pratibandh (Safety & Crime Prevention)

DISHA conducts sessions on crime at the village level, their consequences, damage caused and how to prevent it. These sessions are mainly for women’s self-help groups, police patils, Aganwadi sevikas, and Dispute free committee (Tanta Mukta Samiti) members in villages. The purpose of this session is to settle disputes in the house, in the neighborhood or in the village. Most of the disputes in the village are over land, or between husband and wife, over an addicted husband or over any petty issue. If these disputes are not resolved, it will result in serious crimes that could disrupt the peace of the village. Therefore, DISHA started working for the implementation of the Maharashtra government’s scheme ‘Tanta Mukta Gaon’. Under this, DISHA introduced various laws, basic counselling skills to the members of Tanta Mukta Samiti which made it easier for them to guide in non-cognizable cases. Also, DISHA makes them aware of the cases about cognizable cases, what is the role of them and police Patil in it, what are the rights of the victim and how victims can be supported to seek justice at village level. Through this session, DISHA tries to empower key persons like Police Patil, Tanta Mukt Samiti Members in the village to maintain peace in the village.

Community Center for children

The Community Center is an initiative for the development of vulnerable children in the Amravati slums. The parents or guardians in the slums are either incapable or unwilling to handle the emotional, physical and mental needs of the children. In contrast, children often face neglect, violence, and a struggle to get what they need. The concept of Community Center was developed with the aim of enabling children to become self-reliant and explore opportunities for a safe and better life.

The center was started in 2011 with 11 children. The community center has helped more than 600 children in the last nine years. Children between the ages of 8 and 14 attend the center 3 hours a day to learn basic Microsoft Office skills, e-classes, arts and crafts and essential life skills. The children studying in this center are imparted with practical knowledge so that they can face any problem in life with confidence.

Activities of community center: 

  • Basic Microsoft office skills (open, create, save and modify documents in Word, spreadsheets in Excel, presentation in PowerPoint, Internet and email), 
  • E-Class  ( Screen, Pen drive with Audio-video animated content for Maharashtra State Board Studies, for standards 1st to 10th in English, Marathi)
  • Arts & Craft (painting, waste to best)
  • Essential life skills (Self-awareness and empathy, Assertiveness and self-control, Communication and interpersonal skills, Decision-making and problem-solving, Creative thinking and critical thinking)
  • Happy life (Purpose of life, Money, Career, Wise me, wise family, Care for Home, Community)
  • Visit to social structures (Municipal office, Bank, Hospital Police Station, Court)