From April 27 to May 6, a continuous campaign was oraganized by Sakhi Kendra and NAWO, UP in honor of International Labor Day.
As part of this series, a training program was organized on April 27 for women's rights protectors. Around 75 women from different areas of Kanpur city participated in the program. At the beginning of the program, all the women expressed their expectations, which were discussed by Neelam Chaturvedi, the Minister of Sakhi Kendra. Information about new plans and amendments made in the law was provided to everyone.
During the program, the participants introduced themselves and described the work they do for society. An empowerment game was conducted, starting with a ball game where the objective was to throw the ball as far as possible. Each participant had three chances, and on the third chance, everyone threw the ball farther. This game aimed to demonstrate that if anyone works to their full capacity, they can significantly improve.
Another game involved balloons, where each participant was given a balloon and a small pin. They were asked to protect their own balloons from being popped by others. In the end, everyone ended up popping each other's balloons, which illustrated the lesson that having a weapon does not mean it has to be used. It should only be used when absolutely necessary.
On April 29, a training program for trainers was organized with the participation of 45 leaders from different settlements. During discussions among women, it was found that they wanted to find ways to improve their household situations. Neelam Chaturvedi and Maya Kuril from the Sakhi Kendra provided information to the women that they can start their own self-employment. Several examples were given to illustrate this point. The M.S.M.E. Director also talked about various schemes related to M.S.M.E and mentioned the provision of training and loans for starting self-employment. It was also revealed that the Sakhi Kendra has become a significant force where training and production can take place.
On May 1st, a seminar was organized in Koparganj, Kanpur with the participation of approximately 150 unorganized and domestic workers, mostly women. Neelam Chaturvedi, Prabha, and Meena, the Chief Ministers of Sakhi Kendra, acknowledged the significance of May Day and discussed the hardships faced by workers. They highlighted the reduction in working hours from 12-13 hours to 8 hours and expressed concerns about the minimum wages for unorganized and domestic female workers not being implemented effectively. The women united and raised powerful slogans, advocating for their rights regarding education, healthcare, pensions, and housing.
On May 2nd, a seminar took place at the Sant Shiromani Ravidas Ashram, with 130 women from different settlements participating. Neelam Chaturvedi, the Chief Minister of Sakhi Kendra, welcomed everyone and emphasized the victories achieved by workers in reducing their working hours. All the women joined together and chanted slogans, emphasizing unity and the importance of Labor Day.
On May 4th, a parliamentary session was organized at the Vishwa Bharati Education Center for unorganized and domestic women workers, with the participation of 150 women. Neelam Chaturvedi, Maya Kuril, Prachi Tripathi, and Prabha discussed the functioning of parliament and presented arguments regarding various schemes. The ruling party highlighted the implementation of welfare schemes, such as providing free rations and vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The opposition pointed out the challenges in effectively implementing these schemes at the ground level and the limited reach of benefits to the intended beneficiaries.
Finally, on May 6, a legal advocacy program was organized at the Sakhi Kendra office for ongoing cases of unorganized and domestic workers. Neelam Chaturvedi, the Minister of Sakhi Kendra, addressed the attendees, emphasizing the importance of not tolerating violence, not considering oneself weak, and having confidence to fight their battles. The Sakhi Kendra assured them of providing all possible assistance.
During the program, consultations were provided by Kanpur Court's senior advocate and former librarian, Mr. Hari Kishan Shukla, Advocate Neeru Chauhan, Advocate Chandrakanta Sharma, Advocate Arjuman, and Advocate Sachin. Consultations were given in approximately 35 cases, including 8 cases of domestic violence, 6 cases of sexual assault, 4 cases of dowry harassment, 2 cases of dowry murder, 2 cases of love disputes, 2 cases of other disputes, 4 cases of marital discord, 3 cases of post-marital relationships, 2 cases of harassment, 3 cases of property disputes, 3 cases of maintenance allowance, 1 case of divorce, and 2 cases of family disputes.