Mobile caravans launched for gender sensitisation in Punjab villages

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Chandigarh, April 25 (IANS) Six mobile caravans were launched here on Tuesday to sensitise people in the rural areas about issues of gender-based discrimination in Punjab.

The mobile caravans, launched by Punjab Additional Chief Secretary S.K. Sandhu, is the initiative of the Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (PSCPCR) and Punjab State Commission for Women (PSCW), along with NGO Save the Children.

The caravans, carrying the message ‘Identity is different, but Rights are one’, will reach out to 550 villages of Muktsar, Bathinda, Mansa and Fazilka districts of Punjab.

“The innovatively designed vans will use a mix of infotainment techniques to educate the community about the sensitive issue of gender-based discrimination. Each van is equipped to show a feature film highlighting methods to report female foeticide incidences and also has a ‘Nukkad Natak’ team which will initiate discussions about giving equal treatment to boys and girls,” a spokesperson said.

“There was a need to get more innovative in sensitising people through different mediums and also to sensitise the legal fraternity and the law enforcing agencies. While government is making efforts, mindset of people needs to change to curb gender-based violence,” Sandhu said.

Underlining the objective of the event, Michelle Bowman, Director of Programmes Operations, Save the Children, said: “We are confident that the campaign will provide children and adolescents of Punjab a platform to raise their concerns and suggestions about gender equality.

“Reducing gender based discrimination is a key sustainable development goal for India and through our programmes we not only ensure that community is sensitised on gender-based discrimination but also initiates action towards reducing it,” Bowman added.

“Children’s rights cannot be ensured unless we stop discriminating between different genders. While, the government is making efforts to ensure well-being of all the children, we need support from parents, teachers and community and leaders to ensure that we root out the practices of gender based discrimination,” Sukesh Kalia, Chairperson, PSCPCR, said.

“The commission is proactively reaching out to women in the state to ensure support for dealing with the issues of discrimination and violence. Awareness on laws and legislations protecting women will play a key role in ensuring their rights. The focus should be on minor girls, especially beggars and those working as domestic helps who are victims of domestic violence,” Paramjit Kaur Landran, Chairperson, PSCW said.

–IANS

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