‘Manush’ Initiative in Satara and Kolhapur
MAVA’s landmark initiative with male youths in Pune got further boost in June 2009, when MAVA collaborated with a grassroots community developmental organization in Satara and is currently developing a pool of male communicators, hailing from 20 villages.
During June 2009, MAVA in collaboration with Shramik Janata Vikas Sanstha, a grassroots voluntary organization working in 35 villages of Satara, launched an initiative called ‘Manush’ aimed at creating a pool of male communicators who would address issues of gender-based violence. A 7-day training program was arranged for around 25 youths from select villages, as a part of this initiative.
The team of male communicators – around 25 of them, have been putting series of street-plays on issue of Domestic Violence and also campaigning for effective implementation of PWDVA – Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, in their respective villages, spreading messages to a wider audience. They are taking special efforts in talking to various governmental functionaries like sarpanch, tahsildar and the police, apart from college peers and engaging them on a wide range of gender and sexuality matters.
In August 2009, MAVA launched a similar initiative at D.K.Shinde School of Social Work run by Chh. Shahu Institute of Business Education and Research (SIBER), Kolhapur. 3 student social workers from the College were placed for field-work with MAVA for the academic year 2009-2010. The students took efforts in organizing gender-awareness workshops and displaying their innovative wall newspapers for fellow students and for students from neighboring colleges. They visited select villages of Panhala taluka of Kolhapur district to study the situation of declining sex ratio, which has been lowest in the state. The student social workers started a Yuva Samvad Kendra (Youth Communication Centre) in their college campus in December 2009 and have since then engaging students at the Centre through periodic meetings and sharing-sessions. The communicators of Satara and Kolhapur have also been preparing series of attractive wall newspapers on contemporary gender themes and displaying them prominently on notice-boards for viewing by peers and stimulating discussions.