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» Past Events Page ID : WP949 | Last Updated 20 Oct, 2018, 05:49AM
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Past Events

Independence day was celebrated on 14TH August 2018 at all Sannidhi Primary Schools. Our freedom was celebrated with great enthusiasm with children's participation.

47th group marriage held by the Guild

Since 46 years of its existence-initiated by Guild for Service has been conducting group marriages. These expense-free marriages abolish the practice of dowry, promote inter-caste and inter-community marriages and widow remarriage. It is through such endeavors that the Guild for Service seeks to function as a catalyst for change in society. 

The 47th group marriage conducted on 19th November was highlighted by the following 

  • The brides were not be given away in Kanyadaan but it was Panigrahanam which is mutual acceptance of relationship
  •  A woman officiated as the priest to conduct the the Nikha of two Muslim couples.
  •  To avoid pollution the traditional Agni Vidhi was performed using anti pollutant Puja Samahgri. 
  • All the widow remarriage, inter caste and inter community marriages were performed in the day time so that electricity is not wasted. 
  • The dowry system is completely eliminated in the group marriages.
  • Family Planning Association gave awareness lecture and distributed condoms .

The marriages were sponsored by Lions Club New Delhi, Bengali Market and Ganges International Pvt Ltd The couples were given essential items and the wedding attire to start their life.

National Commission for Women: mandate, challenges and way forward
Brainstorming session: 21st June2017 Conference Room II,
India International Centre
Organized by : The Guild of Service

This year the National Commission for Women (NCW) is twenty-five years old and has matured into a significant entity, ready for an even more meaningful role in the lives of the Indian women. The Guild in partnership with UN Women and the India International   Centre organized a brain storming session on the role of the Commission. The time was opportune and right to retrospect on the manifold successes of the Commission and the perceived gap between aspirations and implementation. In the course of the discussion many dimensions of the commission's role were explored in an effort to review, reinvent and rejuvenate it.

The session was enriched by the views of three Ex Chairs of the Commission: Dr Mohini Giri, Dr Poornima Advani and Ms Girija Vyas. The present Chairperson Ms Laitha Kumaramanglam despite being unwell joined through Skype. The discussions were enlightening as  Dr Syeda Hameed former Member Planning Commission and NCW, Ms. Rebecca Tavares from UN Women, Ms Padma Seth, Shamina Shafique, former members  of NCW, Ms. Zohra Chatterjee, Ms Beenu Sen, former Member Secretaries NCW, Ms Sujaya Krishnan former Joint Secretary Family Health and Welfare, Ms .Firoza  Mehrotra, gender specialist UNFPA, Mr Sudhir Verma, former Secretary, WCD Rajasthan and a host of eminent social activists put forth their views and experiences.

The floor agreed that NCW was a vital and essential body for the protection of women's rights and there was a need to give it legislative and institutional strength as well as political and financial autonomy. The NCW should be at par in status with NHRC, National Commission for Minorities and National Commission for SC/ST. Despite being a statutory body it has become an instrument for looking into cases of violence against women, with limited powers over the police and magistrates, and a counseling center. The NCW Act has inherent weaknesses in that it it is vague and and does not give specific powers for  implementation of the mandate. Nor does it  give any directive to state governments to constitute a State Commission for Women. The need to define women's rights, to strengthen the letter of the law and to legislate the strength of the NCW by vesting it with punitive powers on the lines of other Commissions/ Tribunals was felt.

In the course of brainstorming it emerged that Parliament  did not spend adequate time on women's issues and reports submitted by the NCW were not taken into cognizance. The Act mandates an action taken report, however there is no mechanism to ensure that recommendations are taken up and discussed within an appropriate time frame. Further , even though the NCW is an autonomous body, yet the Ministry of Women & Child Development, by virtue of its administrative and financial powers subordinates NCW in terms of its dependence on the government for staff requirements and financial grants. Time spent in convincing bureaucrats on the need and efficacy of programs and interventions is far too much,  thus hampering the efficacy and performance of the commission. It was felt  that directt budgetary allocation from the Finance Ministry  was a must to maintain the autonomy.

Since a major chunk of the Commission's work is the cases of human right violations and contravention of the law, and these are are largely due to the prevalent social mindset; it was suggested that the cases themselves can be a catalyst for review of policies/programs and laws. It is vital for the Commission to tap the reservoir of knowledge and expertise through expert committees. There should be a Coordination Committee under the Chairperson with representatives from various Ministries MWCD, HRD, Home Rural Development, Poverty Alleviation, Health and Family Planning, Land resources etc which may meet quarterly. It should be responsible for  implementing the decisions of the Commission.
The attendees expressed their dissatisfaction with the natures of the selection of the members of the Commission and its Secretary. The Secretary especially should be one who was committed to the cause and was one who could facilitate the work of Commission with governmental agencies. They suggested there be more transparency and inclusiveness from all political parties, activists and experts from different fields and various states.
In conclusion it was decided that a from the Concept paper and the discussions  drafting committee will work on
documents which can be taken up with the appropriate authorities

Recommendations will be

Short term: NCW alongwith  inputs from civil society organisations  can create rules within the ambit of the law

Identify what can be done  within the Act which is not being done. Identify clauses that can be interpreted to enhance the strength of the Commission
Long term: Review and amend the Act.

Ma Dham

Constructed, operated and supported by Guild for Service, Maa Dham is a home for homeless and destitute women.

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Meera Khanna speaking at the Parallel event Widows & Widowhood: a n economic and humanitarian crisis at the 60th session of CSW, New York

Fun and Frolic at Ma Dham

Guild for service

The Guild For Service is a national voluntary developmental organization dedicated towards the empowerment of marginalized women and children.


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