On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, a procession march was taken out in Angul city, Odisha to highlight the issues concerning the safety and security of women. Nari Surakshya Samiti (NSS), a local NGO in Odisha, organized the event in collaboration with Environics trust, New Delhi and several independent social activists.

The march began from the Stadium in Angul and ended at the District Magistrates (DM) office.  More than 200 men and women (majorly) participated in the peaceful march.  The participants carried banners and placards in which messages were written in Odiya language. These messages were addressing the important issues like Safety and Security, Violence, Female feticide, sexual harassment and more.

A memorandum containing 12 demands was handed over to the DM. These include

  1. The applicable provisions under the Gram Panchayat mechanisms and regulations should be properly implemented.
  2. A committee at Gram Panchayat level should be established to monitor issues related to girl trafficking and domestic violence.
  3. Mechanism to register all daily wage laborers in every gram panchayat.
  4. All cases related to women should be disposed quickly and proper justice should be ensured.
  5. Setting up of information and monitoring centre in the mines area to check the practice of female feticide.
  6. For every girl child residing in the mining area, free of cost nutritious food, drinking water, library and books facility should be provided under the DMF funds
  7. Plantation on both sides of the roads in the town.
  8. Compliance of the High Court order to close liquor vends, liquor making centers near the roads in the town.
  9. A special day should be reserved for women to hear their issues.
  10. Opening of district women livelihood and training centre to help them become independent.
  11. Utilize the funds from DMF to create sufficient number of Child Care centres for the development of children in the district
  12. As the number of un-wedded mother is increasing in the society especially in mining areas, they need to be provided with land and house and a mechanism should be created for their appropriate re-settlement.

After the handing over of the memorandum, the participants proceeded towards the Town Hall for a meeting.

Ms. Smita Rani Pattnaik, Chief functionary of NSS presided over the meeting. She invited several dignitaries on the podium which included – Namita, Shalini (Environics Trust), SisirTripathy (Social Activist), Sukanta (State Coordinator of Hunger Project), Ranjit (Social Activist), P.D (D.R.D.A Project director), Parsuram (District Coordinator of P.C.P.N.D.T) and some representatives of social activist from villages.  The assembled dignitaries raised their voices to highlight important issues regarding women especially women in the mining areas. These included –

  • Importance of Women: How are women caring for everyone?
  • Female feticide: The increase of feticide imbalance the sex ratio.
  • Equal wage for equal work. Equal rights and opportunity to both male genders.
  • Girl child trafficking: This is very common in mining area
  • Education for the girl child: An educated girl is more aware about her rights in the society and can raise her voice, if needed.
  • Equal rights on constitution: The constitution provides equal rights and opportunity to both male and female.
  • Explanation about pollution by plants, which causes health issues. Serious reproductive health issues especially for women

A Pamphlet highlighting these issues was released during the event.

Honored for Extraordinary work

Several women activists who have worked on women centric issues like Child Marriages, Child labour, domestic violence, sexual harassment, child drop-out students etc were honored for their valuable work for the betterment of the society.