Agra (Uttar Pradesh): Agra is a place which has been the pride of India for being the city of Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The ancient city is embellished with monuments, architectural wonders and beautifully landscaped gardens. But unfortunately, where the city is famous for its royal heritage, it is infamous for crimes against women. In recent years, spurt is observed in the rate of crimes against women in the city. Agra reflects a disheartening status of women where domestic violence and molestation cases are on the rise. Respect for women is clearly going down in the region. And, in the midst of all disappointments, Santulan- Gender Equality program of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS), is acting like a beacon by executing a campaign with a vision to illuminate women with their inner strength and enlighten society in gender perspective.
The campaign includes various events which are held at regular intervals being gender sensitization workshops, women empowerment programs, advocacy sessions and group discussion with women from rural part of the district. These events are being undertaken by well proficient gender trainers of Santulan including volunteers and Sadhvi disciples of His Holiness Ashutosh Maharaj Ji. The workshops and sessions are the combination of informative gender based activities, sensitizing performances including skits and dance ballets revealing causes and effects of gender stereotyped society and eye opening lectures by Sadhvi preachers on how to vanquish the barriers of gender just society and need of spiritual empowerment of women. In lectures, emphasis is laid on the spiritual strength of a woman who is awakened at soul level and for whom nothing is impossible. Life changing stories of women from history who turned out as the paragon of perfection after being awakened spiritually like Meera Bai, Amrapali, Lakshmi Bai and many more are also being shared to stress the importance and need of spiritual empowerment of women.
India Today on September 18, 2019 reported that a girl studying in class 9 was abducted in Semra village of Khandauli area in Agra. Further, News 18 on December 1, 2019 reported that body of teenage girl was found with slit throat in Agra Village. Abovementioned are just few recent cases portraying the distress status of females of rural Agra and if we check such cases in the past 5 years, there is no end to the list. Paying heed to the need of the hour, Santulan extended its Agra campaign by adding group discussion initiative with women in villages of Agra. Target rural women share their views on reasons and impact of increasing rate of crimes against females in their vicinity. And on the basis of discussion, the panacea solution to each and every problem is being provided by Satulan team followed by much needed session of counseling.
The on-going Agra campaign of DJJS Santulan is experiencing massive success and enormous appreciation from beneficiaries, visitors, target audience and people witnessing its events. Here are snapshots of some of the events conducted by DJJS Santulan with respect to elevation of status of Agra women.