VSSM’s Early Journey Into Vadia and There After -1

 VSSM’s early journy into vadiya and there after — Some Milestone Episodes —-

Let’s have part 1 of  our early journy into Vadiya.

saraniya families at vadiya
saraniya families at vadiya

It all began with one woman who got into the flesh trade that to under desperation – the need to fill empty bellies of her family.  Later few other women followed her and gradually the more and more families began involving their sisters and daughters into this trade until it became a common practice for women of that particular area and particular community. What could be the option to this  occupation??? Initially the government provided land to these families both for farming and building homes (actually they were moved to one specific region as a step to rehabilitate them). The land was allotted but wasn’t marked hence most of the families made their shades on a hill top (cause the land got flooded during rains). The living conditions were pathetic. One tap to provide water to entire settlement/village. Very few families had ration cards. That too APL ration cards through which they could only buy kerosene at subsidised price.

 Vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch – VSSM initiated working with the Saraniyaa families of Vadia by filing for allotment  of residential plots to these families. Once the land was marked the families were allotted plots. Moving on it came to construction of houses on the allotted plots. The bureaucratic mindsets, rigidity and completing the  formalities of accessing various welfare schemes by the government  were nerve wrecking.
Saraniya Community House at Vadiya
Saraniya Community House at Vadiya
Some of the requirements were:

• Need money to build a home – photograph of husband and wife is mandatory!!

So from where will a women who has been pushed into sex trade, who is a sex worker, has never been married but has children and needs a building to house her family bring husband in the photograph need to file application for a government housing scheme!! And the officials as if deriving some sadist pleasure would keep poking by asking questions like where is your husband?? Why don’t you have a picture with him?? We need a picture!! (all these even after knowing the facts and we having briefed them about the status of these women). With an motive of upholding the dignity of these women we had made a conscious decision to never asked certain questions that would put them in uncomfortable situations. The entire exercise of filing the applications was mentally exhaustive for us. Ultimately with the help of then District Collector Shri. Harit Shukla and Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment Shri. R. M. Patel’s intervention helped in resolving the issue. The government assistance towards construction was sanctioned following which we initiated the process of constructing homes. Hence emerged another issue…

• Nobody,  not a single person, was ready to come and work in the village!!

To be Continute in next post……….

 

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