Along with the service provision and training, efforts are been made to create awareness about the issue and change of attitude in society about violence against women. The main objectives of advocacy is to create awareness about gender based violence and its consequences on women; to create awareness about the crisis centre and its services amongst organisations, other hospitals, health posts and maternity homes and community at large.
In an attempt to include violence against women in the nursing curriculum meeting were conducted with Deans of various nursing colleges in Maharashtra and the team have coordinated with the Commissioner, Women and Child Development Department. As a result a lot of nursing tutors are deputed for the National course on Violence against women and role of HCPs. The Depty Director of Nursing Education, Govt. of Maharashtra have been approached in order to take forward this initiative.
After the PWDVA Act came in force the Dilaasa team, did a systematic study of the Act to gain more clarity on it. The Stree MuktiSampark Samiti (SMSS) at Pune organised workshops for effective implementation of the Act. Dilaasa team was active in participating and making suggestion in the meetings organized by the SMSS. CEHAT made a presentation about Dilaasa as a model to understand the role of healthcare providers in responding to women facing domestic violence. CEHAT was then entrusted with the responsibility of chalking out the role of the medical facility under the Act. The recommendations were drafted in consultation with experts working in the area of health and then submitted to the State along with Guideline for service providers, counsellors. Shelters, that were developed by other groups in Maharashtra.
CEHAT was instrumental in integrating the issues of violence against women and mental health and human rights within the National Health Assembly, Bhopal held in March this year. The VAW workshop was organized in collaboration with MASUM and AIDWA. The session included presentation on linkages of violence with women’s health. The CEHAT team also presented a skit on the role of healthcare providers. The session on Metal Health was organized in collaboration with Basic Needs and Bapu Trust, organization working on the issues of mental health from a rights-based perspective. CEHAT gave a presentation on overview of mental health care in India and the human rights violations. CEHAT also conducted a workshop on the PCPNDT ACT along with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab, FOGSI Punjab and the Appropriate Authorities in Amritsar in June 2006. The workshop was attended by 15 appropriate authorities of Punjab from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahar and Batala . 30 members of the Nursing Home Association, Punjab and 10 FOGSI members participated. Problems in filing complaints and also harassment by appropriate authorities in certain cases were discussed during the workshop.
Dilaasa has continued to associated with the campaign on mental health of women called Jan Mansik Arogya Abhiyaan (JMAA) initiated by Bapu trust from Pune. The team members participated in a visit to Thane mental health hospital organised by JMAA. The concerns and the feedback about the visit was sent to the JMAA group. The feedback was incorporated and the report of visit was finalized which the JMAA group planned to submit to the Directorate of Health Services. Feedback on the posters on mental health that the JMAA group had developed was also sent. A team member also participated in a review meeting of JMAA where they reflected upon the journey of the Abhiyan, dilemmas faced by the Abhiyan.
Bapu Trust in collaboration with CEHAT, Basic Needs and JSA called for a two day national consultation for advocating a national mental health policy. Team member participated n the consultation and documented the sessions that were conducted.
In order to reach out to people and hospital staff the Dilaasa team conducts Poster exhibitions in all 24 peripheral hospitals of the BMC and in maternity homes and health posts of the BMC in Bandra East and West. Pamphlets and call cards of Dilaasa are also distributed in all the hospitals. Every year a calendar is developed around a theme and the role of Health care Providers in responding to various kinds of Violence Against Women faced by Women.