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JAGRUTI AND “STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL”


 
A JATHA IN BELGUAM ON 5th OCTOBER 2005 AGAINST FEMALE FOETICIDE – FEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
 

1) In which year did JAGRUTI as an organization started working on rising awareness about social evils?
JAGRUTI was registered as a society on 1998-99, but the team of JAGRUTI had existed to work right from 1988 onwards with some discontinuity. During November 1988, Dr Gopal Dabade resigned from his job from Hubli hospital and decided to work in remote villages of Bailhongal taluk. So along with his wife Ms Sharada Gopal and three year old daughter Pooja settled down in Kittur for a period of four years. And after four years both decided to quit from Kittur and settle down in Dharwad due to family reasons. But friends of Dabade who were closely associated wanted to continue with the work. So they settled down in Khanapur Taluk,(after working for few years with other NGOs in and around Dharwad) from where they hail for all round rural development. So most of the grass root work is done by these friends (some of whom are also board members of JAGRUTI).

2) Why the Jatha and elaborate the objective of the occasion?
JAGRUTI found the news item in Indian Express a good excuse to explain the villagers about female foeticide. The main objective was to give awareness to the village women and men regarding the issue of female foeticide in specific and gender discrimination in general. Also to explain to the villagers that the government set up is very weak. In fact JAGRUTI in future will use this opportunity to further talk to the village women and men about “Girl Child Neglect”, evils of dowry and gender discrimination and try to evolve action plan. (JAGRUTI has also made a video of the Jatha, which can be sent by post on request by sending a Demand Draft of Rupees Fifty made payable to JAGRUTI at DHARWAD. Send the DD by post to JAGRUTI, 57, Tejaswinagar, Dharwad 580 002.

3) How many organisations or NGO’s participated in that occasion?
Unfortunately there was poor response from NGOs in and around Belgaum city, and one reason could be that the time was very short. JAGRUTI had informed some leading NGOs in Belgaum like Jana Jagaran and Parivartan, but unfortunately both did not turn up. Only Mr. Shivaji Kagnekar from the village Kattanbhavi (in Belgaum taluk and district) along with 25 persons (mostly from kuruba community) had come well prepared to participate in the jatha. Also another NGO from Haveri (district and taluk) by name NEEDS (Navodaya Educational and Environment Development Service) participated by sending two staff members and few selected village level committee members. Apart from these two organisations there was no response worth mentioning.

4) Whether JAGRUTI is maintaining any networking with any other NGOs of the region those who are working on the same issue?
JAGRUTI has some contacts in Belgaum district because of the current work in Khanapur Taluk and also earlier involvement in Bailhongal Taluk but as such there is no network for this issue of female foeticide.

5) What is JAGRUTI’s opinion about the news flashed in the Indian Express by the Journalist called Shilpa?
In a way it was sensational but it was needed as there was not much happening on the issue of female foeticide.

6) What is JAGRUTI’s opinion about the type of action undertaken by the DHO office following the news of the sex determination by the doctors?
There is nothing much that the DHO is doing. They have NOT even replied to the memorandum that JAGRUTI and representative from various women’s organisation from the villages had submitted during the Jatha.

7) Whether Jagruti took any initiative of agitation before the DHO office in demand of the better action by the office?
Yes JAGRUTI demanded that the doctors listed in the newspaper be punished.

8) What is JAGRUTI’s opinion about the Task Force which is formed recently by government in Belgaum?
Unfortunately it is not active and does not have persons who would be active on this issue.

9) What is JAGRUTI’s opinion about the presence and availability of the scanning centers and the technology for determining the sex of the fetus?
Unfortunately the scanning technology is being misused by some greedy doctors. The number of scanning centres in Belgaum is really alarming. This needs to be monitored by government agencies.

10) Have JAGRUTI been invited for the membership of the Task Force?
No!
Neither the DC nor the DHO have even replied to the memorandum that JAGRUTI and the various representatives of women’s organisation had submitted.

11) What kind of the action should be undertaken to curb the problem?
Basically the government machinery is not serious about the issue. (a) Initially the government should develop adequate simple education material on this issue of female foeticide and should be widely used to disseminate and educate the villagers. (b) the Committees set up by the DHO, Belgaum need to be revamped with persons who are actively working with concern on this issue. (c) all those abortions that take place of the third pregnancy need to be followed up especially if the first two are daughters. (e) in spite of all this there are inherent defects in the law, which need to be brought forth before the central government. (f) all the activities of the DHO & DC on this issue should be made transparent (like putting it on the web page etc.)

12) What are the levels of JAGRUTI’s work?
JAGRUTI is working at grass root level in 22 villages of Khanapur taluk.

13) Whether JAGRUTI is interested to do some work in the intervention level? (Please answer keeping in mind about the female feticide.).
Yes JAGRUTI has already been working on the issue of “Girl Child Neglect” from last five years in 22 villages of Khanapur Taluk of Belgaum district.

14) JAGRUTI is working in the community level apart from that whether it is interested to demand the better policy implementation by the government.
Yes!

16) Whether JAGRUTI asks some new policy before the state and how it like to put forth that demand before government?
Not yet worked on this, but JAGRUTI will work on this in future.

Date 1st November 2005

   
 
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