| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The following were the 3 key elements of the action plan:-
A. Institution Building
Developing Shaurya as an institution was the most critical element of the project. Shaurya would be the focal point in villages to address the issue of violence against girls / women, to create an enabling environment for women, to make use of choices, spaces and opportunities for their overall well-being. Shaurya was formed in each village, ideally comprising of 10 members based on affinity among the members, mutual trust and concern about the need of reducing violence against girls and women, thereby involving them in the mainstream of development process.
However, no upper limit was kept for inclusion of members in Shaurya. Selection of members was critical as the entire success of the initiative depends on it. Those persons from the community were elected who were vocal, had a say in the community, did not have a criminal background, would undertake environment building initiative to make community sensitized towards the need and importance of women empowerment and village development, provide support in accessing benefits as per entitlements of families.
B. Enhancing Capacities
Shaurya Dal shall be sensitized to conduct regular meetings The members of Shaurya Dal would be provided training on acts related to women , legal provisions and the process to access support to these, various welfare schemes implemented by state/central government for socio-economic empowerment of women to enhance their capacity to enable them to resolve issues of violence.
The success of the initiative depends on how effectively it is converged with line departments implementing and /or supporting the agenda of women welfare like Police, Women & Child Development, PHE, Health. It is not only the members of Shaurya Dals who need to be sensitized but also there is a need to sensitise the field functionaries of line departments, especially police personnel posted in police stations. Shaurya would have all relevant data base with it which could help the line departments in achieving their targets with ease. Convergence with line departments would help in providing expeditious delivery of support required by the community or victim.
Key developmental steps, main activities and chronology
Step I -March – April 2013:-
a. Preparation of guidelines for Shaurya Dal
b. Circulation of guidelines to all stake holders and implementers for feedback and suggestions
c. Finalisation of Guidelines and action plan
Step II – May 2013
a. Base line survey to understand the socio-economic profile of the village and the programme families covered
b. Sensitisation of staff involved in the implementation process.
Step III – June – October 2013
a. Formation of Shaurya Dal
b. Training of Shaurya Dal
c. Developing an interface with police and Shaurya Dal .
d. Converging with social development experts, Police, Judiciary, line departments.
e. Educate about welfare schemes, coordinate with respective line departments to ensure families access benefits they are entitled to.
f. Educate on laws and acts related to women to ensure awareness amongst all community members.
g. Concurrent monitoring
Step IV – November 2013 – March 2014
Organising sensitization programmes and trainings for Shaurya Dal members and the community for:-
a. Building up an enabling, violence free and safe environment for girls and women.
b. Removing constraints faced by women for their socio-economic empowerment.
c. Ensuring safe mobility of women.
d. Taking measures on all forms of violence, social evils and addressing entitlement issues on case to case basis.
e. Liaison with line departments.
f. Concurrent monitoring
Step V – April -2014
a. Impact assessment
b. Concurrent monitoring
Step VI – May 2014 onwards
a. Expansion of Shaurya to other districts and villages
b. Concurrent monitoring
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The roles of various stakeholders in formation of Shaurya Dal are as under:-
a. Ms. Kalpana Srivastava, a civil servant holding the charge of Commissioner, Directorate of Women Empowerment with additional responsibility of Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Women Finance and Development Corporation was the key person who conceptualized the whole initiative. She felt that strong administrative measures would never be enough to prevent/ curb violence against girls and women. Violence against girls and women can be curbed only by securing administrative, social and community partnerships. Until and unless the community would take responsibility for preventing violence against girls and women at inception stage before it escalated into a crime, by timely interventions, it would not be possible to bring about a crime free state. She visualized the need of creating community led institution in villages as a platform for taking preventive measures. She was involved in designing the overall policy framework and programme formulation.
b. Ms. Seema Singh Thakur, Programme Director, Tejaswini Rural Women Empowerment Programme (funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development) has been made responsible for overall supervision of programme implementation.
c. Mr. Harish Khare, Deputy Director & Mr. M. K. Chaturvedi, Deputy Programme Director, Ms Jyoti Shrivastava, Manager have been involved in the overall implementation of the initiative. Their role was to issue guidelines, financial planning, channelizing financial and technical resources, and assisting field functionaries in programme implementation.
d. Mr. A. S. Bhal, Manager and Ms. Tini Pandey, Assistant Director were actively involved in formulation of the initiative, designing the action plan and development of resource materials for training and capacity building of Shaurya Members and overall implementation.
e. Mr Tarun Bamba, and Mr Manish Agrawal have supported the initiative to put effective monitoring system in place.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The resources used for formation, nurturing, developing and sustaining Shaurya Dal were :-
a. Financial Resources
Since the initiative lays emphasis on enhancing capacities of Shaurya members and the implementers, it was essential to channelize financial resources for training them to ensure success of the initiative. Financial resources were also used for developing resource materials, campaigning and advocacy. The unique feature of the initiative was that no financial assistance in the form of subsidy and/or incentives was required for sustaining the Shaurya initiative. The initiative is now a self driven scheme where in every member is volunteering his/her services for creating an enabling environment for girls and women.
b. Human Resources
The initiative is entirely focused on enhancing skills of volunteers functioning as Shaurya members and developing them as valuable human resource who can contribute to achieving the programme objectives. Hence, human resources in huge numbers were required for the initiative. The human resources used for the initiative were in the form of Shaurya members, programme implementers and trainers. The roles of each member were as under:-
1. Shaurya Members:- It is envisaged to form one Shaurya Dal in each village and ward. Each Shaurya Dal ideally consist of 10 members 5 men and 5 women. The initiative has established its outreach in 7200 villages and 305 Wards and total members covered by it is now 75050. All these members have been trained on group functioning and on subject matters like various acts and rights related to women and girls. They were also trained on numerous welfare schemes to facilitate community for accessing benefits as per their entitlements.
2. Implementers:-The initiative was implemented through field functionaries functioning under the Directorate of Women Empowerment. The sustainability of the initiative was heavily dependent on the extent to which the field functionaries were sensitized towards the importance of the initiative and to what extent they were skilled for training the Shaurya members down the line. The field functionaries were also sensitized and trained through various modules. Around 120 field functionaries were involved in the initiative.
c. Technical Resources:-
The initiative is about developing human resources and enhancing the capacity of the implementers and the Shaurya members. A resource pool has been developed consisting of development professionals, legal experts, police personnel, etc. to sensitise and train on various modules developed for Shaurya.
UNWOMEN also has entered in an agreement with the Directorate of Women Empowerment for providing technical support to Shaurya members for enhancing their capacity.
The initiative involves expenditure on training and capacity building of different stakeholders, on development of resource materials like training modules, brochures, documentation and publicity. The total cost incurred on the initiative as of now is around INR 2 million.
How was the project funded and who contributed to the financing?
The project was funded by IFAD assisted Tejaswini Programme, the State Government and UN WOMEN .
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Shaurya is a community led initiative for ending violence against girls and women. It has impacted successfully on reducing the incidents of crimes against girls and women by creating a woman friendly environment in the society. The community is sensitized by the Shaurya Dal on various legal provisions and acts, welfare schemes implemented by state/central government. available for justice to women. Increased awareness has resulted in huge decline in the incidents of crimes against girls and women. An analysis of reports received from Superintendent of Police office show an overall decline of around 35% in incidents of crimes against girls/women in just a span of over one year. The key outputs of the initiative are:-
a. Establishment of strong and self sustainable Community Led Institutions
The initiative has been able to develop a strong and self-sustainable forum for addressing issues related to crimes against girls/women in society. Shaurya Dals are effectively resolving instances of violence. Shaurya members are vocal and proactive, and are gaining huge recognition/ acceptability from the community
b. Reduction in incidents of crimes
The villages where Shaurya initiative has been undertaken are reporting reduced crime status in just a span of over one year. Instances of molestation, rape, sexual harassment etc have gone down drastically. Out of 2620 villages where the initiative was implemented in first phase 147 villages have reported no crimes against women in the last one year. It was heartening to note that male members are participating proactively in preventing violence against girls/women.
c. Increased mobility
The initiative has resulted in increased mobility of girls and women in the society. The parents are now sending their girl children to schools. The women are involved in family decision making process and are participating in Gram Sabhas (an institution for local governance) raising their voices for the development of villages.
d. Improved Quality of life
Shaurya initiative has created a conducive environment for girls and women to move freely in the society. They also contribute to family income by involving themselves in economic activities. The families are reporting increased incomes by accessing benefits of various welfare schemes, resulting in creation of assets and improved quality of life.
e. Enhanced self esteem
The initiative has helped in increasing women’s participation in family/society, in decision making process. They are being heard and appreciated by the community, which has resulted in enhanced self esteem of women.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The remarkable success achieved in the initiative was because of rigorous monitoring at all levels: field level, district level and state level through monthly and quarterly reports, collection and compilation of data on physical and financial progress, activities undertaken by Shaurya , assessing the quality of interventions provided. The results were also evaluated at regular intervals to ensure streamlining systems and processes in accordance with guidelines and objectives of the initiative. The monitoring and evaluation system is as under:-
a. Field Level Reporting:-
Each Shaurya Dal prepares a monthly report on activities undertaken, information on the cases settled/facilitated, various supports required from the district or state level for accomplishment of goals of the initiative.
b. District Level Monitoring:-
The district level functionaries compile information received from field and assesses impact of the initiative on the interventions provided and results achieved by visiting Shaurya Dal selected randomly, and sends it to the state unit for evaluation. They also provide technical, financial support if required.
c. State Level Monitoring:-
Information received from the districts is compiled and assessed at the state level to prepare a summary of actions taken, results achieved and further interventions required if any.
a. Periodic Reports
The first level monitoring is done through monthly and quarterly reports received from fields.
b. Field Visits
Regular field visits from the district and the state level carried out to assess quality of outputs and validation of reported data .
c. Independent Feed back
Independent feedback gathered from fields and districts help understand the system and processes for data validation.
Regular meetings of field functionaries conducted to understand critical areas for interventions, progress achieved so far and support required for further strengthening of Shaurya Dals.
a. In house evaluation
In house evaluation done on the basis of reports received from field offices compared with base line data gathered at the time of programme initiation, helps assess the efficiency of processes adopted, quality of interventions and the quality of resources used.
b. Evaluation through the reports from Superintendent of Police (SP) Office
The results are evaluated vis a vis crime records of respective Police Stations collected from SP office, on a six monthly basis.
c. External evaluation
An external evaluation was done by Joint Review Mission team constituted by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The first and foremost challenge before the deployment of the project was to roll out a complete strategy for implementing the initiative. It was very difficult to form, train, sensitise the volunteers as well ascertain quality in large numbers. Some of the challenges before the deployment of the project were as follows:-
Identification of Master Trainers
Enhancing capacities of Shaurya Dal members who would then provide support to the families in their respective areas was the major challenge before the management. To identify persons who were sensitized towards women’s issues and also had knowledge on women welfare schemes, various acts related to women and child rights was a difficult task
Identification of Shaurya Members
The initiative could be successful only when the members selected for Shaurya were acceptable to the community. If a member had a criminal background and /or the community did not have faith in him/her then the entire efforts made would be wasted and no results could be achieved. Hence, utmost care was taken in selection of suitable members for Shaurya Dal. Those persons were selected who were vocal and had a say in the community. It was ensured that the members with a criminal background should not be member of Shaurya Dal.
The biggest challenge before the management was to sustain Shaurya as an institution. The skills of members needed to be enhanced, in order to ensure effective implementation of the initiative, to achieve desired results. Also it was essential to develop these institutions as informal pressure groups to avoid disputes. Hence, proper care was required to strengthen Shaurya as an institution.