The increasing crime against women in Kerala has paved the way for women vigilante groups in the state. A well-known women’s organisation of the state, Kudumbashree, has announced that vigilante groups will be deployed at the ward level across Kerala.
The vigilante groups will guarantee strict and immediate action against crime and protection of women’s rights. The initiative will encourage visibility of women in public spaces without fear of being harassed.
The groups will be controlled by the members of Kudumbashree and its resource persons. The initiative was kicked off at the state-wide ward-level meeting of Kudumbashree workers recently.
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Since women at the regional level are still not encouraged to report cases of violence, these groups will help such victims come out with their problems. They will also be on the lookout for victims of sexual violence as the rate of rape is increasing in Kerala. The groups will empower women with the knowledge of law and legal assistance.
Apart from these assigned vigilantes who will be working at the ward-level, local authorities are also involved in decreasing crime against women and will work along with the groups. In such initiatives, it is important to involve the public so that they know who they have to contact in times of distress. So awareness programmes and counselling drives will also be organised under this step taken by Kudumbasree.
The community officials also believe that working with local women in the vigilante groups will endorse other women to get involved in it as well and hence increase the efficiency of the group in pinning down offenders. Each vigilante group comprises workers of Centre for Development Studies and Area Development Society, committee of anganwadi mothers, Balasabha workers, elected representatives, NGOs and voluntary organisations, reported The New Indian Express.
Picture credit- Rediff