AamraKorbo Joy VO (Village Organisation) of Paschim Khilpara GP (Gram Panchayat) in Matabari Block was formed on November 2016. The members from the VO mostly belong to the minority community and the GP is also a minority dominated. Even though the VO was formed long back, it hardly functioned. The group had its fair share of problems, mainly because it belonged to the minority community. The women were not allowed to go out of their homes and many of them were financially dependent on their husbands. Moreover illiteracy and lack of awareness were some of the issues that discouraged them to work for themselves and their community.
However, few months back the women from the group realized that something had to be done and they cannot sit without doing anything. They decided to take few steps immediately. One of them was to replace the office bearers and give the charge to someone who was willing to work for the cause of the women. Celina Begum, who was one of the most active LRGs was made the president. Things started getting better soon after that. She made sure that there is proper representation of all the SHGs in the VO and are functioning well. The members also noticed that women from other GPs were beneficiaries of various schemes, but none of the women from their VO were beneficiaries of any schemes.
Seeing this, the VO decided to ask the Panchayat to organize a special Gram Sabha. Mobilization for the same was done by the VO itself. The Gram Sabha was attended by a huge number of women and the event also made it to the local headlines on that day. Since then, the VO has been tirelessly working to fulfill the demands of the SHGs and is taking steps accordingly. Many women have started coming out of their homes and feel fearless of leaving their purdah behind.
AmraKorbo Joy VO
Almost all of them have been regularly attending Gram Sabhas and have seen Panchayat office and anganwadis, something that they were not really aware about. The VO was even labeled as a representation of the Communist Party and was also threatened. But the women were unfazed by such accusations and have been attending the meetings regularly. They are now seen as a very strong group. The VO recognizes the fact that in very short period they have been able to do a lot and are now confident of working harder for the betterment of their community. A lot of the credit goes to the four LRGs who have been working in the Panchayat. They are well informed, educated and are concerned for the well-being of the women. They have encouraged these women to be fearless and have been successful in doing so. The VO members also give the credit to the Mentors from Kudumbashree NRO. The Mentors have inspired these women to stand up for their rights.
“We asked only for those didis to be a part of the VO who wanted to work. Work, tirelessly. We simply said- those who don`t want to work, they can sit at their homes comfortably.”