Santvana Kendra providing new lease of life for women

Fear of social boycott hindering them from coming forward

The Santvana Kendra, introduced by the government through Women and Child Welfare Department, is gradually playing a substantive role in assuring the hope, to the destabilised life of the women especially belonging to upper middle class and middle class.

The Santvana Kendra, introduced in Udupi, in 2002, followed by other Santvana Kendras introduced in Karkala (2012) and Kundapur (2014), is, in fact, a solace to women and acts as the counseling centres for lower economic strata.

As many as 1,271 cases are registered in Udupi Santvana Kendra since its inception. While 224 cases in Karkala Santvana Kendra and 33 in Kundapur Santvana Kendra respectively. Out of the total 1,528 cases reported with Santvana Kendras, as many as 1,320 are settled. In Udupi, as many as 1,128 cases are settled, while 187 in Karkala and 5 in Kundapur.  As many as 208 cases are yet to be solved. Out of 208 cases that are pending, nearly 143 cases are in Udupi, 37 are in Karkala and 28 are in Kundapur. Besides, out of total 208, 39 cases (33 in Udupi, 1 in Kundapur and 5 in Karkala) are with court and 169 (110 in Udupi, 27 in Kundapur and 32 in Karkala) are the number of cases handled by Santvana Kendras. The full-fledged three Santvana Kendras are managed by Mahila Mandala Okkuta, the registered body, under Women and Child Welfare Department.

Few complaints
Women and Child Welfare officer Rejendra Bekal told Deccan Herald that women are not coming forward to register in fear of social boycott and obligations. Despite extensive publicity offered at grass root level, the number of complaints registered is very few.
The awareness is created among women in rural areas at Gram Sabhas over the Santvana Kendras. However, recently the trend is changing, as women from upper middle class and middle class are coming forward to share their grievances and register the complaints in Kendra.

Out of total grievances registered, more than 70 per cent cases are solved. He said ‘majority cases we receive would be of domestic violence and marital discord’. The Kendra acts as 24x7 counseling and rehabilitation centre.

Each Kendras comprises of one counselor and three social workers. The legal assistance and police help would be sought on call.  Any women in distress can approach the center, who would be assured counseling, police protection, health care facilities and shelter. The permanent rehabilitation is offered in the State homes. The members of the Santvana Kendras would approach the families of the concerned. The Kendras would try to act as the facilitators to patch up the controversies within the families, he added.

Separate committees
 Two separate committees are formed at taluk and district level. The Deputy Commissioner heads the district level committee and the taluk level committees are headed by the respective tahsildars.  The quarterly meeting conducted by the committees would monitor the quality of service provided in Kendras.  Besides the Mahila Vishesha Chikitsa Ghataka set up as part of Santvana Kendras  is yet another novel assurance to rebuild the life of the distraught women. Mahila Vishesha Chikitsa Ghataka set up in district government hospital comprises of three social workers, 2 helpers, 2 lawyers, one each doctor, nurse and police personnel. As many as five cases are already handled in Mahila Vishesha Chikitsa Ghataka, which was initiated in the month of November 2014.

The Mahila Vishesha Chikitsa Ghataka is the blessing in disguise for all women who undergo the physical, mental and sexual trauma. Confidentiality is strictly maintained against all cases.

Bekal added ‘all possible attempts are made to ensure peace in the life of the woman who comes seeking the healing cure to her suffering’, he said.

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