top of page

Gender Campaign-16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Gender Campaign-16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

(Campaign Conducted by Dalit Sthree Sakthi with the support of Women and Child Welfare Department, Government of Telangana)

Every year, UN Women calls for a vigorous gender campaign for 16 days which the UN described as “16 days activism”/ “Orange the World”. DSS has been conducting this annual campaign, “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” which begins on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10th December.

Violence against women and girls has become routine and has increased during and after Covid-19. The present deterioration of economies around the world and looming food crisis is also manifesting in the form of violence on women and girls.

While these material conditions are taking the toll of women and girls on the one side, on the other side, fundamentalist ideology is attacking the very idea of women’s rights and her equality. This is happening around the world in various forms like anti-abortion rights, hijab, temple entry etc. In this background of anti-feminist movements, rising attacks on women rights activists, women’s rights organizations are being increasingly marginalized.

This context makes this 16 Days gender campaign more relevant. In the context of India, the violence on women is more acute and pronounced on dalit women and girls. For this reason, Dalit Sthree Sakthi conducts these 16 days gender campaign with focus on ending the violence on dalit/Adivasi women and girl children. DSS believes that ending violence on dalit/Adivasi women is not the business of dalit women alone, it is the duty of men, women of all castes, media, government and every right-thinking human being. For this reason, during 16 days, DSS conducts campaign in slums, villages, town centres, schools, colleges and encourages everyone to act against all forms of violence on women, particularly, dalit/Adivasi women and girl children. In a recent survey conducted on domestic violence, a significant percentage of women stated that they believed that the husbands have a right to beat their wives. This demonstrates the ignorance of a large section women about their rights and makes the gender campaign all the more necessary.

DSS launched this 16-day campaign by first conducting a Legal Clinic on day one i.e., 25th November 2022.


Legal Clinic:

Dalit Sthree Sakthi Conducted Legal Clinic at Ambedkar Resource Centre, Lakdikapul, Hyderabad. It is necessary to clarify, what is meant by Legal Clinic. Legal Clinic is meant to bring together the women victims of atrocities and all concerned officials at one place, so that the victims can explain their woes to the higher officials and the higher officials can resolve the problems of the victims in accessing justice. The chief objective of the Legal Clinic is to give a fillip to deliver speedy justice by bringing together the Victims, Witnesses, Human Rights Defenders, Advocates, Social Welfare Department, Police Department, Director of Prosecutions, State & National SC Commissions so that a concerted effort can be initiated by all concerned. This Clinic will, thus, provide an opportunity to the jury to perceive directly the distress and predicament of the victims and witnesses of selected 30 blatant incidents of violence, so that they can evaluate the penal & pecuniary action taken and recommend for necessary further action till logical end. The other corollary objective of this Legal Clinic is to see that the S.C. & S.T. (PoA) Amendment Act 2015 is appropriately implemented in at least the select few cases which will go a long way in realizing the objectives of the Amendment Act.

In the Legal Clinic organised on 25th November 2022 at Ambedkar Resource Centre, Hyderabad. 30 dalit/Adivasi women and girls who were subjected to various forms of atrocities participated and presented their problems in accessing justice.

The proceedings commenced at about 10.30 a.m. and Jhansi Geddam, National Convenor of DSS, presided over the Legal Clinic.

The dignitaries that participated in this Legal Clinic were: Hon’ble Justice Chandraiah, Chairperson of SHRC, Mrs Vyjayanthi, DOP, Mrs. Lakshmi, JD- WCD, Mrs Kavitha, JD – SWC, Mrs Naga Lakshmi, JD – SC Development Dept., Ambassador Vinod Kumar, Shri Ravi babu IAS (Retd.). Women organisations leaders Mrs Sajaya, Mrs Sathyavathi from Bhoomika, Vanajakshi from DICCI, Jhansi and Pushpa from PoW, Sumitra from Ankuram, also participated. Shri Venkat Reddy, MVF, Advocates Shri Sadiq, Shri Ananthayya, Shri Srinivas, Narasimhulu and Shri PSN Murthy, IDAS etc also attended the Legal Clinic.

Jhansi Geddam, first explained the 30 cases of dalit/Adivasi victims who were subjected to atrocities like murders, rapes, attacks, mass attacks, cheating in the name of love, land grabbing and sexual harassments. She explained the purpose of the Legal Clinic. She brought to the attention of the

participating officials that the victims were not given compensation or rehabilitation. She narrated how the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was not implemented properly.She explained that on the one hand the victims are denied access to justice and on the other hand they subjected to harassment by foisting false counter cases.The police who are unresponsive to the atrocity committed on the poor dalit women exhibit lot of enthusiasm in the counter case knowing fully well that it is a false case.The victims/witnesses are threatened to compromise the case.It is the responsibility of the government to provide protection to the victims and witnesses as per law, but it is neglected and the perpetrators of

violence are free to threaten and pressurise the victims and witnesses.The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is a comprehensive law laying down various duties on the police, prosecutors etc, but it is never implemented seriously.The police fail to book proper sections of the Act while registering the case.Investigation is to be done by higher officials which is done only on paper.Most of the time the police indulge in pressurising the victims for compromise than serious investigation.The Act lays down the time frame for filing charge sheet, which is not done even in one percent of the cases.The Act provides for rehabilitation which is rarely implemented.With regard to compensation also it is becoming difficult to get the same.The victims are forced to run around offices for getting the compensation

Justice Chandraiah interacted with the dalit Adivasi women victims and witnesses expressed sympathy with their suffering. He explained about various laws and institutions that provide relief to the victims. He referred to the institutions like, Human Rights Commission, SC Commission, but people are not aware of these institutions. There is one authority by name legal services authority

which is headed by the District Judge and this institution can resolve various issues of law without formal proceedings. Marginalised people can seek the Legal Services Authority to provide legal aid to them, solve their problems. An advocate is not necessary in approaching Legal Services Authority, no fees is needed. Despite the availability of such an authority, people are not utilising it to the desirable extent due to lack of knowledge. He opined that lack of legal awareness among the people and improper understanding about the laws is the reason for non-implementation of the law. He explained that institutions like Legal Services Authority, Human Rights Commission are doing commendable work in providing relief to victims in various instances of violation of rights and appealed to the people to utilise the service of these institutions for relief. He lauded DSS for the great work being done to assist the victims in accessing justice.

Mrs Vyjayanthi, first congratulated DSS for arranging this meet as it provides opportunity for getting feedback of the work done by them. She said Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is a very comprehensive and good legislation that not only provides punishments but

also the way of implementation of the Act. The Act places responsibilities on various officers to implement the Act and achieve the objectives of the Act. Due to lack of knowledge, overburdened responsibilities the officials are unable to effectively implement the Act. From the stage of investigation to the trial at court there is lot of procedure and responsibilities by various officials and this causes unwarranted delay in rendering justice. On our part, we give trainings to the concerned personnel about the Act and its implementation. Some of our officers are so well trained that they are able to give trainings to others, even at the national level. She advised the victims to know about their rights under the Act and utilise the provisions and fight for their implementation. But it is a process that takes its own time and whole process in evolution. She advised them to give truthful evidence, to stand up against pressures for compromise. If the victims can stand up properly, they can get good compensation also after the trial. If the victims select a legal counsel, we can appoint him/her as prosecutor. She insisted that the victims should stand up to get justice and not get tempted for money offers. If the victims compromise and surrender to the perpetrator of atrocities, that disillusions the implementing personnel also.

Ms. Lakshmi, Joint Director, Women and Child Welfare Department said that she has experience of 28 years in her department and her department is always available for any help, be it monetary or

rehabilitation or any other type of help. She asked anyone to call the toll-free number 1098 with regard to any problem of children below 18 years and with regard to women above 18 years one can call 181 for any help. She assured that they work 24/7 and respond to any call. She assured that they have hostels, homes to safeguard destitute and old age homes. She appreciated the services and assistance of women organisations as commendable.

Ravi Babu, Retired IAS, said that the concerned departments who are supposed to implement the Act have not been committed to do their duty. He felt that it is unfortunate that there are no police officers willing to respond and implement the Act seriously. In this regard, he appealed to the

Chairperson of Human Rights Commission to take up case Suo motto and start enquiry by issuing notices to the DGP etc. He appealed that at least in grave cases of murder etc the Commission should act Suo motto. He pleaded that the Commission should take up at least the 5 most heinous cases out of the 30 cases presented today. He felt that the Commission may conduct online trial and give verdict. He pointed out the lack of positive action from the district administration in going to the rescue of the hapless victims.

Ambassador Vinod Kumar appreciated Dalit Sthree Sakthi work. He said this process is very much useful to victims. In this society, all are assuming that lot of benefits are gained by Scheduled Caste people, but in reality, even 50% of the people are not getting any benefits. In this meeting the owes of the victims reveal many dalit women are living in precarious and heinous conditions. It is very

sorrowful to even to talk about the type of crimes against them. He pointed out conducting legal clinic and interacting with the concerned officials like this is a very helpful process to get justice. In the present-day society, there is lot of oppression going on the marginalised sections, but the response of the government to ameliorate these sections is not up to the desired level. Hence, it is the responsibility of all of us to respond and speak in support of oppressed and suppressed sections. He felt that in sexual harassment cases society has a major role to play, while in the instances of land grabbing the role of the government is vital. He called upon everyone to struggle for justice to the victims of injustice.

Ramadevi, JD, Social Welfare Department, expressed sorrow at the agony of the victims. She said that what they see in the department and what they now actually see in their interaction with the

victims is different. She appreciated DSS and its commitment in assisting the victims. In all the districts the Social Welfare Department functions to attend to the requirements of victims in each district. We always instruct our district officers to give compensation promptly. Compensation is disbursed at the district level and in these cases also we give necessary instructions to the district personnel to disburse compensation. Our department and other departments give some aid, but it is actually victim should stand up against all odds and muster courage, awareness, internal strength to fight for rights.

B. Manikyam, Deputy Engineer, Electricity Department, appreciated the courage of the victims and witnesses in standing up for justice. She said that Dalit Sthree Sakthi is standing as a support to the victims in accessing justice as per law and the constitution.

Women development can happen with the support of the family, but unfortunately, they are subjugated and neglected within the family. Women should be able to assert the rights conferred on them by the constitution. Women should strive to get their socio, economic and political rights. She said that as a government employee, they face lot of restrictions and pressure. She said all of us need to extend our support to Dalit Sthree Sakthi activities.

Ms. Kavitha, Counsellor, State Women Commission, in her speech referred to the girls who were cheated in the name of love and called upon them to face the problem with courage and not to get

frustrated or depressed. Then she advised them not to think that they are alone but think independently. She appealed to the victims that they should utilise the services of Women and Child Development to the extent possible. She said women’s commission has been serious to work as much as possible and then she announced her WhatsApp number as 9490555533 and assured that she will respond to any problem sent through that WhatsApp number. Then she asked everyone to note her mail ID: and suggested them to send all available material like FIR etc to the mail. She assured that she will definitely look into all the 30 cases presented in the Legal Clinic and take up them as a challenge. She added that if the police don’t respond they will summon the Deputy Superintendent of police.

Sadiq, Advocate, spoke about the prevailing fear psychosis of advocates, prosecutors in not arresting one of the hardened perpetrators of violence who is occupying the lands of Dalits. He said

he was prepared to take up such cases and appear along with prosecutor. The Act provides for intervention and assistance by advocates and the court cannot deny this. He assured that he will argue along with the prosecutor and see that the case is tried properly.

Sumitra, said that though she has been associated with Jhansi for long, she is practically seeing the victims and their owes only now. She added that these victims need psycho social counselling. It is not group counselling but each individual has to be given psycho social counselling. The victims

need to understand the process involved in which the abuser/oppressor employs various methods of keeping the victim in control. In fact, he uses these methods first to subjugate her and seduce her and that is why the victim submits to him. If the entire process of his control can be understood by the victim, she can become free to a large extent. The abuser indulges in character assassination of the victim to terrify and make her feel low. Sometimes the male files counter cases and controls her. If the girls are sensitive, he touches those weak points to subjugate her and disarm her. Counselling helps the girls to understand this mechanism. Sakhi is rendering counselling services. In all instances of women victims, be it domestic violence, land grabbing or any other, the concerned NGOs should keep touch with Sakhi as nodal agency and review all cases. Likewise, there were committees earlier under domestic violence law etc and we should try to revise and activate these committees. Under the POCSO Act also it is necessary to have a support person to assist the minor girl. We should train up these support persons in all cases.

Leaders of various mass organisations appealed to the commissions to take up all cases of atrocities Suo motto and render justice. They lamented that young girls are being cheated in the name of love. They appealed to the media to give coverage of violence on dalit Adivasi women and girls.

Photos of a few Jury Members addressing the gathering

Photos of a few Victims:

Ms. Baghya Laxmi, State Coordinator of DSS Thanked the jury, leaders of all organisations for participating in the Legal clinic.

Legal Clinic, thus marked the inauguration of gender campaign and from the next day i.e., 26th November onwards, the gender campaign continued in the villages, slums, schools and colleges of State of Telangana.


Zilla Parishad High School Road No.7, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

DSS conducted the educative campaign in this school on the morning of 26th November 2022. DSS

team and the in-charge Head Mistress, Ms Nusrat Fathima and staff actively participated in the programme. The school children comprising 277 boys and 232 girls totalling 509 children assembles to listen to the speakers. In charge HM Ms. Fathima welcomed the DSS team to the school.

She spoke about the need to understand gender concepts and fostering gender equality. She observed that the 16 days activism of UN is not known to many people. She appreciated and thanked DSS for conducting the 16days activism and educating everyone about the UN call.

Zilla Parishad High School at Ramakrishna Nagar, Erra Manzil, Hyderabad

DSS team then proceeded to Zilla Parishad High School at Ramakrishna Nagar, Erra Manzil, Hyderabad. In this school the gathering of 145 boys and 95 girls totalling 240 was addressed by the team. The Head Mistress of the School, Ms. Santhabhai spoke about the need to know about gender

violence. She said, she has been observing regular violence on women and girls in the slums around her residence. She further pointed out that most girls get educated up to 10th class with difficulty and a good number of girls are undergoing child marriages and abandoning their education and dropping out of school. There are various other issues due to which many girls are dropping out of school. She stressed the need for education without which there won’t be any future for the girls. She warned the boys and girls not to get tempted by harmful habits like intoxicating materials, alcohol and other habits.

Public Meeting at RK Nagar: A meeting with 60 participants was held at Park Grand, RK Nagar, Erra Manzil colony. National Convener, Ms. Jhansi Geddam, State Coordinator, Ms. Bhagya Lakshmi,

Women Collective leaders, Ms. Suneetha, Ms. Sumathi, Ms. Manjula and Ms. Keertana discussed about the 16 days activism and gender equality.

Constitutional Day: DSS team participated in the 73rd Constitutional Day celebrations organised by Bheem Raksha. Sri. Gopal Rao, IAS presided over the function. The logo of Bheem Raksha was inaugurated. Ms. Jhansi Geddam addressed the gathering and gave a detailed version of the gender campaign and the significance of “16 days activism”. She called upon all dalit organizations to follow the precepts of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to treat women as equal beings and as friends. She stressed the need for all men to shed the age-old views of treating women as low and foster equality within the homes and in the community. She briefed them about the campaign being carried on by DSS in schools, colleges, villages, towns and slums.


Public Meetings at Slums/Bastis:

On 27th November meetings were conducted in slums and Bastis of Hyderabad. Meeting at BJR Nagar, Khairtabad was attended by 45 members, Veer Nagar, Chintal Basti, AC Guards was held at the community hall and was attended by 60 members. In these meetings DSS team explained about

the gender campaign and the importance of UN call to end all forms of violence on women. Ambedkar Yuvajana Sangham leaders also joined and spoke about gender equality. Mr. B. Sudhakar, Mr. Kanthi Kiran, Mr. Vijaya Kumar, Women Collective leaders Ms. Sumathi, Ms. Hemalatha, Ms. Nandini, Ms. Annamma participated and spoke on the subject.

Mr. B. Sudhakar stressed the need for education of all and the need to abandon the oppressive view of looking down upon women. He said it is the duty of everyone to stop all forms of violence on women. There is no point in just saying that women should be worshipped while indulging in violence on women. He emphasised that girls should be educated so that they can understand human rights and oppose violence and oppression.