Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited organizes orientation programme on gender-based violence for slum youths

Bhubaneswar: A one-day orientation programme on gender and gender-based violence was organised today at Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) for 70 young boys and girls from various slums of Bhubaneswar. The training tried to create understanding on gender and how it tries to control the behaviour of people in society. It also helped participants to understand how patriarchal values define gender roles in the social structure and that it changes from one society to another and also from time to time.
It is pertinent to add here that this is a part of Social Projects of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) which is a collaborative initiative of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, BSCL and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project is being implemented at slum-level through partner NGO Humara Bachpan Trust. The programme, which started with only 8 slums in the past, are now being implemented across 100 slums.
As part of the intervention, youths from the slums are being trained as Peer Leaders (Pragati Sathis) to take leadership to address issues and challenges of the slum. Various programmes are also being organised from time to time to create better understanding of social issues with the help of these young community leaders.
Mama Nayak, 14-year-old girl from Bayababa Basti said “such training should be given to all people as this would help them to understand that the basic difference that divides men and women, are sociological, and not biological.‘’
Biswaranjan Sahoo, 16-year-old boy from Buddheswari Labour Colony said that he came to know many things, especially about sex and gender through this event. He also added that the mutual respect and healthy attitude to each other by both the sexes could grow through events like this in future.
Inspector in-Charge of Mahila Police Station Banita Maharana talked about the crimes happening against young women in the society and how the young people especially girls should be made aware of all these so that they would not fall prey to such social menace.
Bibhuti Pradhan, resource person for the training program, who has been associated with the development sector for around two decades, said “such training helps to create confidence among youth to raise voice against the gender-based violence that happens around us.’’ He also added that young people were the greatest resource to bring in positive changes in our society and if they were made aware of these aspects, they would be able to work for a safer and value-based society for both the genders in the coming days.
BSCL through its social intervention has been working for last three years to create better understanding of youths on issues of gender and gender-based violence. In the recently concluded fortnight the peer leaders created awareness on gender based violence through street plays. The peer leaders, who are basically youths trained on various aspects of life skill education, organized the street plays around the city dividing the entire urban area into four zones. Community people and major stakeholders of the slums were made aware through the street plays on the issues of violence faced by women.
Taking the process a step further, today’s one day orientation programmes was organized for 70 young boys and girls. The participants were given a clear understanding by presentation of case studies and small films to understand how gender could control behaviour.
It is also noteworthy to mention here that from the last week BSCL had initiated the second phase of 10 days of self-defence training for young girls from slums of across Bhubaneswar. The program will cover approx 500 girls. During last two years 334 girls had already received the training.

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