MBCT's 'Jago'

MBCT's 'Jago' Project

‘JAGO’: MeharBaba Charitable Trust (MBCT)’s Intervention in Rural Communities of Punjab for Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women & Early and Forced Marriage of Women

Mehar Baba Charitable Trust’s Jago is a three-month project for Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women (VAW)& Early and Forced Childhood Marriage, supported by Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI). This project builds upon MBCT’s decade old ongoing programme for Women’s Health & Empowerment which covers ‘girls to grand-mothers’

MBCT is a registered NGO working for uplifting rural communities within an operational area covering 187 villages of District Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab. Specific projects help in the holistic development of children, aid socio-economic empowerment of women, provide direction and life skills to youth, improve village life, and enable health-care for the underprivileged.

For the CFLI funded project the Trust has identified 25 Villages where research supported activities, planned and customized by professionals from School of Public Health, PGIMER, Division of Public Health University of Utah and Preet Nagar Films are beingorganized as a campaign ‘JAGO’ which means “AWAKEN”.

The Trust is using ‘JAGO’ as a metaphor to awaken the villagers to the current reality of girls and women; engage and inform communities on factors contributing to VAW including social norms, sensitizing them on the long-term negative impact of violenceon victims, families and communities, finally leading to a pledge to co-create a secure village-level environment,actively promote equal treatment and well-being of girls & women, eschewing all negative social practices.

Jago Campaign Activities:

MBCT’s Jago Campaign begins with meetings for on-boarding of village leaders and opinion makers describing the life-cycle of VAW and its impact. Professionals from School of Public Health (SPH), PGIMER along with Community Workers from MBCT hold discussions around social norms, expectations and current reality, using posters and videos where required. The aim is to gain their trust and support, critical for the success of village-level activities.

The IEC campaign covers the range of VAW from sex-selective abortions, limiting opportunities for girls & women, and intimate partner violence etc. Posters and banners are displayed in the villages to fully inform communities regarding the problem and the need for action. The participatory workshop tackles the social norms of female feticide, supportive family environments, investing in the girl-child’s health and education, women empowerment and financial independence, respectful treatment at home and in public spaces. Volunteers theatrically enact these situations, stopping at critical decision points asking the participants for solutions. The photography workshop “BoldiyanTasveeran” literally, ‘Photos that Speak” introduces the medium for viewing women through a creative lens, and creates a comfort zone for discussing women’s role in the family and village. We expect the project to give voice to women and help in free discussion on gender issues.

The adolescents in the four High Schools of these 25 Villages are being covered separately through a gender sensitization workshop and painting competition. Doctors from SPH-PGIMER will help in this activity to promote healthy adolescent exchanges. Home visits are planned to approximately 4,400 households for pledge signing by family-heads to prevent VAW; the signed pledge will be framed for display in the homes of signatories.

Operational Meetings with Village Elders & Leaders

  • Meetings organised at Village-Level (25 Villages) with senior MBCT and SPH-PGIMER Team Members.
  • Printed material including VAW Fact Sheets & Project Action Plan detailing the activities provided in vernacular to the villages.
  • IEC Campaign & Photography Competition to generate awareness& engagement with VAW Campaign

  • Posters, banners used for awareness regarding the campaign
  • Participatory theatre and photography workshops to create safe space for open discussion around VAW
  • Creative output in the form of new folk songs to be recorded and published as a campaign booklet
  • Photography competition in each village. Contest invites participation (1 per family). To ensure participation from all sections, a camera is provided to every village. Award and recognition for best pictures village-wise, and one best campaign picture amongst the 25. The pictures will be displayed on MBCT’s Website & Facebook page.
  • Street Play (JAGO) on women’s health & impact of VAW

  • “Jago” plannedin every village, traditional format but new folk songs giving voice to aspirations of girls and women as well prevention of VAW
  • PCreative space for inter-generational bonding around women's issues.
  • Gender Sensitization of Senior Secondary & High School Students

  • The school-going adolescents are being separately sensitized on gender issues through creative activities.
  • Painting competitions at school level.
  • Home Visits Campaign to enrol men / women (family head)

  • Home-visits to enroll family heads to take a pledge to prevent VAW, an immediate 'short-term' impact of this CFLI project.
  • The signed pledge with photo will be framed for display. This will serve as a reminder and ensure long term impact.
  • Village-level celebrations will be organised to recognise efforts and pledge to keep village free from VAW. Volunteers / Anti-Violence Champions (atleast 5 from every village) will take on the challenge to address any concerns post campaign