Bhubaneswar, Dec 28 (LocalWire) Odisha based Dalit Adhikar Sangathan (DAS), with the support of its partner organizations, organized a one-day State Level Convention of the Single Women at Buddha Mandir, Bhubaneswar on Friday.
More than 150 single women leaders of district level federation/collectives from 10 districts (Ganjam, Khurda, Naygarh, Puri, Koraput, Malkangiri Bargarh, Sambalpur,Sundergarh, and Nuapada) joined this meeting and contributed to the process of forming a state level organization of single women.
A state level committee of 19 members was formed and the officer bearers for the organization were chosen by the members together.
Programme Manager Pushpasree Devi said there is an urgency to bring a state level as well national level policy for single women.
“This is being taken up as one of the major demands by the organizations of single women,” said Devi.
Regional Manager of ActionAid-Odisha Region, Debabrat Patra, while addressing to the participants, said the access to rights and control over land (homestead, agriculture and forest) is vital to live a life with dignity.
“The state should take strict action against violence due to witch branding on single women. The learning from ActionAid’s work in Ganjam with the collaboration of the State Government towards ensuring land rights and housing to single women can be taken further,” he added.
Dr Amrita Patel, State Project Director, SPMU, Dept. W&CD, shared the Odisha State Women and Girls policy has made provisions for single women.
“However, there is a need to bring clarity on the definition of single women. There should be efforts towards ensuring rights to both homestead and agriculture land along with support for single women with age related and other disabilities,” said Patel.
While addressing to the members of the state level organization of single women, Shipra Mallick, Member, Odisha State Food Commission shared her strong solidarity for the collective demands of rights of the single women organization towards leading a life with dignity and respect.
Snehanjali Mohanty, Member, Odisha State Commission for Women, joining this meeting shared that the state level organization should demand for protection of single women as one of the major demands of the organization.
The programme started with a human chain by the collectives of single women to celebrate the collective strengthens of the organization and mobile solidarity for their struggle to live a dignified life with rights.
On this occasion, an Odia book entitled as “Ekakini” and the charter of demands for single women was released.
The book that captures the life struggles of single women leaders from various districts of Odisha is written by young journalist Prativa Ghosh and conceptualized by Ghasiram Panda, Programme Manager.