PASIGHAT, Oct 21: The Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW), in collaboration with the East Siang district administration and the National Commission for Women, organized a legal awareness programme at the College of Horticulture & Forestry here on Monday.
Addressing the participants, APSCW Chairperson Radhilu Chai Techi urged women activists and NGOs to take up women-related cases, such as sexual offences, domestic violence, and atrocities against women, with the law enforcing authorities.
Lamenting that some gaon burahs in the district were “working beyond the power conferred on them by the government,” Techi said the GBs were “accustomed to pronouncing ex parte verdict in cases of serious complaints like marriage disputes” instead of sending such cases to the law enforcing authority.
Terming such acts “a dangerous practice,” Techi asked the East Siang
deputy commissioner to take disciplinary against the erring GBs.
“Women should know their legal rights and demand strict implementation of the women-related laws,” she said, and asked them to demand reservation for women in government jobs, as well as in panchayat elections.
DC Kinny Singh stressed the need to organise such programmes to make the rural women aware of their “rights and opportunities,” and District & Sessions Judge Jaweplu Chai elaborated the customary practices in Arunachal, with special emphasis on land and marriage laws.
“Compulsory registration of marriage prevents child marriage, and it protects married women from being deprived of their rights,” Chai said. She also spoke on the legal penalties against child marriage.
Various other topics, such as the Domestic Violence Act, physical and mental torture, the POCSO Act, maternal health, provision of free legal aid, the Maternity Benefit Act, economic and political empowerment of women, etc, were also discussed during the programme.
Among others, APSCW members Techi Hunmai and Hoksum Ori, SP RR Singh, advocate Nyamo Dabii Moyong, and District Reproduction & Child Health Officer, Dr T Gao, spoke on various legal issues.
Government officials, members of the Adi Baane Kebang (Women) and Women Against Social Evils, and representatives of NGOs, besides ASHAs, anganwadi workers, and schoolchildren participated the programme.