KOCHI: Into its fifth year, Aswas (Association of Single Women for Action and Self help) is trying to make women self-reliant through its various programmes.
"Our aim is not to keep women single, but to help women get on with life if circumstances make them single," said K.B. Sujatha, secretary of Aswas. The aim is to make them economically, socially and mentally independent, she said.
Single women may not necessarily be single because of being a widow or a divorcee, they may be lonely too, said Ms. Sujatha. A number of households have women who are adjusting to circumstances, but they need to realise that children are most affected by such adjustments, she said.
A shelter for women to stay in case of emergency, started by Aswas near the KSRTC bus stand in a GCDA building, has quite a few women taking refuge here at times. In 60 per cent of cases, the husband would have driven the wife to loneliness and desperation because of alcohol or drugs or other reasons, she said. However, in 40 per cent of cases women are themselves responsible for their loneliness, she added.
"They either do not want to accept the husband’s family or have a materialistic attitude or some other reason which isolates them. This happens when all the constituents of the family do not play their roles properly. And children do exploit such situations too, albeit unintentionally."
Crisis in society is the absence of relationships which binds people together, said Ms. Sujatha. The need of society is to build such relationships, she added.
It is with this theme that the Single Women’s Day this year on February 2 will focus on the role of mother, father and children in creating a happy home. The one-day seminar at K.P. Madhavan Nair Memorial Auditorium, Gandhi Bhavan, Kacheripady, will be inaugurated by District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish.
George Kadankavil, Director, Bethlehem, Centre for Research and Family Development, Monamma Kokkad, former member, State Women’s Commission, journalist K.M. Roy, psychiatrist C.J. John and others will participate.
The valedictory function will be inaugurated by Minister for Industries and Social Welfare Ebrahim Kunju. Poet Balachandran Chullikkad and P. Vijayan, Commissioner of Police, will participate in the function to be presided over by K.V. Thomas, MLA.
A computer training centre will also be inaugurated on the occasion by A.S. Menon, vice-president, Southern Region, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited. This centre will help women get vocational training to equip themselves with employable qualification, said Ms. Sujatha.
Needy women from economically weaker sections will be provided free training, while a moderate fee will be charged from the others. Registration for training at the centre will start from March. For details, contact 2323754 or 2362947.