The unit of Keertika at Budge Budge is a story of bravehearts who toil everyday to provide respite to the distressed downtrodden of Budge Budge, Maheshtala, Pujali and the region near the region. It was kick started in 2011 under the aegis of KUSP and Budge Budge municipality. Since then it has become an umbrella that provides legal advice to not only the downtrodden women of the region but also to the elderly and anyone who needs help.
The demography of that part of South 24 Parganas is predominantly that of minority. It’s political scenario is of strife and deprivation. Keertika has battled the deep-rooted social abuse rampant there. In the last 4 years, they have trained the women of the region to be self-sufficient and have managed to bring about a major change in the mindset of the general people. The baton of this success is being carried ahead by the local CDS members. Now, Keertika is synonymous with justice.
Keertika, a non-profitable organization runs a protection home for the children who are the victims of trafficking, abuse and violence. It is fully aided by Skychildern Onlus who gives full support to the children in terms of monetary, emotionally, and physically. They visit twice in a year and try to give them all type of recreations at that time accompanying with special care and attachment. Keertika plays a very important role for the development and protection of the each child by giving all support including nutritional, formal and non formal education, medical, dancing, yoga, etc. Each individual girls are given special importance and each individuals are treated on the basis of their needs and abilities. As the girls are victims of trafficking and abuse and as their childhood backgrounds are traumatic, they are provided with psychological counselling and therapy sessions from the psychologist where all of their unconscious and inner conflicts get treated from its root.
The defenseless are the ones that are the most victimized in our society. The physically challenged or the differently abled are the first in this list. The problem is compounded if there is need financial aid or entitlement. Keertika’s legal team ensures that their rights are not encroached on.
PROJECT KAREEB is a rehabilitation programme essentially for ex-convicts but was also adapted for the under trials
Keertika’s PROJECT KOSHISH is the legal assistance and human rights wing that provides psychiatric and psychological counseling is provided to convicts and under-trial prisoners.
Keertika recently organized a two days Legal Awareness Camp in collaboration with West Bengal Commission for the women of Amgachia, Bishnupur Block I. It was an outreach program that drew in women as well as men. The need for such legal camps in rural West Bengal was brought home by this exercise. Keertika identified several cases there and has taken up their cause. Keertika has roused and inspired the women of the area, who now formed a similar association of their own.
Keertika holds an open to all discussion session every month which are brainstorming sessions upon issues and problems threatening the holistic development of the society.
Legal aid lawyers often lack adequate knowledge and understanding of laws and legal remedies, particularly in situations of violence perpetrated against women and children. And in cases of violence against children, particularly sexual violence, sensitive and nuanced handling becomes the key to prevent secondary victimization and enable children to speak out.
Lawyers Collective is developing a National Network of lawyers from across the country to develop their advocacy capacities to provide rights-based legal services to women survivors / child survivors.
BEHALA KEERTIKA has joined hands with Lawyers Collective to be instrumental in this drive in the districts of Kolkata and South 24 Parganas.
The Department of Women and Child Development and Social welfare, Government of West Bengal has laid much emphasis on creating a child safety net and is committed to combat the menaces like trafficking, illegal adoption, and all other issues related to harm the safety and security of the children. Child Protection Committee has been formed in Wards / Blocks / Villages to strengthen and gear up to meet the challenges for creating a protective environment for all the children in need care and protection. Behala Keertika got the responsibility to form Ward Level Child Protection committee (WLCPC) at 125 Ward under Kolkata Municipal Corporation with the cooperation of Councilor, Child Welfare Officer of Thakur Pukur Police station and other members of respective ward.
The West Bengal Commission For Protection of Child Rights in collaboration with KEERTIKA , an organisation working on rights and empowerment of women and children has conducted a study titled : Towards Educating the Life of a Child as a Citizen & Revisiting the Education System at School Levels: Findings from West Bengal.
The study is being conducted in 120 schools across districts of West Bengal. They are trying to disseminate the preliminary findings of this study (with special focus on North Bengal) with the experts from various sectors. The final report and conclusion of the study are yet to come.