ASIA/INDIA - At school you learn how to stop violence against women

Chennai – To be committed in ending violence against women through measures to prevent, stop and find remedies regarding its effects: the Franciscans in India have launched a special nationwide campaign with this goal. As reported to Fides by Fr. Nithiya Sagayam, Capuchin friar and national coordinator of the Association of Franciscan Families of India , which includes monks, nuns and lay Franciscans, the campaign has started in Hosur and Krishnagiri, two places in the state of Tamil Nadu, in schools managed by the Congregation of the Franciscan Servants of Mary, that accompany the educational path of thousands of girls. The Franciscans promote motivational training courses in schools alongside strategies and action plans that will gradually be offered to schools and colleges across the country.
About two hundred teachers were trained with training sessions, group discussions and action plans to identify and implement ways and practices to stop the different forms of violence against Indian women. The teachers in turn will become promoters of these inputs and these strategies among girls and their families.
Fr. Nithiya Sagayam highlights the main issues addressed to Fides: gender selection and selective abortion; abuse and harassment of minors; early marriage; child prostitution; human trafficking regarding girls; the practice of "dowry"; domestic violence; assaults against the partner.
AFFI has organized awareness programs that will last all year. To give the widest possible dissemination of these training practices and awareness, the Franciscans have developed a DVD that contains training materials, PowerPoint presentations, video clips that will be sent to thousands of schools, Catholic and non, all over India, with the proposal to launch these seminars.