Says even petty quarrels lead to registration of criminal cases

About one-third of complaints received from women in Madurai accusing men of dowry harassment, domestic violence and other such malice are found to be false in enquiries conducted by the social welfare department, said R. Ananda Valli, District Social Welfare Officer.

Addressing the inaugural of a five-day training programme on counselling skills for ‘street educators,’ a term that refers to people providing support and care to street children, here on Friday, she said that even petty quarrels and domestic squabbles between married couples led to registration of criminal cases.

“Human values are plummeting as the value of money and immovable property is rising up. I think we should inscribe the words ‘forgive and forget’ in every wall of our house in order to constantly remind us of the need to lead a peaceful life especially in the wake of reducing life expectancy rate,” she said.

Stating that gender discrimination, child marriage, child labour, sexual abuse and sexual harassment at work place were some of the ills faced by the society, she said that about 300 women had complained of harassment at work place in a special camp organised by Collector Anshul Mishra on Women’s Day.

The training programme for street educators was organised by Madurai Institute of Social Sciences, an autonomous college affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University, in collaboration with the National Institute of Social Defence under the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

It was inaugurated by Prema Cariappa, chairperson, Central Social Welfare Board (CWSB) in a function presided over by C. R. Saraswathi, chairperson, Tamil Nadu State Social Welfare Board. In her address, Ms. Cariappa said that sexual violence was one of the most despicable issue faced by women in the country. Disapproving the tendency to treat women as commercial objects, she said, that by doing so, such men were only exhibiting lack of values. She also recalled the contributions made by CWSB in putting an end to other social evils like bride burning.

“Every one says God is great. I think human beings can be equally great if they work towards creating a better world for everyone,” she added. Ms. Saraswathi said that domestic disputes could be solved better through counselling rather than expecting them to be solved in courts and police stations.

K. Sekar, Head, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bangalore; programme coordinator D. Janet Vasantha Kumari; MISS chairman Dharma Venkata Perumal Raja; college’s governing board secretary D.V. Dharmasingh and Principal M. Kannan spoke.

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