Award winning social entrepreneur & women’s rights activist. 25 years of entrepreneurial experience in logistics management services, International cargo handling, hospitality & renewable energy solution in social sectors. Worked for Peace and Justice.
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Santasree Chaudhuri, a well-known activist from Kolkata, India, calls fear the constant companion of women in India. “Shine and shame have been India’s eternal companions,” she says. “Entrepreneurship, empowerment and education contradict honor killing, rapes, domestic violence, denial of property, the girl child ratio, child marriage and trafficking.”
“I have messaged her appealing that she has to come out now. Once you have accused a person in the open then you have to depose before the police and let the law take its course,” Chaudhuri, who runs a helpline ‘Survivors for Victims of Social Injustice’, told PTI here.
Women’s rights activist Santasree Chaudhuri had tried to find the Park Street rape survivor a job. But when she failed, she decided to tailor make one for her.
“It was very unfair on the part of entire Kolkata not to offer a single job. I tried. I couldn’t hide the identity because it was moral issue for me. So when I said this is the girl, they all said we will get back to you but till today I am waiting for that call,” Ms Chaudhuri said.
I found her and the entire family totally distressed both mentally and financially. So I offered her a job in the helpline,” activist Santasree Chaudhuri said.
Founded by her, the helpline ‘Survivors for Victims of Social Injustice’, helps women in distress, especially victims of sexual and domestic violence.
“It’s a laudable effort, but it would serve greater good if the chinks are addressed so as to respect the victim’s dignity. Doctors and nurses should be trained on the precise scientific approach to treat and examine victims as well as collect important evidence and document those. The most convenient thing would be incorporating the training in the nursing curriculum,” said women’s rights activist Santasree Chowdhury.
In March 2013, more than a year after the rape, help arrived in the form of Santasree Chaudhari, a philanthropist and entrepreneur who ran corporate guesthouses. Santasree read about Suzette in the media during a work trip abroad. She made a mental note to help out this “Kolkata girl” upon her return.
On her return, Santasree set out to track down Suzette. It took her a month to find out where Suzette – by then broke, and living a life of quiet desperation – lived
“Streets become more vulnerable when there is darkness so we are trying to wipe off all the dark corners using safe and clean energy,” woman rights activist Santasree Chaudhuri told PTI.
Leading women’s right activist Santashree Chaudhuri offers some suggestions to solve the problem.
Women-only police stations need to be set up, and the personnel need to be trained in the handling of women in crisis situations.
– Short-stay homes for women facing a crisis should be established, so that they have the option of walking out of their home and pursuing a legal case against their husbands. Currently, there is not even one such home in Kolkata.
Ms. Santasree Chaudhuri follower of his Grace Dalai Lama and engaged in healing victims of violence participated in this Interface during panel discussion pointed out “Ignorance, spiritual poverty and maintaining a status quo breeds more violence. It’s very important to develop the conscience and moral ethics on secularism or from one’s own religious belief and faith to combat violence. Rule of law/ policy, societal responsibilities, individual call of conscience all three have to work together in the spirit of active compassion”.
She had a lot of problems in her neighbourhood. People avoided her,” said Ms Santasree Chaudhuri, a social activist based in Kolkata, who gave her a job as a counsellor at a helpline she started.
“She… was hiding behind closed doors, scared. Since she has spoken out publicly, the fear has gone.”