ALERT: Himachal single women march for justice; contribution required



Shimla: To impress upon the government and policy makers the urgent need to address their issues, about 5,000 single women from Himachal, will undertake a three-day pad yatra (march) from Arki to Shimla, starting April 1.

This march is being undertaken to draw the government’s attention to the demands of the Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan (ENSS) and to sensitise the government to evolve a rights-based policy for single women. Rather than patronage, ENSS demands a state policy framed on principles of inclusion for single women across the state of Himachal Pradesh.

According to Subhash Mendhapurkar of SUTRA, a Jagjit Nagar (near Kasauli) based NGO, ” more than 3,800 women from six districts of Himachal have already enrolled for the pad yatra and we are sure of achieving our target of 5,000 women.”

All of the enrolled women will gather in Arki (Mandi) on March 31, 2008 and start walking to Shimla on April 1and reach Vidhan Sabha, Shimla on April 3, 2008 afternoon to present the Memorandum to state Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal.

“This gigantic and historical march requires support from all the members of HimVani who are interested in development of Himachal Pradesh, Mendhapurkar said, adding, “I expect HimVani members to support at least 500 women pad yatris.”

Key demands of ENSS:

  • For the older single women, pension policy should be framed on the model of the existing policy in the neighbouring state of Haryana. Pensions should be paid every month without fail.
  • Those single women who are fighting to secure their rights vis-à-vis their in-laws’ family, their cases must be referred to fast track courts. Also, the spouses of all the single women who are not paying the maintenance amount, as decreed by either the gram panchayats or the civil courts, should be legally challenged through fast track courts.
  • The State should ensure that two acres of land is granted on a long-term lease (from government’s surplus land pool) to all the economically weak single women who are capable and eager to work as self-employed farmers.
  • Every single woman should be provided with health care facilities from the primary to the tertiary level, free of cost.

To organise this pad yatra, ENSS has called upon individuals to make contributions and make this initiative a mass public movement. A personal contribution of Rs 600 will help cover the costs of one participant of the pad yatra, which includes travel, food and administrative expenses.

“It will also be an expression of your solidarity with this important cause. In this fight for an individual’s rights and dignity, we seek your support,” said Mendhapurkar.

SUTRA is registered under Societies Act 1860 and with Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to receive Foreign Funds. Donations to SUTRA are exempted from Income Tax under IT Act. Section 80 G.

Donations can be addressed to SUTRA on the following Bank Accounts:

For Donations in Indian currency:
Punjab National Bank, Jagjit Nagar, District Solan, HP.
Bank Account No.: 2197000100018636
Bank Branch Code Neft No.: PULB 0219700

For donations in Indian and Foreign currency:
Oriental Bank of Commerce, Jubbar, District Solan, HP.
Bank Account No.: 02232010003190
Bank Branch Code Neft No.: OBC 0223

Don’t forget to send a mail to padyatra { At } himvani { dot } com after making the donation. Please do mention your name and address at which the receipts are to be dispatched.

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  1. Subhash ji,

    The demands of ENSS seem quite genuine. I think many of us are aware of the state government's last years's decision to club old age homes with orphanages or bal ashrams. So on the same lines is there also a possibility of single women homes, in every district which can be clubbed with bal ashram's and old age homes where the children, old people and single women can be a good company to each other and also act as a support system to each other without any formal commitments.

  2. Empowering women in Himachal Pradesh

    Staff Correspondent

    The Hindu

    To get 50 per cent reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions, local


    SHIMLA: For empowering women in the hill State, the new Government

    here has declared a 50 per cent reservation for them in all

    Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies, claimed an

    official spokesman here on Saturday.

    He said the Governments decision to enhance the social security

    pension from Rs 200 to Rs. 300 a month would benefit at least 68,455

    widows in the State.

    Marriage grant

    As much as Rs. 11,001 is being provided to poor and helpless girls as

    marriage grant under the Mukhya Mantri Kanyadaan Yojna and Rs. 25,000

    grant to young widows for their remarriage. A financial assistance of

    Rs. 1,000 a year is being provided to widows, helpless and divorcee

    women to bear the expenses of two children besides social security

    pension under the Mother Teresa Asahay Matri Sambal Yojna, he said.

    Welfare schemes

    The State Government is spending about Rs. 30 crore every year on

    various programmes aimed at welfare and upliftment of women of the


    Job avenues

    The spokesman said that the Government has announced to generate

    employment and self employment avenues for unemployed girls and women

    in order to make them self dependent.

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