#Abhaya - Open Resource Centers - Discrimination Free Zones

Updated: May 13, 2019

Across India, right to free thought, free speech is a luxury very few women have. The wHRDs find them selves forbidden from expressing as any views contrary to popular social mores is considered subversive and dangerous. To provide such a space to the women, where they can be for themselves #Abhaya has created spaces and have named them OPEN RESOURCE CENTERS. Our European Commission project #Abhaya has designed such spaces as Discrimination Free Zones. An ORC is a physical space created as an oasis of safety and support for a wHRD. This space is one in which she can seek solace, guidance and encouragement and not be judged. It is a space that equips the wHRDs to understand themselves, address conflicts, clarify their values and stand up for their rights as well as those of the larger community. Project #Abhaya has opened 6 such centers in the districts of Kadapa and Chittoor.

A coordinator takes care of this center. Women coming to these centers are told about their rights. Women who are in need of counselling are given counselling so that they become strong to face the community.

Apart from providing counselling to the women, these ORCs are used for providing leadership and legal awareness training to the wHRDs through 100 training workshops.

wHRDS from nearby mandals regularly meet in these mandals to conduct cross coalition meetings and form a network of wHRDs. These ORCs are equipped with computers and internet connection so that it is in constant touch with the outer world and the wHRDs can establish contact with similar wHRD coalitions in the outer world to share their knowledge and experiences.

These ORCs are also frequented by the College students who can enable the complaints to the Human Rights Commissions.

Women coming to these centers learn livelihood skills like tailoring, basic computer training, beautician courses etc. Every Saturday the women visiting these ORCs indulge in special activities like painting, basket weaving, making flower vases using paper. They play outdoor games and dance to movie songs. Religious festivals like Ugadi, Ramzan and Christmas are celebrated along with the national festivals like Indian Independence day. Special days like women's day, mother's day, international earth day are also celebrated. The wHRDs are made aware of the importance of these days by enacting small skits.

To conclude , the ORCs are the first response centers for the wHRDs in trouble.

Many women visiting the ORCs stated that they have learnt to laugh after they come to these ORCs. This statement is a real booster to the staff involved in running the ORCs. #Abhaya wishes to bring a change in many such women who have been silently suffering all these days and make leaders out of them.

The ORCs can be contacted using this numbers

Kadapa - +91 9014209841. Rajampeta -+91 9014209843.

wHRDs (or anyone) can call #Abhaya help line number +914045208688 to seek help or to report any incident of women's rights violation

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#Abhaya meaning committed to protect, is a European Commission funded project, being implemented in Kadapa and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh. The main objective of the project is to see that th