The Shripur Mahila-O-Khadi Unnayan Samity (SMOKUS) established as a women’s organization in 1990. Its management body comprises of all female members and the program team had a balance of both women and man. SMOKUS got the registration from the Society Registration Act in 1994.
Since inception, its focus has been on women empowerment and child protection. In 1994, Mother and Child health program activities started in few villages, spread across in three Gram Panchayats of two blocks in the Uttar Dinajpur district.
Since 2003, the work focus has been children and women’s right based. Prevention and protest against women trafficking, child labor, women & child domestic violence and abuse was taken in an organized way in several areas. Also, awareness programs on NREGA started, with a focus on eligibility to get work for women.
The activities expanded with awareness building in the communities on social issues, entitlements for the civil society from government sources, health, water, sanitation, etc. Thereafter, to strengthen the community based initiatives, leadership training for the youth, non formal schools, and distribution of seeds to the farmers, adolescents & women health checkups by the operating village clinics were the added activities.
The process to strengthen women was due to their representation in the Gram Unnayan Samity, raising their voice and discussing their issues. SMOKUS believe that women’s empowerment in the decision making process, fulfillment of their rights, control over resources, preventions & protection against violence and abuse brings dignity and justice in life.
ACTIVITIES OF THE ORGANIZATION:
- Cross border & domestic trafficking of women & children.
- Awareness drive for women on rights, privileges, gender discrimination, violence against women.
- Awareness program on accessing livelihood rights and basic health services & nutrition for marginalized community people
- Young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- Risk-reduction training on STD, HIV, AIDS for the migrant women laborers belonging to tribal communities.
- Non-Formal education program for women and children.
- Networking program.