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How an elderly Vijay Bala was abused by her children, stays in an old age home!

Sixty five year old Vijay Bala was a community worker with Joint Women's Programme. Her job involved organizing and sensitizing marginalized women, children and community about their legal rights, good health, education and safety. This community worker has now taken shelter at an old age home in Noida because her children have refused to take care of her. Bala who lived separately from her husband, raised her two children with difficulty. She has spent 25 long years doing the same work in slums of Delhi and Noida. Her commitment and hard work won her accolades from her colleagues and the community. She headed the JWP led Mera Sahara school cum protection centre in Nithari in Noida(Uttar Pradesh).

According to Vimla Pant, incharge of Mera Sahara protection centre, we give credit to Vijay bala for opening the centre in Nithari village area despite strong opposition from the villagers. Even her two children appreciated their mother's hard work and the support they got from her.

She left her job due to poor health. While leaving her job, she thought her children would take care of her but she was wrong. Her son had already expressed inability to keep her stating that his wife may desert him. Her daughter, single mother, started torturing her. Her daughter who was employed and earning and had communicated to JWP that Vijay bala would be taken care of by her daughter, started beating her.

Poor Bala even handed over her savings assuming that she would treat her well but to no avail. Fed up with her daughter's behavior, Bala landed at JWP `Mera Sahara' protection centre a fortnight ago to seek help. Bala pleaded for protection from her daughter who she alleged, would beat her often and refused to give food and medicines. Later, JWP lodged a complaint with the local police station and simultaneously started looking for financial support to keep in an old age home. JWP contacted local philanthropic organizations like Lioness club, I Care Centre and individuals for financial support so that helpless Bala can be provided shelter and protection in an old age home. She has finally been given shelter at 'Anand Niketan', Jan KalyanSamiti, an old age home in Noida. Bala is being treated well at the old age home but she has bitter memories of children who she thought would take care of her.

 
 
 
WOMEN AND DECISION MAKING

JWP is one of the seven national women's organizations which have demanded 33% reservation of seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies. This was a logical step forward towards strengthening democracy at the grassroots following the reservation of seats for women in the Panchayati Raj. To this day JWP is an integral part of the campaign for the Women's Reservation Bill, organizing protests, hunger strikes, public meetings and signature campaigns at the grassroots level while lobbying with political leaders including Parliamentarians.

Currently JWP is also running a project for training women for political leadership in its grassroots programmes. The training emphasizes the ability to analyze local and national problems, identify related development schemes and policies of the Government, prepare speeches, address public functions, organize people around an issue and be able to intervene when necessary.

JWP promotes efforts to ensure that all processes enable women and the community to organize themselves, to demand for an effective implementation of policies and programmes for equal entitlements. It aims to address and fill in the gaps between the formulation and implementation of policies and schemes and ensure that these fulfill the needs of the common person. This objective has led to building partnerships with other civil society organizations working at the national, regional and local level for combined and effective action.