The Rehabilitation Center of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad
Since 1970 Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) has been working as a multidimensional action oriented voluntary mass women’s organization from a non-political stance to establish human right of women. Violence is the most overt abuse to women’s human right and a major concern of the success of the women’s movement. BMP launched its program to resist violence against women which includes resistance movement, mobilization of public opinion, extending legal aid and other necessary support to the victim.
The idea of this rehabilitation center came from the experience during movement of violence against women (VAW). Ensuring safe shelter to victims appeared as a prerequisite to offer proper legal service. At the beginning, members of the organization tried to manage shelter for the victims within their family set up. Consequently it become obvious that proper and absolute security could not be ascertained within the family atmosphere. Separate and exclusive space for the purpose is required. The inspiration and initiative of late Poet Begum Sufia Kamal, the former president of BMP is equally memorable in this respect. She was personally and immensely enthusiastic about a proper home as a transient shelter for victim. She named the home as Rokeya Sadan in the memory of the pioneer of women movement in the subcontinent.
Rokeya Sadan started its journey in a rented house at Kalabagan, Dhaka on 31 December of 1985 . Presently, it is situated in the same building of BMP’s office, in Segun Bagicha.
TO WHOM SADAN PROVIDES SHELTER
Rokeya Sadan provides shelter to those oppressed women, who are victims of different difficult situations like domestic violence, physical assault for dowry, abandoned, divorced, forced prostitution, rape, fatwa, cheating, trafficking, acid burns and other violence.
At the beginning BMP received those girls usually through central and local legal aid cells of the organization. But gradually, other Law enforcing agent’s like police station, safe custody of court and others organizations started to send their cases.
At present NGO,s like- Ain-O-Shalish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Nair Progoti Sangha (BNPS), Bangladesh Legal Aid Service Trust (BLAST), Bangladesh National Women’s Lawyers Association (BNWLA), Business Professional Women’s Club (BPWC), Jatio Mahila Sagstha and other socio-cultural and civil society organizations refer the victims for safe shelter in BMP. BMP is also working together with One Crisis Center (OCC), victim support center and others and receiving their cases.
Till today BMP has provided temporary shelter to more than 1200 women and girl children.
ACTIVITIES OF ROKEA SADAN
Goal of ROKEYA SADAN is to rehabilitate the women in the society with full human dignity and as an economically independent individual who were once victim of violence. Within the constitutional structure of BMP a management committee named ‘Sadan committee’ has been formed to execute plan and programme adopted in Central Committee of BMP. Following steps are taken by the committee.
- Check and assess physical and mental health firstly by volunteers. Qualified physician and psychiatrist examine the case and advise appropriate treatment.
- Serving as a dependable and effective temporary shelter to victim of violence by managing logistic support offered by BMP.
- Create facility for training on sewing, cutting, boutique, block, art and music.
- To arrange formal and non-formal education.
GLIMPSES OF THE ACTIVITIES OF ROKEYA SADAN
- Successful rehabilitation of most of the residence.
- Established happy family life after getting married with the initiative of BMP.
- Few are running tailoring shop and running training center in their locality.
- One intimate has got admitted in undergraduate medical course after successful completion of higher secondary examination.
- At present one of our residences took part in primary school completion exam JSC successfully. Other one is studying in Medical College as undergraduate medical graduate.
- Extension of activities of Rokeya Sadan as a crisis center.
- Running job oriented technical training programme.
- Rehabilitate the girls in the society, developing skill in different sector.
- Professional training for member and management staff to deal with victims.
With the help of Philanthropist and progressive people of society, Rokeya Sadan has set up a good symbolic example of an idea for a rehabilitation center for repressed helpless women before the society and the government. Now Rokeya Sadan has become a great source of inspiration to all people concerned with the movement for resistance to violence against women.
The 30th Founding anniversary of Rokeya Sadan, a shelter home for the inmates was held on 3rd January 2016 at Sufia Kamal Bhaban auditorium. The event was