WISCOMP Saahas Awards Honour Youth Countering Violence Against Women

WISCOMP Honours Youth Countering Violence Against Women

New Delhi: Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of the Dalai Lama, New Delhi, organized the Saahas Awards Ceremony at the India International Centre today. The seven awardees were selected through a competitive process initiated by WISCOMP as a part of their on-going project on Youth Countering Violence against Women. With the Heroes of Courage Awards, WISCOMP honored the courage of extraordinary men, women and transgender persons who actively stood up against gender-based violence in their own lives and in the lives of others; and continue to strive for gender equality and social justice. 

In the ceremony, WISCOMP honoured feminist activist, poet and author Kamla Bhasin for her extraordinary contributions to the field of gender justice and equality with the Shero of Courage Award. 

Also present at the vibrant ceremony were Justice Gita Mittal, Judge, High Court of Delhi, Dr. Syeda Hameed, Former Member, Planning Commission of India and other dignitaries and young practitioners. 

Encouraging young people to not just speak up but also engage with initiatives to quell traditional mindsets was the theme of the evening.

Saahas ke Chaar Adhyay, a deeply moving film by young filmmakers Sania Hashmi and Mohan Kumawat was screened at the ceremony. The film records the life, struggle and ultimate triumph of four outstanding individuals from diverse backgrounds and different parts of India who braved great odds to counter gender-based violence.

Over the past years, this WISCOMP project has trained young people through creative workshops to become effective agents of change in their community. The workshops drew participants from myriad backgrounds including urban educators, rural first generation learners, young activists and practitioners.

Innovative methods of engagement like theater, art, music and experiences from the field were used at the workshops. This was dovetailed with the discourse on sustaining peace and tolerance across faultlines of nationality, region, religion, caste and gender.

WISCOMP Director, Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath walked the audience through the several dimensions of this project and WISCOMP's diverse work and enlisted the support of young practitioners from the field.

The Awards are also part of the 'Partners in Wellbeing: Youth Countering Violence Against Women' project of WISCOMP which is supported by the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy, New Delhi.

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