In the years since the conception of Centre for Social Research, the power and utility of the digital platform has changed drastically. Online spaces are not only powerful tools of self-expression, but have now become a necessity to our daily lives. With the dynamic and ever-evolving online platforms, India has witnessed the physical violence, harassment and abuse against women bleed into these spaces as well and make them inaccessible for women.
Even though Covid-19 has forced the world to limit itself in their homes, our work continues. And it continues now more than ever! With the whole world in constraints, we’ve seen people socially participate in multiple activities through the World Wide Web. What we’re doing is focusing on our outreach work, but also the mental health of our employees, field trainers, counsellors, and most importantly the women we work for everyday.
We make daily posts through our dedicated 17 social media handles about our skill based programs, the condition of education for girls, their lack of extra-curriculur participation in fields like sports, the online
violation of human rights against women, lack of representation and opportunities in politics, the disparity present between the way natural calamities affect men and women, the role that women play in conservation of resources and changing the narrative about typical ‘male professions’ by providing training to women in the same sectors. And have been continuously hosting online discourse and discussions with experts and our followers through Tweetathons about online safety, domestic violence, mental health wellness, and India’s problem of an infodemic of misinformation in times of a global pandemic.
Now more than ever, with social isolation, the number of domestic violence and child abuse cases are seeing a continuous spike all over the world. In India, The Hindu reported that the government helpline received 92,000 calls on violence and child abuse in 11 days. With fear and anxiety spreading in the country, frustrations are growing and even in the time of pandemic, they are the victim of additional abuse in the homes that are, and should be, safe for everyone. CSR’s Crisis Intervention Centre’s Counsellors are available on phone to provide help to anyone facing abuse at home. They have also organised online mobilisations to spread their numbers across communities and groups that work with domestic violence. Though there is a restriction of travelling and women cannot be redirected to our Centre due health precautions and government mandate, our counsellors are currently handling 8 cases and have been providing regular counselling through the telephone, including one women who is situated in Chennai.