This short video highlights the work of Samarthan Mahila Sangathan (SMS) and how Nyay Samiti (Justice Committee) addresses various forms of violence against women in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India. The film also shares insights on how the members sustain the movement and its gains in the face of various forms of backlash from their families and community.
SMS is a grassroots women’s collective of 3500+ members working for marginalised women’s dignity and gender justice in Bhavnagar district, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. It was incubated in 2003 by Utthan, a Gujarat based organisation founded in 1981 and is modelled around fostering women’s agency & empowerment at the grassroots. It addresses issues of women’s safety & security, farming, land & property rights, access to entitlements & social welfare.
SMS started its Mahila Nyay ane Shanti Samiti (Women’s Justice & Peace Committee) as an alternate redressal mechanism in response to women’s needs. Awareness of gender-based violence in rural communities, support to survivors of domestic and public violence, land disputes, caste-based violence; and discrimination in alliance with law providing Government actors, Panchayats; and like-minded groups are its key areas of intervention.