Following are some of the work and achievements of Tara Ahluwalia during the past two decades. All listed items are relevant for Women’s Empowerment and are synergistic with the Short Shelter Home.
1. Working at an individual capacity supporting women victims of violence., 1995 - Present
- Rural and Urban women slowly and steadily kept coming to me reporting several forms of violence. I have handled cases of more than 350 women who were victims several kinds of violence:
- physical and mental violence within families
- sexual harassment within homes, schools and supposedly safe and unsafe places
- rape victims
- witch hunting victims
- victims of caste based atrocities.
- I have supported them at a personal level from providing them temporary relief, rehabilitating them to securing justice for them from the police, judiciary and administration.
- Through this work I have learnt to employ different strategies based on the on the issue the woman came with:
- Counseled families when women wanted compromise
- Supported women who wanted justice through courts
- Joined jati panchayats and got them to support women who were victims of caste based violence like witch hunting and nata pratha
- Used village meetings as a form of pressure on families and communities
- Used rallies and dharnas to pressurize the administration and police.
- Rehabilitated several victims who wanted to live independently.
- Provided temporary accomodation in my home several times to provide safety and immediate relief.
2. District Specialist for IDARA, Information Development and Resource Agency, a UNICEF funded Women Development Programme, 1986 - 1994
- Work involved increasing awareness and training rural women about their rights. The idea of the programme was to build women’s collectives which can work as pressure groups and intervene collectively to resolve their problems.
3. Family Counseling Center, 2003-Present
- With support from Ministry of Health, Rajasthan, I initiated a FCC (Family Counselling Center) in Bhilwara Government Hospital. The two FCC counsellers spend time in the hospital identifying cases of physical and mental violence against women and approach them offering their support. This has also been a very successful platform for reaching out to women in trouble.
4. Work against female foeticide, 2006 – Present
- With support from CFAR (Center for Advocacy and Research, Delhi), I worked on identifying clinics which were providing specific services for female foeticide and got the Govt. to cancel registrations for 11 clinics under PCPDNT act.
5. Research study on witch hunting in Bhiwara, 2006 - 2007
- With support from Jagori, a research based women’s group from Delhi I did a research action study on Witchhunting in Bhilwara district and published a book with all the case studies of women I supported and fought for.
6. Self- Defense classes (venedo) for high school girls
- Organized classes on gender based violence to sensitize high school girls and self defense training called venledo for girls. There are instances where young girls have opened up and reported cases of sexual harassment within families and schools after these classes.
7. SangarshShil Mahila Samman conducted during International Women''s Day every year:
This was a felicitation event for the following people- 10 female survivors of various kinds of violence, doctors and lawyers who have helped the victims in time, law-makers and State women''s commissioner etc. This brought in a sense of solidarity and encouraged all the women to come together. This would also be a first step in building teams for self-help groups and identifying leadership to take on this work after Taraji.
8. Girl Child Celebration Day:
Mourning at the birth of a girl child in the norm in Bhilwara and Chittorgarh districts of Rajasthan. Taraji changed this culture and mentality of the community by organizing girl child celebration day in villages including families/ mothers that have begotten a girl child recently.
9. Successful sting operations on doctors performing female feticide.