Reyaz Rashid

‘Sakhi One Stop Centre’ rebuilding lives, restoring hope among women victims in Baramulla 

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Baramulla: ‘Sakhi One Stop Centre’ (SOSC) has emerged as a beacon of hope for women victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, divorce, blackmailing, etc in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The center is making a remarkable transformation and has become a sanctuary for women who had experienced unimaginable hardships by providing them with a chance to rebuild their lives and find peace.

One of the center’s success stories involves Rubeena Begum, a young woman from West Bengal who found herself trapped in a web of human trafficking, domestic violence, and emotional despair. Forced into a marriage with Riyaz Ahmad Hajam, a man twice her age, she faced constant abuse and discrimination from her brother-in-law. Her dreams shattered, and Rubeena was driven to the brink of suicide, seeking solace in the thought of meeting her parents one last time before bidding farewell to the world.

Recognizing her desperate situation, the local police station in Delina referred Rubeena to the Sakhi One Stop Centre on January 27, 2023. The center provided her with temporary shelter, a safe space where she could heal and rebuild her shattered self-esteem. Through counseling and support, Rubeena gradually began to find hope and courage.

The center’s administrator Bushra Bedar, dedicated to helping survivors like Rubeena, played a pivotal role in seeking justice and reconciliation. She along with her team reached out to Rubeena’s in-laws and facilitated a mediation process. A compromise document was prepared, outlining specific conditions agreed upon by all parties involved. Rubeena, satisfied with the outcome, expressed her gratitude to the center for their tireless efforts.

Not content with providing temporary respite, the administrator Bushra Bedar of Sakhi One Stop Centre went above and beyond her duty. She reached out to the authorities in West Bengal, where Rubeena had mentioned her ancestral villages, seeking their assistance in locating her parents. Regular communication was established with the Kultali Police Station, ensuring a collaborative effort to reunite Rubeena with her long-lost family.

The significance of the center’s work resonated beyond the local community. On April 27, 2023, the administrator Bushra Bedar of Sakhi One Stop Centre participated in a grand event focused on combating human trafficking, held at the SKICC in Srinagar. 

During this gathering, she had the opportunity to discuss Rubeena’s case with the esteemed Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Rekha Sharma. Impressed by the efforts being made by Bushra, Chairperson Rekha Sharma decided to visit the center the following day, accompanied by a team from the NCW.

During the visit, the case was thoroughly discussed, and all relevant information was shared with the NCW team. With the combined efforts of Sakhi One Stop Centre and the NCW, a breakthrough finally occurred. After nine long years of separation, Rubeena was able to communicate with her parents through a mobile phone and video call.

Overwhelmed with joy, she learned that her parents would be traveling to Kashmir to reunite with her in the coming month.

Now, Rubeena’s life has been transformed. She has found newfound happiness and is living peacefully with her husband, freed from the chains of abuse and discrimination.

“The Sakhi One Stop Centre continues to be a symbol of resilience and compassion, empowering women to live dignified lives and fostering a sense of hope in the hearts of those who have suffered,” said Administrator Shaki One Stop Center Bushra Bedar.

SOSC is headed by Administrator Bushra Bedar is taking the lead in reconciliation and legal aid for women victims facing violence and disputes in their lives thus ensuring timely help to the victim women besides ensuring their empowerment. 

It is even more encouraging to know that the Chief Justice of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh visited the center and interacted with victims and staff to understand their issues and successes. 

Baramulla District’s One Stop Centre has resolved 236 cases of different natures, including domestic violence, human trafficking, divorce, blackmailing, and more.

The Chief Justice’s satisfaction with the working of the center and his appreciation for the administrator in resolving cases through counseling and legal advice are commendable.

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