The Mahila Jan Sunavani was a unique program where marathon hearings took place. Special benches consisting of lawyers, social workers, and counselors were created, and complaints were heard on a fast track basis. During this program, over 300 cases were heard, and around 85 new cases registered.
These Divisional Hearings were conducted on the 19th of May at Nashik, 20th of May at Dhule, 27th of May at Pune, 1st of July at Aurangabad, 7th of July at Amravati, and 8th of July at Nagpur. This also included visits to various jails to meet female inmates, and visit to women shelter homes and observation homes for the minors. Press conferences were also held.
The National Consultation was held in the February of 2014, jointly organized by the National Commission for Women, Maharashtra State Commission for Women, and Doordarshan Kendra, on the subject of “Portrayal of Women in Media & Role of CBFC”. The following sessions were conducted;

  1. Portrayal of women in films/television
  2. Portrayal of women in advertising
  3. Women, media and its repercussions on society
  4. Censorship or self regulation?
  5. Valedictory addresses and wrap up session.

Eight State Women Commissions across the country participated in this National Consultation, from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, etc. Eminent film critics/producers, artists from films/TV, public & private broadcasters, journalists, doctors, lawyers, advertising councils, police officials, and NGOs etc. also participated in the deliberation.

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women organized “The NGO Interaction” in the February of 2013 in Mumbai.

The interaction was divided into 3 sessions, as follows:

  1. Gender Based Violence (Safety, Security, and Role of Police) & Acts (DV, IPC, 498A, Criminal Amendment Act of 2013).
  2. Declining Sex Ratio: Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act of 2003.
  3. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2013 (SHW Act).
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women conducted a program to integrate gender perspectives in the police departments in Maharashtra. A gender sensitive approach influences the way police officers deal with women victims of violence. We aim to sensitize the participants to enhance their capacity to understand, analyze, and utilize gender dimensions/considerations in the police department in the State of Maharashtra. The workshop was held from in the February of 2014, at CPR, Pune.

Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule’s Jayanti was celebrated by organizing a legal awareness workshop at the Commission.

Adv. Susieben Shah, Hon’ble Chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women and other members on the panel Vijaya Bangde, Chitra Wagh, Asha Mirge, Asha Bhise, Usha Kamble and Jyostna Vispute took charge of the Commission.
Honorable Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Smt. Mamta Sharma, visited the Maharashtra State Commission office to inaugurate the play area “Shishuvihar” specially made for kids and their families. The new website was also inaugurated in the presence of the Honorable Chairperson for the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, and other members of the commission.
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women conducted a program to generate legal awareness on women’s rights at Tardeo Police Colony, Mumbai, to sensitize the women, and enhance their capacity to understand, analyze, and utilize their legal rights. Mahila Melawa was a legal awareness camp for women, where around 1000 women participated. Experts from the field delivered lectures on gender equality and laws for women.

Organized a Conference on “Legal Awareness Amongst women”. The conference was held at the historic Mathurdas Visssanji Hall at Gowalia Tank near August Kranti Maidan. The Conference was inaugurated by Smt. Renukaji Choudhary, then H’ble Minister Women & Child Welfare, Government of India.

The conference was supported by the National Commission for Women. Over 1,500 Mahilas from in around Mumbai attended the conference, listened to eminent speakers like Smt. Rita Bahuguna Joshiji, Smt. Rajnitai Patil, Smt. Thesta Setalvad, Smt. Sharada Sathe, amongst others.

On the occasion, a book on “Legal Awareness amongst Women – Series 1”, penned by me was also released by Smt. Renukaji Choudhary. The book is published in 4 languages – Hindi, English, Marathi and Urdu and is distributed free of charge at Stree Shakti Kendra.

Penned a paper on “Aspects of Urban Poverty in Mumbai” highlighting the problems in the slums of Mumbai, with special focus on the plight of Women & Children residing in the said slums. Based on wide field study and hands experience, the paper suggests effective solutions in terms effective public action by the Governments, organized groups & communities to better the life of urban poor
The Priyadarshani Park & Sports Complex (PDP) has planned to become a ‘grid-free park’, and will begin to power the park through non-conventional energy sources. This is the first step taken towards a greener and cleaner environment, and is being implemented in collaboration with the Government of India.

In November, 2010, on the 25th anniversary of PDP, a 10km Environmental Awareness Run was organised, with over than 2,500 people participating.

In 2009, the 10th anniversary of the war in Kargil was celebrated. An epic victory, the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force – those who protected India and its national integrity – were commemorated, and their sacrifice and heroism epitomized.

To recognise their services, and to pay homage to our martyrs, the Stri Shakti Kendra took up an initiative to send ‘Freedom Rakhis’ to the brave jawans by launching the website www.rakhis4jawans.com. Within 24 hours, the website received more than 10,000 hits. A team of women, led by Susieben Shah, from Mumbai visited Kargil in the August of 2009 on the occasion of raksha bandhan, and personally tied the rakhis on the wrists of the jawans.

Organized by Susieben Shah, a prayer meet and bhajan sandhya took place at the Priyadarshani Park & Sports Complex (PDP), in order to pay homage to the martyrs of the terrorist attacks of November 26, 2008, in Mumbai. The gathering was addressed by Shri Ravi Shankarji. Susieben also visited several hospitals in Mumbai, to offer her sympathy to the injured and show unyielding support.  
Participated in the historical Dandi March, to commorate the 75 years, of the historic Dandi March. I joined in the procession from Surat to Dandi, along with Smt. Prabha Rao, Hon’ble President MPCC.
A workshop on ‘Legal Awareness’ was organised for the office bearers of various NGOs and political parties. The one-day workshop included discussions on an array of topics, with a special focus on how certain Acts and Provisions empower women to protect and safeguard the rights of the aam aadmi – women in particular. The topics covered were:

  1.  Various women-friendly provisions of the Indian Penal Code
  2. Rights under the Domestic Violence Protection Act
  3. Implementation of the PC-PNDT Act (to stop female feticide)
  4. Information on the RTI Act
  5. Provisions for divorce, maintenance, and women’s rights in general

Eminent female lawyers and activists addressed the workshop.

On the auspicious occasion of Smt. Indira Gandhiji’s birthday, a booklet was released, titled ‘Welfare and Empowerment Schemes for the Urban Woman’, through the NGO Stri Shakti Kendra, which is presided over by Susieben. It was a venture undertaken to ensure that the various governmental schemes and aid meant for poor, destitute, and old women reach them.
Alongside local adivasi women and activists, Susieben had visited the adivasi taluka in the district of Thane, where she met old, frail, and destitute adivasi women deprived of their pensions. Despite having applied for government schemes such as the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojna, Indira Gandhi Niradhar Yojna, the Shravanbal Yojna, etc., these women failed to receive their support.

The matter was taken up sincerely with Thane’s collector, Mr. Zende, and within the record period of one month a total of 400 adivasi women were able to claim their benefits under the abovementioned schemes.

For the benefit of widows, and the poor, old, destitute, Susieben aided in implementing various schemes, such as the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojna, Indira Gandhi Niradhar Yojna, and the Shravanbal Yojna. Self-help groups were established in Malabar Hill, with families from the lower income sector, or those below the poverty line (BPL). 20 of these self-help groups have been established, of which 10 are from Muslim and other minority communities.
When Mumbai had faced natural calamities, Free Medical Check-up Camps were set up in the city. These camps were organised in locations such as:

  • Anand Nagar – Bandra (East),
  • Gavdevi – Vakola, Pipe Line Road, Andheri (East), and
  • Tulsiwadi – Tardeo, Haji Ali.
Since November, 2007, we have been operating a Family Counselling Centre (the FCC) at August Kranti Marg, Mumbai, which is supported by the Central Social Welfare Board (Government of India). The FCC provides counselling services to families in need – those who generally do not have access to such services. In addition to settling family disputes, the Centre also provides vocational training for women and their dependants so they can be employed. Legal aid is also provided through the Legal Aid Centre at the Mumbai High Court compound. Many women/families who prefer not to lodge complaints at police stations can visit the FCC and meet police officers on designated days.

teenbandarSocial and Community Activities