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Radha Devi fight the polls and won with a good margin from Rupari Kala in block Chaksu in Rajasthan. When Radha Devi first decided to fight panchayat elections four years ago, she was threatened by the elected representative in her area, by a man.

Radha Devi, is one of the 25 women panchayat members who were Thursday administered an oath by Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath to fight violence.

“I have seen violence from close quarters. I was threatened when I first expressed my desire to fight the block elections. But I was not scared, and fought it by fair means,” Radha Devi told.

“Today I am happy that I was selected as one of the messengers of peace and non-violence,”.

The minister said a nation-wide campaign for prevention of violence against women would be launched Oct 2, the birth anniversary of the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi, and to create greater awareness among communities.

It is the first time, a national campaign is being launched for prevention of violence against women. As Gandhiji was an apostle of peace, we have decided to make women panchayat members the messengers of peace and non-violence.

An Oath was also taken by all 25 women panchayat members, who would represent the over 1.2 million women members in the country.

“This is a five-year programme and it will be covered by the entire nation,”.

According to the Govt. in 2007, 2,921 cases were registered under the domestic violence act 2005. About 5,526 people were arrested and 111 convicted. In 2006, 1,736 cases were registered, 2,722 people arrested and 183 were convicted, while in 2005, about 1,497 cases were registered, 254 people were convicted and 2,267 arrested.

One of the Activist says ‘These women panchayat members will now get extra strength in their fight against violence after getting the ministry’s support’.

The Hunger project has been working in India since 1984 and works across 10 states. It mobilises people for self-reliant action, empowers women as key change agents and engages with the local government in strengthening the Panchayati Raj system.

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