In the year 2009, also for the first time in Karnataka the Training of Trainers on SWEEP was organized for elected women representatives for five days.
The participants were members of the State level SUGRAMA Steering Committee. In this training 14 EWRs actively participated. The main objective of the TOT was to develop a clear understanding and clarity on the electoral process.
The TOT was aimed to motivate Sugrama state level leaders to further motivate SUGRAMA more women to participate in the local governance as a voters and candidate. The group represented 21districts of Karnataka and this training helped them to think that together, they can easily access their rights.
This training was a major breakthrough in THP Karnataka in two ways.
First of all this kind of a residential training at state level for four days, built a strong bond among the members and did a great team building job. Secondly, each one who attended TOT conducted trainings independently for potential women before elections. And they did this with great enthusiasm and professionalism.
This group actively worked for the federation as a strong team and continues to do so.
Some of the inputs in the training:
- The Steering Committee members made an analysis on their primary identity based on the power structure in the community. There was discussion on the equality and equity in the Society. The women discussed on these taking different parameters based on caste, status, gender, religion, and sexuality, strength/capability, race and age.
- The Steering Committee members discussed on the issues of Equity and Equality, Structural Analysis giving importance to women’s position in the Community.
- The political identity of women leaders was also critically analyzed, taking the live examples of EWR’s. This brought remarkable changes in the political thought of the EWRs.
- As a federation, role of SUGRAMA during the election was also broadly discussed.
- The violence during the Panchayat elections was been illustrated very vibrantly by the EWRs.
- The whole electoral process was shared with the EWR’s.
- The SWEEP planning was initiated by the EWR’s.
- The EWRs discussed the violence as an implication with a critical note on the subject of election, taking this in to priority. SUGRAMA members talked about the structure of violence faced by the marginalized group in the community.
The TOT brought ideological changes in the SUGRAMA members and it was a life changing experience for them.
2010- Formal Registration of Sugrama and Advocacy initiatives:
In the month of March, after a long journey and hard work, Sugrama was formally registered under the Karnataka Societies registration Act 1960. This was indeed a historical day for everyone at THP. This was the first of its kind to be registered at state level. Sugrama is now a formal registered state level body to work towards the rights and interests of elected women representatives.
This year Sugrama took lead in advocacy initiatives, in demanding for two issues, one is the 50% reservation for women and the second is to demand for timely elections.
Members of Sugrama with THP support constantly met the Ministers, submitted memorandum and held Press meets for demanding rights of elected women.
While 50% reservation for women issue is yet to be passed in the state, the present government/ state election commission was forced to declare election immediately after the advocacy initiatives by Sugrama, THP and the Hakkotaya Andolana group.