Swayangsiddha means self-reliance. It envisions empowering young girls and boys with knowledge and skills so that they are aware, alert, able to make informed choices and are less vulnerable to violation and abuse of their rights. Swayangsiddha initiative by West Bengal Police aims to combat human trafficking and prevent child marriage. Swayangsiddha Groups have been formed in schools and colleges with interested students. These groups were formed with students between the age group of 12 to 21 years. Child Protection Committee is monitoring and guiding these groups.
3,862 students have come forward to form Swayangsiddha groups. Among them, 69% are girls and 31% are boys. They are sharing information on human trafficking, child rights, ill effects of child marriage and the important helpline numbers with other students and their neighborhood. Schools have identified 200 teachers as mentors.
The Swayangsiddha Groups are submitting reports on their activities, once in every two months. They are sharing the reports through mobile or computer with assistance from the nominated teachers. Around 2500 students participated in 14 awareness rallies in different blocks and reached out around 6000 community people. The initiative has led to improved reporting on child marriage. Teachers are getting prior information from other students and are informing police. Teachers reported stopping of at least 20 child marriages.
At the block Level, the Child Protection Committee will hold meetings twice a month, chaired by the BDO, to make sure whether the children of the vulnerable families are getting the facilities. Shikshabandhu, Paralegal volunteers, Anwesha Clinic Counsellor, members of Panchayat or ward will co-operate with the Committee.
A district level meeting under the leadership of DM/ADM will be held every 3 months. There would be a discussion on unresolved issues. The best performing Swayangsiddha Groups would be felicitated once a year by the district administration and the police.