The family is the most important unit of society. A stable family environment is absolutely essential for the nurture of children. It is here that an individual imbibes values and learns life skills.
We can safely aver therefore that society in the macrocosm reflects the family in the microcosm.
In recent times the joint family has given way to the nuclear family. What once was the joint responsibility of many individuals now rests solely on the husband-wife pair. So the extended family which functioned as a buffer to and arbiter of conflicts is no longer available. With today’s fast and furious life style, change in values and man’s greed and self-centredness, we appear to be sitting on a powder keg.
And the signs are all there.
- Families are falling apart.
- The divorce rate is soaring.
- Domestic violence is increasing.
- A high percentage of children need counseling.
- Teenage pregnancies are becoming common and so forth.
This state of affairs is not confined to a particular section of society. It has become universal, affecting all and sundry, irrespective of financial status, race, community, country and religion.
Dysfunctional families imply a dysfunctional society. And a breakdown of families leads to the breakdown of society itself.
Therefore it is of the utmost importance that the well-being, sanctity and stability of the family are assured and warring and malfunctioning families are helped to keep the peace and stay together harmoniously.
Dakshata Family Counseling Centre
Having recognized the enormity of the problem and the need for urgent action, the Central Social Welfare Board under the aegis of the Government of India, has entrusted NGOs for women with the task of setting up Family Counseling Centres. One such centre is run by the Mahila Dakshata Samiti (Karnataka) in Bangalore.
The qualified staff at the Centre, constantly networking with lawyers, counselors and psychiatrists provide holistic solutions to the problems ranging from harassment by husband and in-laws and other problems faced by women in a family to problems encountered by teenagers and students.
However the primary focus at the centre is ensuring the stability and health of the family unit. When people with marital or family problems approach us, our priority is to help the family overcome their differences and to promote cordial relationship between the members so that the health of the family is restored.
Help is also rendered in the form of
* investigation and assessment in the case of dowry harassment and aid in registering a case if that is called for,
* free legal advice and aid,
* invoking police assistance in the case of domestic violence,
* psychiatric counseling,
* student counseling,
* shelter for women rendered homeless because of domestic discord and violence.
Apart from this a variety of seminars and workshops are conducted on a regular basis by the centre to help women become aware of their legal rights and legal recourses available to them.
Very often crimes are perpetrated against women with impunity because of the feeling that women are defenseless and without support, with nobody to hold the perpetrator accountable. Family Counseling Centres therefore play a very important role. These centres with the backing of the law, the government and the police can be powerful deterrents to crimes against women because they form a support system for women and they have the resources to help women bring the culprits to book.