Nine districts including Coochbehar in West Bengal share porous borders with Bangladesh and Nepal, which explains the increased incidence of child trafficking. The other contributing factors are rural poverty and the social pressure to wed off girls early. Since most cases of trafficking go unreported, it makes rescue and prevention all the more difficult. Children at particular risk for trafficking include:
HIV/AIDS is not merely a public health challenge; it is also a political and social challenge. Behavior change will not occur without a significant change in the social and political environment. Unequal gender and power relations, taboos in frank and open communication about sexual health and stigma and discrimination are particularly significant obstacles to an effective response. The economic impact of AIDS epidemic needs to be acknowledged. The largest economic cost of a death due to HIV/AIDS is usually lost income as those who die from AIDS are generally younger and in their most productive years.
The general objective of the awareness programmes undertaken by SSCOP:
"The customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider on our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so."
- MAHATMA GANDHI
Any person who buys goods and services for personal consumption and not for commercial purpose or resale is called a consumer. Consumers form the largest economic group in any country. They are the pivots of all economic activities. Consumer is the real deciding factor for all economic activities. It is now universally accepted that the extent of consumer protection is a true indicator of the level of progress in a nation.
The growing size and complexity of production and distribution systems, the high level of sophistication in marketing and selling practices and forms of promotion like advertising, etc. have contributed to the increased need for consumer protection. The contemporary era is marked as the era of consumers.
In India, the government has taken many steps to protect consumers and in 2005 the Govt. of India started a national campaign “Jago Grahak Jago (Wake up Consumer)” to create awareness among consumers. An enlightened consumer is an empowered consumer. An aware consumer not only protects himself from exploitation but induces efficiency, transparency and accountability in the entire manufacturing and services sector.
Realizing the importance of consumer awareness, Government has accorded top priority to „Consumer Education, Consumer Protection and Consumer Awareness. The success of consumer movement mainly depends upon the level of consumer awareness generated in the country by educating the consumers about their rights and responsibilities.
The objectives of the Consumer Protection Awareness Programme undertaken by SSCOP are:
• Raise consumer awareness at the grassroots by strengthening the capacity of net-workers
• Build a strong consumer movement at the grassroots level
The worth of civilization can be judged by the place given to women in the society. One of the several factors that justify the greatness of India’s ancient culture is the honorable place granted to the women.
There is no denying the fact that the women in India have made considerable progress in the last 64 years but they continue to struggle against several social evils in a male dominated society. It is a fact that women are intelligent, hardworking and efficient at work and they put their heart and soul in every endeavor they undertake.
The Government of India has made all efforts to abolish differences between men and women and has laid special emphasis on education of the girl child. Education has to play an important part in empowerment of women so that they claim their rightful place in the society. A lot has been achieved but they still have to tread a thorny path to reach their ultimate goal of women empowerment.
“One woman can change anything, many women can change everything”.
Themes chosen for the seminar conducted by the SSCOP are:
1. Status of women in rural/urban areas.
2. Health condition of Indian women.
3. Importance of education in empowerment of women.
4. Genesis of growing crimes against women-societal ills.
5. Progressive women - Apprehensions of society.