Sankat Mochan Samiti Inc. (SMS) recognizes and committed to work towards early prevention and intervention and ultimately the eradication of family violence. Our members have been providing family related counseling and support services to the community for more than 3 decades. In 2008 SMS was established to provide ‘Physical, Moral and Spiritual’ support to individual, Families and community in critical needs. In 2011 SMS signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Relationship Australia Victoria to assists Family Violence sufferers.
In 2011 SMS signed another Memorandum of Understanding with InTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence as Partner Agency for the project ‘CALD Communities leading the way to respectful relationships: A community engagement initiative to prevent Family violence in Victoria’ funded by FaHCSIA. InTouch in partnership with SMS established a Task Force Committee ‘Hum Tum’ to foster messages of cultural and attitudinal change in relation to respectful relationships for the Indian Community. Now Hum Tum is part of Sankat Mochan Social Welfare Committee.
‘Hum Tum’ means ‘Us and You’. Its mission is:
“CREATING AWARNESS ABOUT RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS (RR) AND GENDER EQUALITY (GE) WITHIN INDIAN COMMUNITY OF MELBOURNE”
To achieve this, Hum Tum has set following objectives:
- change attitude and behaviour towards Relationships and Gender Equality
- promote mutual trust
- encourage effective communication – “break the silence-let’s talk”
- provide help in building self esteem
- promote access to helpful resources
Hum Tum Task Force Committee members consist of men and women from various age groups, community leaders and others who have access to various sectors of Indian community. These representatives are trained by InTouch (Respectful Relationships 15 hours Training plus 1 day refresher Training) and Western Cohealth (Family Strengthening Training – 15 hours). Hum Tum is mainly responsible for the Family Violence Primary Preventative activities.
The following projects aims to create awareness about the respectful relationships and gender equality and conduct activities to give the information about the primary prevention of Family Violence.
inTouch Project 2012 – 2013
1. White Ribbion Day – Peace Prayers for the Victims of Family Violence – Glen Waverley
2. Hindi Movie Night – Shown ‘Lajja’ Hindi movie and discussed the issues about the Family Domestic Violence – Chisholm Tafe Dandenong
3. Elder Abuse-Presentation at Indian Senior Citizens’ luncheon – Glen Waverley
4. Hindi Essay Competition – Boys and Girls are Equal – South Eastern Hindi Language Schools
5. AIII Diwali Function -Sandown Race Course – Hum Tum Stall to spread the awareness about Respectful Relationships
6. Family Fun Day – Strengthening the Relationships and their importance for Happy Family Life
7. White Ribbon Day – Information about Respectful Relationships and Gender Equality and commitment for ‘No to Violence against Women’ by taking Oath
8. Speak Up and Stand Up Forum On Wednesday 26 November 2014 at Parliament House in Canberra this project was awarded the State prize of the 2014 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards.
City of Greater Dandenong Project 2013 – 2014
1. Essay competion involving children of the ‘Hindi Language School’ in Dandenog Subject – Respectful Relations are important For A Happy Family
2. Diwali Mela – Information Stall at Diwali Festival organised by AIII at Sandown Racecourse promoting respectful relationships – Survey Report ‘TRUST – The most important Element to build Respectful Relationships for Happy Life’
3. White Ribbon Day Walk City Of Greater Dandenong – To reinforce ‘No violence against women’ theme
4. Knowledge Sharing Forum – Respectful Relationships and Gender Equality
Western Gymkhana 26 January 2015 ‘Meet and Greet All Indians in Wyndham’ – Hum Tum stall to raise awareness of Respectful Relationships
SMS other Activities –
- Support to Family Violence Sufferer – SMS actively providing the support services to sufferers of Family Violence in terms of counselling and referal sevices. We have got a group of professional Social Worker, Counsellor, Family Dispute Mediator, Lawyer, General Practitioner, Psychiatric, Immigration Agent and Spiritual Leader who help in various situations such as arranging for safety, providing moral support, arranging the expert appointment for legal, medical,psychiatric problem (depression etc).
- Community Support –
- SMS is committed to provide assistance to the recently arrived students and migrants in settling and assimilating in new country.
- It provides help to senior citizens as and when needed and organises spiritual and cultural functions in which all generations participate to share and enjoy each others values and company.
- At the time of family calamities such as serious illness and during the grieving period of the families, SMS provides necessary support.
- Educational Activities – Our inherited traditions and cultural richness has a lot to offer and as such educational classes and knowledge sharing discourses are organised to keep these alive. Spiritual discourses not only for the young generation but also for the elders are held on regular basis with a view to keep this knowledge being shared from one generation to the next.
- Knowledge sharing sessions on teachings of Geeta, Ramayana and Happiness in life are delivered by experts and knowledgable Pandits and Gurus.
- SMS is planning to conduct Yoga and Meditation classes.
- When proper facilities are developed in the Centre, it is planned to invite experienced ladies to share their recepies with the young generation.
- Cultural Activities – Through the celbrations of various festivals, the young generation is encouraged to participate in traditional dances, recitations and musical activities reflecting the spirit of the occassions, which are based on regional traditions of celbrations. This practice re-enforces the continuence of our traditions and culture from one generation to the next.
- Spiritual Activities – Daily pujas are integral part of the temple routine, right from the morning when the temple opens till the late evenings when the temple closes. The Kendra has now provided us the space and the facilities to celbrate all the important festivals popular in northern and central India. The traditional puja rituals are followed to revive the spirit. In addition families also use the facilities to celbrate special family occassions such as birth, anniversaries, marriages including the time when they are going through the rough and trying period in their life to seek devine strength, power and solitude.
SMS is also involve in supporting the Family Violence activities of other organisations and has representation in:
- Jagriti Forum – Chair by Marsha Thompson, State Minister
- Family Violence Forum Planning – City of Boroondara
- Family Violence Activities – Western Gymkhana Club Inc. Point cook, Victoria