The Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC) is a non-governmental women’s organisation in India working for women and young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. It was started in the year 1981 by a team of 13 women, of whom 12 were dalit women from the local villages of Chengalpattu taluk near Madras (Chennai) in Tamil Nadu. Currently, RUWSEC’s intensive, community-based activities cover 25 villages and its clinic services cater to the needs of over 100,000 people. RUWSEC also focuses on health education and preventive and curative care for non-communicable diseases (NCD).
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, RUWSEC’s workers continue to work within their communities during the lockdown, while their clinic has been providing minimum essential services. RUWSEC is currently engaged in:
- Creating awareness about COVID-19 at the community level, referral of persons with symptoms.
- Providing mental health counselling services in the community.
- Identifying persons who need special assistance and support.
- Assisting women in need of maternal health care, contraception and safe abortion services.
- Providing ongoing support to survivors of intimate partner violence, as part of its violence against women prevention and support programme.
- Providing psychosocial support and menstrual hygiene supplies to adolescents and young women.
- Supplying medicines to NCD patients from vulnerable households.
SOURCE: ARROW Newsletter, Issue 6, May 2020 ; PHOTO