MORE THAN 800 ladies from the Shree Prajapati (SPAUK) Samaj attended the 36th Mahila Samelan women’s conference earlier this month at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Oldham.
Hosted by the SPA Tameside branch the audience listened to speakers about the sensitive issue of child sexual exploitation and how to be more aware in their communities.
The day was a tremendous success with integrative presentations, plays and video clips interspersed with Indian themed dance routines.
Presenters included Dave Jones from the GW Theatre group with a powerful video case study and Rebekah Sutcliffe, Assistant Chief Constable of Great Manchester Police.
Kim Scragg, Oldham Council’s Director of Safeguarding, spoke about the support available through local councils and Pradip Mistry, an e-safety expert, talked about e-device safety and parent awareness.
Further speakers included Lina Patel, Darshaben and Punamben, who highlighted the ‘Care in the Community’ services available to help people manage their physical and mental health problems.
Jitubhai C. Mistry, SPA UK President, said: “We are aware grooming and child sexual Exploitation are not topics discussed in our households. However, we need to face reality.
“With regards to Care in the Community, it is traditional for our families to take the self-help route. But this brings its own stresses.
“It’s time our community understand there is help out there. I am proud of the programme the Mahilas have put together and shows how progressive our community is.”
Dakshaben Mistry, Mahila Secretary, acknowledged the Mahilas team effort in organising this event and praised the volunteers.
She added her thanks the host branch SPA Tameside and their volunteers as well as sponsors including Phoenix Oldham/Tameside, O2, Tameside Carers, Action Together, Healthwatch Tameside and Tameside Metropolitan Council.
Mahila was established in 1975 and now has 14 branches spread throughout England. Their aim is to advance Hindu religion and education, and the relief of poverty and sickness among the Prajapati Community.
Their annual events include National Sports Day, Mahila Samelan (Ladies Gathering), Senior Samelan, Family Fun Day and Youth Ball. Find out more online: www.prajapati.org.uk