Sofia Education and Welfare Society runs Mahila Panchayat programmes at Mustafabad J.J. Cluster North-East District of Delhi. The programme is supported by Delhi Commotion for Women, Govt. of Delhi.
- In order to assist in the reduction of violence against women, Mahila Panchayat helps women in crisis and makes them aware of their legal rights. Additionally, they also provide legal aid to deprived women.
- With the help of Delhi Commission for Women, the Mahila Panchayat is an initiative taken for distress redressal at the community level. Groups of community women, elected by NGO, constitute a Panchayat in their area to address local grievances, counsel the two parties and establish harmony in the community.
- A Panchayat constitutes one coordinator and two paralegal workers who are trained in legal rights and laws pertaining to women. They are trained to handle sensitive cases and counsel women in distress.
- Mahila Panchayat is an important community constitution toward women empowerment and rural development. They take initiatives to stop violence against women by taking actions to change the attitude of society towards women. Through various actions and endeavours, they help women become self-confident and self-dependent.
- The Panchayat also organizes poor women into self-help groups (approx 10 members in a group) to act like a social platform to address grievances and issues like education, livelihood, healthcare, finance and environment.
- Members work with rural women, making them aware of their basic and legal rights. They also provide necessary support to victimized and traumatized women.
- NGO members make small savings for a few months to create a fund which can be used for livelihood initiatives.