Family Counselling Centres (FCC)

One of the FCCslocated in Thane has been recognised and supported partially through grant-in-aid by the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), New Delhi since October 1990. The Centre functions regularly from11am to 6pm daily with the help of family counsellors, legal advisers, psychiatrists and trained field workers and volunteers. Annual audit reports of income &expenditure and half yearly reports of cases with their qualitative and quantitative analyses are regularly submitted to the CSWB.

The other three FCCs are recognised and supported partially by the Maharashtra State Commission for Womenand Thane ZillaParishad.They are located in Bhiwandi (since February 2008), Kalyan(November 2009) and ZillaParishad (January 2002).Quarterly reports of cases handled are submitted regularly to the Women's Commission and ZillaParishad.

A woman approaching the FCC for assistance receives a patient hearing, empathy, emotional support, counselling, legal advice and/or aid, police help if necessary and in exceptional cases even protection and shelter. A small fraction of cases are registered by men about their marital problems. All the complaints are meticulously verified by talking to concerned persons, by paying home visits and holding joint meetings. Children happen to be the best source of true information. In case of extreme violence medical help and police assistance is provided to the victim without delay. Every effort is made to motivate alcoholics to undergo de-addiction treatment and save their married life. Consultant psychiatrist visits FCC regularly to help families especially in this regard. In case of divorce by mutual consent help is given to work out conditions with regard to Stree-dhan, custody of children, maintenance, residence, etc. Wellbeing of children in the family is given special consideration while arriving at a solution or taking any action. All services are rendered free of chargedue to the helpless condition of the aggrieved person.

The nature of problems ranges from marital discord due to personality differences to extreme violence as a result of dowry system, suspicious nature of the husband or alcoholic addiction. Complicated Cases involving unwed mother, extramarital relationship, woman's death under suspicious circumstances, rape, child rape, trafficking,sexual harassment at work place etc.are also registered andhandled.

At the FCC women and childrenreceive empathetic support and non-judgemental interaction which is generally denied to them in our society. As a result they identify themselves with the organisation and continue to participate in various programmes of the organisation even after their problem has been solved. They motivate others to struggle against injustice and give proper advice.There are some women who want to forget the agonising and humiliating past and hence theydo not keep in touch with the organisation.Some women even go against the advice of FCC and make wrong compromises. When they approach again with larger problems, they do feel embarrassed. FCC understands situation of all of them and offers them with respect whatever support they need at any stage.

BMF Thane believes that sensitive and enlightened women and men need to come forward to give relief to vulnerable women and thereby contribute to reduce the incidences of atrocity against women. BMF Thane has to mobilise funds on regular basis to run the FCCs as the government or other are grants are insufficient. This is done through souvenir publication, cultural programmes and by organisation's own theatre activity.