Monday, December 14, 2015

Snaps from the Pratiti Delhi Closure!

After 4 intense and beautiful months working on self, gender and diverse action projects, 1st November 2015 saw the Delhi cohort of Pratiti fellows bring their journey to a memorable end by co-creating a special closure event. Individual reflections, messages to fellow participants, evaluating and providing feedback on the fellowship and presentations on the projects done by each team were the major highlights of the day. Among the attendees were long-time PFP well-wishers, friends and members of various communities from across Delhi benefited by the action projects. Special thanks to Divya Mukand from Pravah Delhi and Kanika Sinha, a valued mentor for PFP, both of whom graciously agreed to be impromptu chief guests to present the fellows with their well-deserved mementos, bringing to a perfect end the first phase of this unique initiative to challenge Gender Based Violence in India (Onwards to Jaipur!)

Some snaps from the special day below:

The journey thus far - Somesh speaks

Somesh Menon

Somesh is working as a Program Do-er Officer with People for Parity. He was a part of the cohort of Pratiti fellows in Delhi, and experienced the journey from a uniquely rich perspective - as an organizer and as a participant. He reflects on his experiences below:

"It’s been 7 months since our group brainstorming session yielded the words ‘experiential journey’ as a way of describing Pratiti. Safe to say in a cliché, for me on a personal level atleast, it turned out to be all that and much more. I suppose the words I type here ought to be revealing or profound or insightful, simply because of how privileged I was in being able to experience life on both sides of the coin, as participant and Program Do-er. Indeed, it was a tricky balancing act, to immerse myself fully into the workshop processes while remembering to arrange lunch on the side. This did not in any way make my experience feel less powerful or incomplete. On the other hand, I suppose being a part of facilitation discussions in office, and participant discussions in workshops, allowed me to satisfyingly resolve plenty of confusing conundrums that arose, mostly with regard to what was being done and why.

It was immensely satisfying and beautiful to see the workshops bring together so many incredible, diverse people into the same space, exactly how we had envisioned during our discussions all those months ago. As someone very new to Delhi, this was my first direct glimpse of the magical diversity this city held, one that I am still trying to fully comprehend. 

Not everything about Pratiti was meant to be hunky-dory, and thankfully so. In due course of time, I realized bringing together the participants into the same space, no matter how challenging it appeared on the outside, was actually the easy part. With so many diverse experiences, stories, opinions, knowledge bases constantly bumping into each other, there was an incredible amount of energy and vibrancy which enveloped the group, leading to occasional bouts of conflict, frustration and plain annoyance. In hindsight, I would have it no other way. 

There were tons of responsibility and sensitive timelines to adhere to. I am not the right person to comment on how well I pulled off the responsibility part of things. But if someone had told me even a year ago that this is what your life would revolve around a few months from now, my response would comprise equal parts mirth and equal parts fascination. Yet to realize that my life did revolve around something like Pratiti, if only for the briefest time, is something very overwhelming indeed. 

To conclude, I would only like to convey my gratitude to each and every wonderful individual I was able to meet, interact and work with. A lot of my personal growth has simply been due to the presence of these people around me, a unique and beautiful thing in itself. Being able to freely share experiences without fear of judgement provided all of us the perfect base to form friendships we know will be lasting. I have no other words in me to summarize what I think will genuinely reflect the power of an experiential journey like Pratiti. I suppose for things like these, vocabularies can seldom do justice and one can only really know when one has the privilege of experience. I sure had one I will cherish for the longest time to come."

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