Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nazmeen Khan- Why I'm working on gender/with PFP

प्रतीति सफर में मैने शुरुआत वहाँ से की जहाँ मुझे लोगो से बहुत डर लगता था,मझे लगता था कि सभी अकड़ू और लड़ने वाले होते हैं कोई किसी से सही से बात नही करता होगा, सही से किसी के सवालो के जवाब भी नही देते होंगे , किसी से भी कुछ भी पूछने पर मज़ाक बनाते होंगे, इस तरह के सवाल मेरे मन में आते थे, बहार किसी पर भी भरोसा करना आसान नही था,सबको एक ही निगाह से देखती थी,लेकिन जब मैने अपनी पहली क्लास ली तो मझे काफी कुछ पता लगा की ऐसा क्यों होता है ? क्योंके मेने अपने मन में कही न कही जेंडर का खौफ बैठा रख्खा था | प्रतीति ने मेरे अंदर से इस खौफ को निकाला । इस में मेरे सभी सवालो के जवाब मिले यहाँ तक के लोग अपनी मन घडत कहानियां खुद बना लेते हैं ये भी पता लगा | प्रतीति में एक्टिविटीज़ के ज़रिये समझाया गया जो समझ में भी आसानी से आ रहा था जैसे देर रात तक बहार नही जाना और लड़कियों को घर पर ही रहना चाहिए बहार नही जाना चाहिए यह सब हमारे साथ जेंडर की वजह से होता है। साथ ही साथ लोगो ने खुद से ये मान्यताएँ बनाई हैं जो हम अपने ऊपर लगते हुए देखते हैं।क्लास के वक़्त ऐसा लगा की हाँ ये वाकई में होता होगा की लड़कियों पर या लड़को पर कुछ बातें ज़बरदस्ती डाली जाती हैं ये कह कर की ये हमारे बड़े बुज़ुर्ग भी क्या करते थे या ये सदियो से चला आ रहा है। 


इस बीच मझे इस बात का भी पता चला की ये मान्यताएँ आई कहा से हैं ? तो ये लोगो ने खुद से बनाई हूँ जैसे:- ये कहा जाता है की लड़की घर की इज़त होती है,लेकिन मेरा मानना है कि लड़की नही "घर के लोग घर की इज़ात होते हैं"।
 
तो इस तरह की मान्यताएँ लोगो ने बना रखी हैं।धीरे धीरे ये सच महसू होने लगा की हाँ ये मान्यताएँ बनाई गई हैं। तभी मेने सोच लिया था कि इस तरह की मान्यताओं को मझे हटाना है।इसी लिए मेने प्रतीति का हिस्सा बनने के लिए अप्लाई किया क्योंके मझे इससे काफी कुछ सीखने के लिए मिला।

अब में इस सफर को आगे तक ले जाना चाहती हूँ ताके लोगो को इस बारे में बता सहकूँ की जैसा हम सोचते हैं वही सही नही होता बहुत बार हमें ऐसा लगता है कि जो हम सोच रहे हैं वही सच है लेकिन ऐसा नही होता हर कोई अलग होता है कोई एक जैसा नही होता । इसी तरह लोग लड़के और लड़कियों में जो फर्क करते हैं ये भी सही नही है ये उन्होंने अपने दिमाग में मान्यता बना रखी हैं कि लड़कियाँ घर की इज़्ज़त होती हैं,लड़के घर के वारिस या लडकियों का घर से बहार जाना थीक नही,उनकी काम उम्र में शादी करना या वो घर को चला नही सकती,ये सब मान्यताएँ है बल्कि इतनी ही नही और भी बहुत सी हैं जो सभी फॉलो करते हैं।
 
बस ऐसी मान्यताओं को हटाना चाहती हूँ में जो असल में हैं ही नही। प्रतीति के दौरान मेने काफी जगहों पर जाकर लोगो से बात की और जेंडर जैसे मसलो को सुलझाने की कोशी की। मेने अपने सभी दोस्तों को इस बारे में बताया और जेंडर जैसी बड़ी परेशानी को दूर करने के लये आगे कदम बढ़ाया। मेरे लिए लड़का लड़की एक सम्मान हैं इनमे कोई फर्क नही। मैं इसी बदलाव को अपनी ज़िन्दगी, परिवार,महो्ल्ले और अपने शहर में करना चाहती हूँ जिसकी शुरुआत मेने अपने इस प्रतीति के सफर से शुरू कर दी है।

Friday, December 9, 2016

PFP meets Nari Utthan and Svackshee – two organizations working on women livelihoods in Alwar

The aspirant of the night is alone, the work merely a bubbly tale; a journeyman funneling ideas into gemstones
Teachers call it copy, we call it Teamwork
Since PFP has started working in Alwar, it has been an out an out new experience for our team – of knowing about new organizations, of understanding new ground realities and of meeting new people with diverse perspectives. One such recent experience has been the staff-training workshop conducted with participants from Nari Utthan and Svackshee in November. These participants, both women and men work on issues of women empowerment, women livelihoods and girls education and primarily work in their own communities.

Our promise was to deliver value before profit
Our facilitators tried to create space for the participants to not only learn about new concepts around gender, but also for them to reflect on their own beliefs, attitudes and fears around the social change that they are working towards. The participants could identify that they need to embody the change that they are propagating and it was also clear to them that this is a process that requires much self-work and effort. Some participants showed enthusiasm about adopting the values of empathy, non-violence and gender peace in their personal life and professional activities. One of the participants, Rashmi Singhal who has been working on health for the last decade shares her experiences here -

Reality and the imagination are intertwined, they are very similar
दिनांक 22/11/2016  से 24/11/2016 तक जेंडर पर ट्रेनिंग की गई। यह ट्रेनिंग मेरे लिए बेहत ही जानकारीपूर्ण रही इस ट्रेनिंग में मैंने जेंडर और सेक्स में अंतर, समाजीकरण, सामाजिक शक्ति, समानुभूति और हिंसा, समाज में उपलब्ध मान्यताएं जेंडर पीस के बारे में धीरे-धीरे समूहों में चर्चा की खेलों के माध्यम से जानकारी उपलब्ध करी सच और सोच के बारे में भी विस्तृत जानकारी मिली। पहले कई जेंडर ट्रेनिंग में मेरी सहभाग्यता रही है और जेंडर पर भी ट्रेनिंग दूसरे NGO के माध्यम से प्राप्त करी  है परंतु PFP संस्था द्वारा इतनी गहराई में जेंडर के बारे में जानकारी दी जो अन्य संस्थाओ की ट्रेनिंग के दौरान हमें प्राप्त नहीं हुई। जो भी इन तीन दिनों में मुझे सीखने को मिला उसे अपने जीवन में मैं उतारूंगी और मेरे फील्ड में भी लोगों को जेंडर के बारे में जागरूक करुँगी पिछले इन तीन दिनों में बहुत सीखने को मिला। मैं बहुत खुशनसीब हूँ कि मैंने इस ट्रेनिंग में सहभागी बन कर भाग लिया। मैं आभारी हूँ PFP संस्था की जिसने मुझे जेंडर अन्य टॉपिक्स पर भी विस्तृत जानकारी दी|
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants

मैंने PFP की ट्रेनिंग से यह सीखा कि हिंसा सहना और करना दोनों ही गलत है। और यह भी पता चला कि किन-किन बातों से हम हिंसा जाने अनजाने में भी चाहते हुए भी कर रहे हैं | इसके बारे में पता चला तो यह प्रण लिया कि अपने जीवन में हिंसा ना करुँगी ना सहूंगी मैंने लड़का-लड़की में जो सामाजिक अंतर था उसके बारे में भी जाना और मैंने अपने बच्चों को भी बताया कि अगर तुम्हें कोई भी लड़का लड़की होने का सन्देश कहीं से भी मिलता हो तो उसे रोकना चाहिए | मेरे लिए लड़का लड़की में कोई अंतर नहीं है दोनों को ही बराबर मौका मिलता हो | मैं इसी बदलाव का प्रयास अपने परिवार में करुँगी और समाज में भी जागरूकता का काम करुँगी |

None of us is as smart as all of us
It is a long way to go for us to create a generation of changemakers who not only work towards development of these communities but also enable transformation of discriminatory beliefs that lead to violation of human rights on an everyday basis. But it is a beginning that we have reached places where the term gender is often misunderstood, and where the notion of equality if often only mythical. It gives us hope that women and men are coming together in our spaces to talk about systems that affect all of us.


We will meet the participants again in a few weeks and are looking forward to hear their stories, and share some with you !

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gender Peace Workshop with Ibtada, Alwar

The day started...
People for parity organized a three day residential workshop from 12th November to 14th November, 2016 with one of its partner organizations, Ibtada on gender specific capacity building in Alwar. Ibtada works to strengthen communities especially women to play an influential role to reduce social and economic poverty and inequality. People for parity organized workshop focusing on the capacity building of the staff which helped them to have a better understanding on gender through self awareness. Total 23 members of Ibtada attended the workshop.

On paths, path shall we discover….
The workshop started with some warm up activities followed by self introduction session to create a friendly ambiance. Before starting the major sessions to understand their expectations or moment thoughts, we spent a little time to know each other’s expectations from this workshop. After that we came up with some mutual agreements which should be followed throughout the three day workshop.

For showing them any bigger picture or any different perspective on Gender, the clarification or the knowledge of the difference between the two terms- sex and gender should be clear to them. Hence to create the understanding a small activity was done where they had to give their agreement on the statement written on a chit. This activity reflected their perception towards sex and gender, what definition or understanding they had in their mind regarding this. Once it was cleared, the session was followed by Chinese whisper game to understand the interpretation and evolution of the social messages we receive as our culture to define the identity of gender. Then there was a discussion on the source of gender disparity, how it started and became an epidemic.  After that, to make them reflect on their daily life and to understand its influence we did a small group activity where we tried to figure out or recognize the disparity of the social messages for holding a particular gender identity. It helped them to understand the evolution of gender in the society.

I am…
As they gradually started understanding the visible disparity in society’s thoughts, belief – empathy was introduced to them. The most notable thing was being activists they were aware of sympathy and considered it as one the best approach to show in a vulnerable situation. This session led them to an inner transformation, showed them a different dimension to have the kind of perception toward things. Seema ji, one of the staff members, stated, “We often fail to empathize with our co workers as we never tried to listen to their side of story rather we did not try to realize them. We are so self centric that we always think of finishing our given tasks without understanding their vulnerability. But social sector is a place where this tool should be implemented the most.”  Other staff member, Chandrakant ji stated, “I have learnt new word 'empathy'. I thought that sympathy was the only thing we can show to a person. But today I have realized how different it is from empathy and empathy is the thing what we should try to do with people whenever they are in any vulnerable situation.”

Among masses within opinion pulse of public we will gather, uncover, discover
The session on socialization helped them to understand the influence or practice of the messages we receive from the society to define our lifestyle. In this session through an activity they could balance the pressure of the society both on men and women. Saheb ji said, “We only blame men for making a woman’s life terrible. But through this activity hope we all have realized that some injected social norms make situation worse for both men and women. If a woman has to suffer it, the man has to create it, because that’s what they have been trained.”

Let’s make a story…
Session on social power was conducted through activity including drama. In this session they had an in hand experience how predefined social power impacted the fate of decision in a woman’s life and what role it played in a man’s life to perceive things. Santosh quoted, “I have come to this realization point that I have enough capacity to do things, but making the decision to do those, something which was not in me. But I am confident that from now I will work on the access of the power to make decisions for my life which is already in me.”  This session further led to the self reflective session, ‘zones’ which helped them to reflect upon their strength, fear, anxiety. Pooja said, “Today I feel that I too have an identity. It took me time to recognize myself, to acknowledge myself. I am feeling very confident and hopeful now. I want to start working on my shortcomings first.” Pilot ji further added, “I did not know that the shortcomings which had been resisting us, were inside us. We need to focus on ourselves first, and then we would be able to bring change outside.”

We’re opening up a Pandora’s Box. Be careful what you wish for…
ESCA was a session which helped to learn how to implement the understanding of empathy, zones, social power in field work. It was a tool for the behavioral approach. They found it quite convincing and practical. But some of them needed a little more discussion on it to get more clarification on its approach.

On third day we had a discussion on social beliefs, its system and source and how it was emerged in our day to day life. This belief system gave them a glimpse of reality which they unconsciously overlooked in their day to day life. Vrihaspati said, “We receive messages from the society from the very beginning of our life and that's what makes all the differences in one's life- I was not aware of it. I somehow skipped this consciousness. Now everything is crystal clear to me.”  Sahab ji further added, “Whatever I have learnt throughout these three days workshop, I desire to implement those in the society to demonstrate them that the conceptual ideas of the society are far, far away from the reality we deal with.  We can do a lot more than what society thinks we can do, better should do.”

Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances…
The entire realization took a completion with gender peace session. It provoked them to think of the world to which they actually wanted to belong. This session had a very reflective activity where they had a reality check on what they dreamt but how they lived. Tara ji stated, “I have learnt empathy, I have learnt the norms of the society and mine as well. I can see a different me now. The activity with toffee was a mirror to me. It reflected the darker side of us that we didn’t mercy anyone when it came to our self interest.”

Over all, this workshop was a successful first step towards gender peace as attendees felt a shift in their mindset end of the workshop. Rajesh ji stated, “My perception towards gender has completely shifted to the other zone now and I can feel it.” Rajkumar added to it saying, “This workshop has been very insightful for me. I have clarity on things now what I keep hearing from my surroundings. Especially this toffee activity was very insightful. I have understood the gender peace concept. 

What we see, hear, we speak…
Whenever we hear sex, gender, we tend to interpret these terms in an aggressive way, but I did not see that approach in this workshop. The term gender peace, equality, what we talked about, truly reflected in this workshop as not a single time facilitator accused males for the situation of the women in the society, rather they tried to empathize the situation (what a man and woman both face in the society).”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pratiti in Jaipur - The Closure Event!

6 months. 13 fellows. 5 organizations. 

The city of Jaipur served as an historic first for the PFP team, being the first location selected for the Pratiti Gender Fellowship's launch outside of Delhi. The Pratiti journey in Jaipur began in January 2016, with the selection of 13 young fellows working in different roles across 5 different organizations - Pravah Jaipur Initiative, Smile Foundation, Azad Foundation, Vishakha and Magic Bus.
With the Welcome Banner all set up
Held on Wednesday, 15th June 2016,  the closure event sought to celebrate the achievements and efforts of the fellows in intervening in different aspects of gender across diverse communities through a two-hour community event. Preceding the actual event was the final Pratiti Jaipur workshop, where the fellows would take part in their final set of activities and provide feedback on how the journey was. In the different sharing sessions, they explained about the significant development they were able to see in their own personalities through the fellowship and how it enhanced their ability to decipher the various instances of gender discrimination they routinely came across in their lives. Post sharing, the participants worked hard on properly conveying their work at the event, by planning games, activities and setting up the various charts and decorations that would adorn their stalls.

A view of Vishakha's beautifully decorated stall
By 4 in the evening, the closure activities were formally begun for the audience members who had begun to settle in. Visits to the stalls proved both informative for the audience and encouraging for the fellows who found a happy opportunity to share their stories.

Audience members visiting the various stalls
At the Magic Bus stall, the team explaining their work
The Pravah Jaipur team answering questions
Magic Bus volunteers collect signatures for their gender equality campaign
Apart from the stall presentations, the other events included a 'Nukkad Naatak' (Street Play) by the Magic Bus team and a Puppet Show by the Vishakha team. 

A glimpse from Vishakha's puppet show
The Magic Bus team enacting a scene from their nukkad naatak on gender
Pratiti Fellow and Magic Bus staffer Siddarth explaing about the theme of their play
Two women working as cab drivers, beneficiaries of the work done by Azad Foundation, shared their inspiring stories with the women and girls present, reminding them that no barrier was too high if they put their hearts and mind to overcoming it. Two senior women participants from the Smile Foundation also regaled the audience with a soulful rendition of songs calling for equality between genders. 

The melodious ladies from Smile Foundation
A prominent social worker and advocate who also served the previous Councillor for the area, Manju Sharma ji, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

Chief Guest for the day, Manju Sharma ji, gives her speech
A view from the back
The main success of the closure event lay in how it integrated a strong and unique community presence. The venue for the day was Mohan Nagar Community Hall of Nahargarh where Magic Bus has been working with children from vulnerable backgrounds for the past many years. Audience members included more than 80 plus men, women and children from the neighboring low-income communities along with heads and staff from the 5 participating organizations. 

Neetu from Vishakha encourages the audience to cheer
The event concluded with participants coming forth and sharing their respective personal stories of growth, followed by their felicitation and proud recognition as Pratiti Gender  Fellows. 

Proudly posing with their certificates
With promises made of guiding and mentoring the fellows further in their journeys towards understanding gender, we departed satisfied at the tremendous outcomes achieved in the first cycle and with the eager desire of launching the next cycle of Pratiti in Jaipur in the coming months.

---
With the successfully organized closure event, our blog on the first cycle of the Pratiti Jaipur journey now concludes! Much gratitude to all of you who supported and followed these 13 unique journeys over the past 6 months! We cannot wait to get back to Jaipur for future Pratiti cycles, to engage with many more youngsters and revel in their change stories! 
Looking forward to having you join us then! :) 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pratiti in Bhopal - The Closure Event!

 4 months. 27 fellows. 7 organizations.

The conclusion of PFP's first ever Pratiti Gender Fellowship cycle took place in Bhopal on 25th June '16 at the serene Gandhi Bhawan premises, with a celebratory event marking the day on which our cohort of diverse young individuals marked their transition into excited, confident and knowledgeable Pratiti fellows. To showcase the work done by them to the wider world and initiate a strong and sustainable conversation on gender at the same time, the closure event's format saw fellows set up stalls and present the remarkable amount of work done by them, before joining a larger audience to witness a specially organized panel discussion, conducted by distinguished persons from the MP social sector.

The day began with the fellows taking part in their last workshop of the fellowship. Many expressed gratitude on how enriching the learning journey had been for them, both at a personal and professional level, while others expressed their unhappiness at the fact that Pratiti was ending much earlier than they would have liked. Powerful experiences and stories were shared, as also hopes and desires expressed about creating a better future in which all of them would play their part. 

Post workshop, the fellows began preparations on their stalls through which they would present their stories to the general public through the 2 hour closure event planned for the evening. 

Participating in the last workshop
Prominent individuals from MP's social sector, members of the general public, organizations wishing to engage in future cycles of Pratiti and numerous media persons, all began to venture in as part of the audience at the scheduled event time of 4 pm.

Saba from Pahal making preparations for her stall
Through the stalls and direct engagements with the fellows, they were able to gain a better understanding of how Pratiti worked and the much-needed benefits it had yielded in the gender scenario of numerous communities across the state.
Shyam and Ram from Sathiya at their stall
Asha from Pioneer stands proudly at her stall
Astha and Kirti all set and ready at their stall
A glimpse of registrations from the Welcome counter
Sonu, Manohar and Niharika (R-L) explain about their work at the NIWCYD Bachpan stall
Shubham and Poonam (R-L) engage with visitors at the Eka stall
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the panel discussion event, centered around an important topic - ‘Imagining a world without gender violence – Perspectives from across communities’. Comprising of individuals known for their social initiatives in Madhya Pradesh such as Amod Khanna of Taal, Smriti Shukla of Sathiya, Rolly Shivhare of Vikas Samvad, Naki Jahan Qureshi from the Women Empowerment Department and Prarthana Mishra from the Sangini Gender Resource Centre, the panel brought out diverse and informative takes on how we can work towards a world free of gender violence.

PFP co-founder Arushi introduces the panelists for the evening
Amod ji, who brilliantly moderated the session, remarked, "What is new about Pratiti is that it;s a fellowship, not a regular training. There are now 27 new activists who are ready to act on gender. We would definitely love to follow them and see what they achieve tomorrow".

The audience listens in rapt attention as panelists narrate their gender experiences
Smriti Shukla aptly summed up the panel's message: “In a world without gender based violence, there will be no man or woman or third gender. There will just be people.”

Smriti ji from Sathiya makes a point
Renowned social workers Rolly Shivhare from Vikas Samvad and Prarthana Mishra (L-R) from Sangini on the panel
An audience member puts his views across
Panelists, fellows and the audience also repeatedly stated the need to begin by changing one’s own mindsets as gender is deeply ingrained in our daily lives.

An audience member shares his opinion
One of the fellows, Saba Khan leading an organization, Pahal mentioned how Pratiti is a unique experience as it has given her the power to see how there is discrimination on the basis of gender in everyday small activities.


Pratiti fellow Saba shares her experiences
Gracing the occasion as the honorable Chief Guest was Yogesh Choudhary, the Inspector General of Police, Bhopal Zone. In an occasionally light-hearted yet powerful speech which resonated with all present, he shed light on how even occupying a powerful role in the Goverment machinery hasn't exempted him from being exposed to the oppressive manner in which gender manifests itself in society.

Yogesh Choudhary ji, IGP Bhopal, shares gender stories from his personal and professional life
He mentioned how he considers himself as a proud father of two girls, contrary to what the rest of society expects him to believe. He shared about how many people expressed their disappointment and attempted to console him when he had his first daughter, while another high-ranking official even went to the extent of greeting the news of his second daughter's birth as a 'catastrophe'. He recollected, “I have seen my male cousins being scolded by elders including women for even picking up a child in his arms. But for me, I feel there is no bigger pleasure than spending time with my daughters and doting on them.”

The stirring Chief Guest speech was followed by a beautiful little impact session in which fellows took turns to share their personal stories of change with the audience, invoking applause and compliments for their efforts.


Poonam from Eka shares her story of change
Manohar from NIWCYD Bachpan shares his story
The program ended by felicitating the 27 young souls for their zeal and efforts and fellows also shared their personal experiences during Pratiti, showcasing how empowering young people can facilitate creation of a society that respects human rights of all.

Sunil from Synergy Sansthan is felicitated by Yogesh Choudhary ji.
The celebrations ofcourse carried on for a little longer, with a cake cutting ceremony taking the fellows by happy surprise and phone numbers and promises to stay in touch being exchanged with equal excitement! 

Cake cutting and celebrations!

The Pratiti Journey in Bhopal has been most memorable in multiple ways - think 27! Spreading our unique message of gender peace through future cycles of Pratiti remains high on the PFP agenda, and given the accomplishments of its first cohort, the fellowship promises to receive a warm welcome in Bhopal when we launch our second cycle in the months to come.


------

With the successfully organized closure event, our blog on the first cycle of the Pratiti Bhopal journey now concludes! Much gratitude to all of you who supported and followed these 27 unique journeys over the past 4 months! We cannot wait to get back to Bhopal for future Pratiti cycles, to engage with many more youngsters and revel in their change stories! Looking forward to having you join us then! :)