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! :)