Friday, February 3, 2023

A Teenager's perspective and reflection during one of our session on Gender. 

Friends, on the 20th of January 2023, we had our third session on Gender. As usual the session started on a great and enthusiastic note with a poem titled, “Mujhe Kab Tak Rokegay?”. 

Upon listening to the lines in the poem, each one of us attending the session were filled with a different feeling, one that is encouraging with a new sense of hope and positivity. Everyone could relate to the poem and it made us all emotional. It opened up thoughts from their pasts in some of the participants, while some could recall how they faced several taunting remarks from the society in their quest for coming out of their shell. In all this ocean of thoughts exchanges, I was also able to relate my own life experiences with it, particularly the taunts like all other Edu-leaders. In that particular moment, I also came to realize that not only girls but even boys suffer in our society where their dreams are crushed and forced to live with the society’s expectations. 

Being a girl myself, I was however only empathizing with them from how I see things from a girl’s perspective, like I understand for certain that when a girl manages to somehow step outside her home, she has done so only after braving a series of taunts, obstacles and challenges.

Satrangi Ladkiyan”, a video was shown in the session and the new Edu-leaders were asked to share how they would describe themselves after watching the video. 

Someone shared that they are of shy natured, while others like Nibha didi said she is calm. Dulari shared how some of the Edu-leaders are calm and composed by nature, some loved getting groomed while others are outgoing and playful, Kajal didi described herself as a simple being. Towards the end, it was concluded that every girl is of different nature and it is impossible to categorize them all under one particular personality type and expect them to behave in a particular manner.

It is only that society has been conditioning girls to behave in one certain way but it should not be so as every individual is special, different and unique and would behave accordingly. 

On this note, the Edu-leaders were asked to share if there were certain things that they couldn’t/wouldn’t do prior to joining the fellowship due to fear of the society but now they are able to do? 

Many responded wherein many things came to the fore like the Edu-leaders’ sharing how they are now able to take their own decisions, venture out on their own, meeting and talking to people in their community and outside with a whole lot of confidence and a rise in self esteem, wearing clothes of their own choices and so on!

Afterwards, we tried connecting these thoughts to the previous session where we had asked the Edu-leaders to share about a challenge in their personal lives that they are unable to overcome but they wish to change it. On this, came a very surprising and pleasant sharing, one by Prerna Didi who said, “ I wish to stay with my friend and study further but this isn’t going to happen.” 

To this, I said - “Think about what you can possibly do to achieve this and whose help do you need?”  Prerna didi devised a plan and immediately came up with it. 

Upon doing this activity, a realization also drawn unto me that there is really nothing that is impossible to achieve and change in this world. It is just a matter of time and for that we need to bring upon a change in our “attitude” about how we see things and to adopt discipline, work hard to achieve that dream and keep reminding ourselves how important it is for us to bring that change and whether you are doing it or not!  After this, you will notice that your whole world can change with one effort of yours.”

Taniya Parveen, our executive buddy - a graduated Edu-leader from our first fellowship batch shares her reflection attending a session on Gender for the ongoing 10th Batch of the i-Saksham Edu-leader fellowship in Begusarai, Bihar.

Translated and Edited by Namrata Sharma

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