Teach For India Workshops | Report

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Conflict Resolution, Peace and Bullying

Date: 12 October 2018

Report:

One Future Collective conducted three sets of workshops for children from the eighth to the tenth standard at the BMC Mohili Village School in Andheri, Mumbai. The topic for the workshop was peace and conflict resolution, with a focus on bullying within the classroom, conducted in Hindi and English. The children explored ideas of peace at the personal level — what peace means to them, what it means to be peaceful within a family unit, and between friends, and at school. They also explored peace at a societal and national level. The workshop focused on three aspects: (1) emotions, their origin and their effect on us; (2) whether we can control our emotions, and what effect they have on our surroundings; and (3) whether compassion could create a less hostile environment. The children had wonderful questions, such as: ‘where do feelings come from?’ and ‘can we really stop anger the moment it comes to us?’ They shared examples of times they have felt an overwhelming emotion, and the effect of that emotion on their own self and the people around them. The children were then asked to define ‘bullying’ and think of why one resorts to bullying. One class split themselves up into groups and performed a 3 minute skit, each, on how they would overcome a situation of bullying within their class. After deciding that bullying is no good, the children created their own rules for interaction within the class: ‘be compassionate, be kind’, and ‘stand up against a bully’ or ‘tell a teacher if things get out of hand’.

Gender Sensitisation, Gender Leadership and Busting Stereotypes

Date: 16 October 2018

Report:

One Future Collective conducted three sets of workshops for children from the eighth to the tenth standard at the BMC Mohili Village School in Andheri, Mumbai. The topic for the workshop was gender sensitisation, understanding and busting gender stereotypes and inculcating the understanding and importance of gender leadership and was conducted in Hindi and English. We discussed and along with them, analysed how gender stereotypes play out at home by way of the division of labour, decision making and differences between siblings. We discussed and analysed how gender stereotypes play out at school by way of access to leadership opportunities, behavioural expectations, subjects and activities being gendered and thus marked with restrictions among others. We had the children map these stereotypes by having them perform role-plays thus throwing light at how gender stereotypes play out and how an alternate gender neutral solution is the call of the day. We asked to sum up by analysing all that they felt was gender biased in their day to day lives and how they could possibly work together (both girls and boys) to look out for each other and thus change the situations.

Mental Health

Date: 26 October 2018

Report:

One Future Collective conducted two sets of workshops for children from the seventh and the eighth standards at the BMC Mohili Village School in Andheri, Mumbai. The topic for the workshop was understanding mental health, which was conducted in a mixed language of Hindi and English. The fundamentals of what they understood about mental health, what is its importance, how mental health is not always negative and how to remain stress free was discussed in the classes. Students from both classrooms showed enthusiasm and some eagerly participated to make the sessions interactive. The workshop maneuvered to discuss why is taking care of one’s mental health crucial at every stage of time, some points to always remember in order to make oneself happy and how to identify a classmate who may be going through a tough time. The workshop was focused on learning ways to reduce stress and always designate some time for taking care of one’s mental health. The workshop ended with talking and discussing about how to become a #mentalhealthfriend?      

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The Beginning, Middle and End: A Tryst with Depression

The Not so Sanskaari Book Club Meet | Report

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‘Oh my, this book was such a breather! I so loved it!’, exclaimed one of the members. ‘I read the entire book crouched on a chair at the Crossword store. I didn’t want to take a copy home lest my mother get uncomfortable and shoot questions at me, so much for bookstores being the current cyber cafes!’ shares another. The latest Sanskaari Girls Book Club Meet happened on the 18th of November, 2018 at 91Springboard, Andheri E in Mumbai where members discussed Richa Kaul Padte’s path-breaking book on rethinking pornography Cyber Sexy.

Through Cyber Sexy, Padte took us all on an intimate tour of online sex cultures. From camgirls to fanfiction writers, homemade videos to consent violations, the book investigates what and how it is to seek pleasure online. The members had an enriching session, where they opened up about their personal experiences and encounters with pornography growing up, how their perception of the same changed over time, the grave need for sex education as a part of the school curriculum and so much more. We discussed the lack of internet accessibility in villages as a result of which there is a digital divide in the pornographic realm and how this leads to an intense lack of sex education among these communities.

Participants discussed and acquiesced to the importance of the need for feminist pornography in the context of the sexual shopping cart that the internet is today. Feminist porn is a term used by adult filmmakers from different parts of the world, who are bringing a feminist praxis to their filmmaking. Feminist porn typically has more women behind the camera, fair labour rights and contracts for sex workers, a greater diversity of bodies and sex on-screen, and an absolute commitment to consent, the implications of which have a far wider reach.

We spoke about what makes women and sex (or porn) a scandalous combination in general and more so, in India. The Indian society has not been very comfortable with sexually independent women, because our independence is viewed as a threat to male-dominated power structures. While dissecting pornography, another question that arises is whether men and women consume porn differently. The answer, Padte says, lies in consent. “Consent is missing from the porn debate. What we hear are words like ‘objectification’, ‘protection’ and ‘morality’. But what we need to hear more of is whether the people who are featured in porn have given their consent- not only to the sex but to the filming, uploading and sharing of said content,” Kaul says. In a way, Kaul-Padte believes feminist porn takes care of this, but promoting the importance of consent is the need of the hour. “Stop making porn debates about morality and start making them about consent,” she urges. The members of the club spent around 2 hours sharing experiences, opinions, analysing cultures and practices and even brainstorming palpable solutions within the purview of social development and research.

My personal favourite takeaway line from this non-fictional piece of work is, “Porn opened my mind to a diversity of desire.” A truly intersectional and liberating endeavour, Padte successfully grapples with the various nuances and challenges of setting such a book within the Indian context, and how!

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Queer Infocus | July 2020

The Beginning, Middle and End: A Tryst with Depression

Why Child Care Leaves Are Just Another Brick in the Proverbial Patriarchal Wall

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In the Monsoon Session of the Parliament last year, Mr. Rajeev Satav pushed for the unconventional. A Member of Parliament from Hingoli, Maharashtra, Mr. Satav sought to introduce the Paternity Benefit Bill, 2017, which aimed to ensure gender equality in terms of child care. The Bill was to complement the Maternity Benefit Act, 2016 by filling in the gaps in the latter, and promoting inclusive child care. Mr. Satav had initially observed that the lack of paternal child care leaves reflected the stereotype that child rearing was the woman’s chore to handle. The push for legislating paternity leaves came from a growing consciousness of gender equal parenting which provides a much more holistic upbringing for the child. With private companies opening up to the possibility of longer paternal leaves, the state took the initiative to ensure parental leaves across organized and unorganized sectors. Continue reading “Why Child Care Leaves Are Just Another Brick in the Proverbial Patriarchal Wall”

We’re updating our website!

Queer Infocus | July 2020

The Beginning, Middle and End: A Tryst with Depression