Friday, 17 November 2017

Child sexual abuse: Knowing it, fighting it and eliminating it!

Didi, I saw in the park that a boy was walking behind a girl, then he hit her behind her back, then he started walking beside her and forcing himself on her. She was trying to shout for help, but he was constantly threatening her. She didn’t stop and then people helped her. I know she had suffered a lot before too says a 12 years old participant.

The sixth and most crucial workshop “Child sexual abuse” with participants from Govt. school Dwarka was organized just after the session on ‘gender’. By this session, the participants are getting comfortable with body changes, the attraction they feel towards other sex, peer pressure, their own body and most importantly they understand the gender stereotypes around both girls and boys hence this is the right time to talk about abuse and violence that children face in form of child sexual abuse.

The session began with screening of the video “Komal” by Child line followed by detailed discussion on child sexual abuse and hinting of POCSO act. 

“Didi, I have seen something like this in serials like Savdhaan India, crime petrol”

“Gumrah the one that comes on Channel V also showed something like this”

We then invited the participants to share any incident/ experience of child sexual abuse that might have happened to them or they might have seen.
“I saw a woman being molested by group of boys, she seemed scared”

“A boy was harassed and molested by group of boys”

“Lot of such incidents happen near and inside the park where lot of people come, I have seen a girl being molested by a man”

It took a while for the participants to share their stories, however one person opening up gave strength to other and the chain followed. We could actually see few more faces who wanted to share but something was stopping them, however they seemed relieved hearing constantly that “it’s not your fault”, “you don’t deserve this” “We are there with you”

One of the major objective of the workshop on “Child sexual abuse” is to aware the participants about it, along with this the other most crucial step is to build their capacity to challenge CSA which involves engaging with “Safety action plan”. This is detailed workbook filled with pictures, stories, safety rules- good touch, bad touch, what to do when someone tries to touch inappropriately. It was really interesting and motivating to see that they were actually saying things aloud in synchronicity- each step was building in a way that they were ready to challenge gender based violence, along with the awareness that if nobody can touch them inappropriately, they too shouldn’t be engaging in touching or violating other people’s space and body.

It was an intense and overwhelming experience to be sitting in the circle sharing and hearing what children of age 11-14 years old witness and experience around them in form of violence.

Gender: What does it means to be a 'BOY'?

“We are two brothers and 3 sisters, both of us go to school however my parents don’t send my sisters to school. I always wondered why?”

As part of our ongoing intervention in the Government all boys’ school, Dwarka, the fifth session was based on Gender. It’s been an interesting journey with 30 boys because right from the second session, be it body changes during puberty, peer pressure, sex etc ; gender had always dominated the conversations hence I was really excited to see how the session on gender turns out to be! 

The workshop began with the energizer “Sword and shield” where in the boys actively and joyfully participated, this was followed by a quick revision of last four sessions, introduction of what will happen in next two hours and the agreements. In the next activity, all the three facilitators shared their personal story based on the gender.

“Being a boy, I always had the pressure to stand on my feet and earn good money. Once a boy is 24-25 years, he has to earn come what may be the situation and this is followed by extreme pressure to get married. I don’t want to get married however my parents insisted on seeing a girl for marriage”

“Being a girl, my parents are always worried about my where about? I am always told to come home early, not roam around late in the evening”

Following this, the participants were divided into three groups where-in they were invited to share “3 key messages they have received because they are boys”

“You need to study hard so that you can become something in life”

“Friends always say that you should have a girlfriend because you are a boy”

“I am always taunted for my height”

“As I am growing up, my parents don’t allow me to play with girls because the people around me will judge”

“Only boys can play cricket”

“If any boy plays badminton, then they are called girls”

“Don’t stay in home as girls”

“5 years back, when I used to play with girls, my friends used to tell me not to play with them because boys should play with boys”

“In the village, it’s me who is always sent to market. In case I am not in the home, my mother will never send sister to the market, they will wait for me and once I am home I would be sent to the market”

“My mother say may be I won’t get to eat in a day, but I will make sure that you study so that you could become something in your life”

“Once I sat on the ladies seat in a bus, I didn’t know anything. One uncle came to me and said that boys can’t sit on ladies seat”

“In the home, girls are told to wear veil and remain inside”

This was followed by the game of Chinese whispers; hilariously the facilitator whispered 2 lines in the ears of the first participant and the last person said just one word “NO”, following this a gender story was co-created from the times of ancient man to the current society that we live in. The facilitator then explained the concept and meaning of gender taking insights from the gender story and the chinese whispers. 

Once the definition of gender was established, the participants were again divided into 3 groups where in each group has to share the ‘difference between boy and girls in different spaces namely home, school and public places’.

“The girls are not allowed to go outside the home”

“In the home, all the things are first given to the male members then to the women and girls”

“Only sister and mother cook food in the home”

“Most of the household work is done by my sister”

“We are always told to be with sister, to guard them and not to leave them alone”

“When a girl goes outside their home, their brothers are also sent along with them”

“Girls are not given mobile phones”

“Boys are given more money”

“Girls are told to speak softly and little”

“Girls can’t wear clothes of their choice”

“Girls are given less food, else they will grow fat”

“Girls are not given anything that is sour or tangy to eat”

Public spaces-
‘Girls have seats reserved in metro and buses”

“Boys can play whatever they want to, till whatever time they want to, however that is not the case with girls”

“Most of the shops have male person to manage the shop”

“In the playgrounds and parks, mostly boys are seen”


Now this school is an all boys school, hence they twisted the question in a different way. The participants discussed as to why girls have school in the morning and why boys come in afternoon.
“Girls get up early in the morning, boys are lazy they get up late in the morning”

“Girls have to do household work after the school”

“They can’t stay late in the evening, because they might get kidnapped or something wrong might happen to them”

“In this school, we have all male teachers and only one female staff”

Apart from this,

“The boys are scolded or beaten more by teachers than girls”

“if both boys and girls study together, then the boys will eve tease them , harass them like yesterday few girls were giving examination in the class, all the boys hovered around to see them, every one was staring at them”

“There are more girls in a class room because they are enthusiastic and they love studying unlike boys”

“My parents, teachers, neighbors everyone tells me to stay away from the girls, don’t study with them, mingle with them because something wrong will happen”

I was astonished to see how gender is taking up its roots in the lives of adolescents. In the same group, one boy said, “If a girl complains then everyone listens to them.”

“But, the girls very rarely complains, so when they say people believe them because it takes lot of courage for a girl to speak up” I said.
“You are right didi, boys complain on every small thing so they are not always taken seriously”

“In case of eve teasing, girls don’t complain because they are scared of the culprits, their family as to how they will think about her and also people talk nonsense about her” I said
“Do you think if a girl is raped or beaten, it’s her fault?” I inquired

One boy promptly replied, “Didi, how can it be her fault? She is being harassed but everyone thinks it’s her fault because she is girl, family worries about their respect nobody thinks about their daughter. People say that she might have done something that’s why she has been raped. But I don’t agree”

Another boy, “If I ever see anyone harassing a girl, I will raise my voice and help her”

Another interesting conversation happened on movies, how boys and girls are projected in the Bollywood movie.
“Mostly it’s the male who are heroes, but there are films where girls are in action like phool bane angare, Mumbai ki kiran bedi, Mardani etc”

The session turned out to be fantastic with so many insights. I was really glad to watch the young boys having mature conversations around gender which just made my day J

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

मुखारी गांव की महिलाओं के साथ यौनिकता पर बातचीत

फिल्म डियर जिंदगी मुझे बेहद पसंद है, उसके कई डायलॉग मेरे फेवरेट है, जिनमें से एक था क्यों हम आसान रास्ता नहीं चुनते। मैं और मोना अपना काम करते समय अक्सर सोच में पड़ जाते है, कि हां भई हम आसान रास्ता क्यों नहीं चुनते, क्या हमें लगता है कि आसान रास्ते से काम नहीं बनेगा। बागपत में साहस का दूसरा कार्यक्रम पूरे जोरो-शोरो से चल रहा है, यकीन मानिए हमने कभी सोचा नहीं था कि हमें दिल्ली से बाहर काम करने का मौका मिलेगा वो भी इतनी जल्दी। 

द्वारका से बागपत जाने के लिए हम 4 मेट्रो बदलते है और फिर मेट्रो स्टेशन से बागपत के लिए गाड़ी आती है जिसमें तकरीबन डेढ़ घंटा लगता है, इसके बाद करीब एक घंटे की दूरी पर पिलाना ब्लॉक है जहां हम इस बार 60 महिलाओं के साथ जेंडर, यौनिकता और नारीवादी कार्यक्रम आयोजित कर रहे हैं। दोपहर का सत्र पिलाना ब्लॉक से तकरीबन 10 किलोमीटर दूरी पर स्थित मुखारी गांव में होता है क्योंकि यहां के समूह की महिलाओं के लिए पिलाना ब्लॉक तक आना आसान नहीं है, ऐसे में हमने सोचा कि अगर वो नहीं आ सकती तो क्या हुआ हम तो उन तक पहुंच सकते हैं, शायद इसी को इनक्लूशन कहते हैं। पर एक बात तो है कि यहां तक पहुंचते पहुंचते हमारी आसान रास्ते वाली थ्योरी धराशाई हो जाती है।

मैं जब न्यूज़ चैनल में काम करती थी तो दूसरे पत्रकारों की तरह मैं भी काफी रंग बिरंगी भाषा का इस्तेमाल करती थी, जैसे सड़क में गड्ढे के लिए- ‘पता नहीं चलता कि सड़क में गड्ढे हैं या गड्ढों में सड़क लेकिन हकीकत की दुनिया और न्यूज़ चैनल की दुनिया में ज़मीन आसमान का फर्क होता है क्योंकि गांवों के बीच की सड़क तो ठीक-ठाक है, लेकिन दिल्ली से बागपत तक जाने वाले रास्ते में बहुत निर्माण का काम चल रहा है, हर जगह टूट फूट है, गड्ढे ही गड्ढे दिखाई देते हैं, जहां सड़क हैं वहां जाम की भरमार है। बागपत से गांव तक का रास्ता जाने के लिए गाड़ी उछल उछलकर जाती है, सच बोले तो शरीर की एक एक हड्डी जवाब देने लगती है।

पर एक बात है जो हमें यहां आने के लिए प्रोत्साहित करती है वो हैं समूह की महिलाएं, इनके चेहरे की चमक, सीखने की ललक और अपने आप को मज़बूत बनाने की इच्छा। इस बार का सत्र यौनिकता पर आधारित रहा। लेकिन जैसे ही हम मुखारी गांव पहुंचे तो देखा कि हॉल की जगह एक घर का चबूतरा था, जो तीन तरफ से बंद था लेकिन सामने से खुला हुआ था यानि कोई भी कभी भी आ सकता था, और यहां क्या हो रहा है बाहर से आराम से देखा जा सकता है। 

मैं काफी असमंजस में थी कि क्या मैं महिलाओं के साथ यौनिकता पर चर्चा कर पाऊंगी, खुलकर सारी बातें उनके सामने रख पाउंगी, और हां क्या महिलाएं खुले में यौनिकता और निजी अनुभवों को शेयर करने में सहज हो पाएंगी क्योंकि एक बंद कमरे में सुरक्षित जगह बनाना आसान होता है, महिलाएं गतिविधियों में खुलकर भाग ले पाती है और एक अहम बात ये भी थी कि जब भी मैंने किसी कार्यशाला में भाग लिया है और डेढ़ साल से मैं जब भी कार्यशाला आयोजित करती हूं तो वो बंद कमरे में ही होती है। 

फिर महिलाओं की तरफ देखा और मन में सोचा हटाओ यार! बंद कमरे में कभी भी आज़ादी की इबारत नहीं लिखी जाती है, और समय आ गया है जिंदगी के एक और ढांचे को तोड़ने का। और सुरक्षित जगह सिर्फ बंद कमरे से नहीं बनती, बल्कि विचारों, नियत और सोच से बनती है जो सभी मेरे पास हैं, इसलिए बिना हिचकिचाए मैंने सत्र की शुरुआत ढाल और तलवार के खेल से की। मेरे पूर्वानुमानों की धज्जियां उड़ाते हुए महिलाओं ने खुलकर खेल खेला, वो हंस रही थी, भाग रही थी मानो उन्हें ये दो घंटे पूरी तरह जीने हो!

इसके बाद महिलाओं को 5-5 के समूह में बांटा गया और उन्हें सांप सीड़ी के खेल के लिए आमंत्रित किया गया। सुबह के सत्र की तरह इस सत्र में भी महिलाओं के साथ 2-3 किशोरियां थी जिन्होंने खेल को न सिर्फ खेला बल्कि उसके पीछे के मुद्दे को लेकर भी समझ बनाई। सांप और सीड़ी पर लिखे संदेशों को पढ़ने के साथ साथ उन्होंने इससे जुड़े अपने निजी अनुभवों को बांटा।

इसके बाद महिलाओं को 4 अलग अलग समूहों में बांटकर बॉडी मैपिंग करने के लिए आमंत्रित किया। ध्यान देने की बात ये है कि ये महिलाएं ज्यादा पढ़ी लिखी नहीं है बावजूद इसके सभी ने एक दसरे की मदद करते हुए गतिविधि में भाग लिया, चाहे वो महिला का चुनाव करना हो, रेखा खींचनी हो, अंगों के नाम लिखना हो, या इन अंगों को विभाजित करना हो- आनंद, ताकत, शर्म और दर्द।

बड़े बुज़ुर्गों के सामने ये सब बातें हम कैसे कर सकते हैं?”

अरे तुम लोग बात कर पाओ इसलिए तो मैं अपने निजी बातें बांट रही हूं, और यहां बात नहीं करोगे तो फिर कहां करोगे

मैंने तो अपने पति को संबंध बनाने के लिए मना करा कितनी बार, लेकिन वो सुनता ही नहीं। किसान है, दिन भर कमर तोड़कर काम करने के बाद उन्हें यही सूझता है और मना कर दो तो बस शायमत आ गई। लेकिन ऐसा शहर में तो होता नहीं होगा

इसकी तो जबरदस्ती शादी हुई है, ये तो शादी करना ही नहीं चाहती थी, तो हां फिर संबंध बनाने का मन कहां करेगा

मुझे लगता है कि आप तो कह रही है वो सही है बिना सहमति के संबंध बनाने में कोई आनंद नहीं आता बल्कि गुस्सा आती है, लगता है कि उसको पीट दूं मेरा शरीर है, जब उसका मन करता है वो इस्तेमाल करता है, ये कहां की बात हुई

हमें बेटियों के साथ साथ बेटों को भी ये बात समझानी होगी, पर ये बात करना बहुत मुश्किल है, लड़के तो सुनते ही नहीं. समझेंगे कैसे

आखिरी गतिविधि में खुलकर सेक्स, शरीर, यौनांगों, सहमति और इच्छाओं पर बातचीत हुई, जिसका नतीजा ये निकला कि महिलाओं ने खुद कहा कि हां उन्हें अपनी शारीरिक जरुरतों के बारे में बातचीत करना चाहिए, इससे बेहतर बात और क्या हो सकती है। खैर मुझे यहां वर्कशॉप करते हुए अपने गांव की याद आ गई और लगा कि जरुर एक दिन मैं अपने गांव की महिलाओं और पुरुषों के साथ जेंडर और यौनिकता के मुद्दे पर जरुर बात करूंगी :-)