Capacity Building Workshop for Naka Leaders: Ashwini L

Date: 17 December 2018

This month YUVA planned capacity building workshop for domestic as well as Naka leaders on Gender Justice. Two weeks ago they already held workshop for domestic workers and today they organized workshop for Naka workers. There were 30 Naka leaders were present for workshop. They represented the different naka from Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Turbhe, Belapur, Mankhurd, Nerul Naka leaders from Navi Mumbai and few from Ambujwadi, Malad center. With that center coordinator 9 Naka leaders were present for that workshop. Resource person was same like the last Domestic workers workshop, Deepa Pawar.

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The workshop was conducted by Deepa Pawar. She has a Masters in Social Work. She has been working with deprived youth since she was 14. She has an experience of almost 18 years in the field, Deepa has worked with youth, women, communities, NGOs, colleges, as well as local and state governments on the issues of gender, health, rights, community development and sanitation among others. She works as a trainer with adolescents, youth, NGO workers, government officials, teachers, health workers on gender, leadership, democracy, health, sexuality, violence, mentoring, advocacy, community development and movement-building. She is a core team member of the Right to Pee campaign in Mumbai for safe, accessible, affordable public toilets for women and girls. She is the founder president of Anubhuti, a feminist organization working to build socio-political leadership of youth towards a more just, equitable and democratic society.

Mr. Raju started the workshop, he welcome all and told the participants about the resource person. He introduce her with her work and also told them about upcoming two or two and half hour session with her. It is difficult as a men to listen a women, everyone laughed and then he hand over to Deepa. Then workshop started with everyone’s introduction. She ask everyone to tell their name and where they come from. Everyone told their full name and place.

Deepa raised question, who gave you birth? Who had take care of you? Obviously answer was mother but we never gave her honor. She protect our family in good as well as in bad times, she worked for home 24 hr. but we never put her name of house nameplate. Why so? No one can answered. Everyone realise the thing but they have question what can we do now? They only have their father name on every documents. Then she started her workshop with first activity, She asked them around 10 questions like Do you know any singer, sportsperson, social worker, film director, political leader? She asked if anyone was aware about any people’s movement or any legal provisions? Though the questions were gender neutral in nature. The answers given by the both groups were male names. And with these answers Deepa started her workshop, she told them that these are the true reflection of our society. Our patriarchal system only highlighted the importance of men and put women under societal pressure. Do you know any Singer? Why answers were not Lata Mangeshkar or any female singer. Deepa raised questions and no one could answered. Then after she started second activity, she wrote on board with bold letters WOMEN and asked everyone tell her the first word came in their mind. The word list start from the mother, sister, inspiration, ghar ki laxmi, homemaker, beat up, helpful, partner in good and bad time, money saver and so on. Then she wrote the word MEN and asked same question. The list start with the word friend, addictive, fighter, pillar of home, thief, labour, protector, father, Mard ko kabhi dard nahi hota and so on. She asked everyone is there similarity in the both columns. The answers were yes. Women should be brave, protector and fearless and also men can be lovable, affective, emotional and beautiful too she said. All were fully agreed with her and she succeeded to take all the men on right track. Then she asked who cried in last two months, no one raised their hand. Then she asked, you don’t have emotion? They agreed they have emotions but as a they grown in society Mard ko Dard nahi hota, Mard hokar rota hai, like this societal conservative thoughts. Every time we teach boys to do not cry rather we have to teach them do not cry to other.

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Then Deepa came on body politics, here body politics different for men’s workshop. How every person saw to every women. Like men, women also want to stand on road and chat with her friends, she wants live her life freely as every man live. She want to laugh loudly, roam around in night too with no fear. But she cannot do this because we as a society not allow her. Which society? Every woman had fear of society or family members and family members are father, elder brother, husband all are representative of patriarchal society. Women never laugh loudly because our patriarchal society’s ears never listen her loud laugh and voice. We always teach our daughter that not go outside in nights because there is possibilities of rape on her but we never teach our son to do not rape any girl or women because it is inhumanitarian. Women never go outside in nights because there is fear of abuse, harassment and rape but who did this. Why Nirbhaya Case happened in Delhi on that time she was with one boy but as a society we failed to protect her, we failed to protect our mother, sister, wife and daughter. Making her strong we make this things stronger to hide her in home with varies useless traditions. We never asked her opinion about anything. Deepa asked everyone had you asked your wife what was her dream before marriage, they all were silent. Everyone never thought like that why we asked her, there is no need to ask her.

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Deepa shared her one experience with us, once she took same workshop for women and asked about which was the dream was not fulfilled because of marriage. Women not speaks openly then she gave everyone one paper and on that she tells them to write. And she surprised by their answers, one woman wrote she want to drive a truck, one wrote she want to wear shirt pant like her father and brother, one wrote she want to saw a Amitabh Bachchan’s movie in theater. Such answers shocked her, in this burden of marriage, how many dreams have been throttled. These are the simple things for men but women cannot think about that live that but as a society we erase her existence. When any girl reject someone, he destroy her beauty with acid attack. With this example she try to explain Talk with your own body. If some women did the same thing with men then how he feels. Like that how many men asks his wife when they had sex. Always men assume her assurance. How many time he asked or how many of you asked, Deepa raised question and silence gave the answer. After that she start one more activity. She called five men for that activity. She told him to go out and write five words on each sheet. Then told me that paste each sticker on everyone’s back send inside one by one. When that person came inside that person don’t know about it but other had to call them with similar names. Remaining present members called that person with different names and that person has to identify the name which was paste at his back. The similar words of that names were abusive. That person have to feel that role and after that he has to tell others how he feels. The five words are widow, prostitute, scavenger women, premarital mother and barren women. Other participant men well understand the activity and when they know the standing person was their friend they annoy them, curse them.

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One by one Deepa asked them their experience. First men was very clever, when she told them to feel the role and tell. His answers like it is does not affect him, he never listen the words carefully and he sweep it, he was the only exception rest were feel the pain. When they explain their feeling they said that for a while it is very difficult to listen that words. When I curse any women then I did not understand what she feels but because of this activity now I got to know how it feels. One said he felt like he lost his whole respect. Then she asked what is meant by it, it’s just a name or it does exist? It is just like an image created in front of society. On this notes she end her session.

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