Report submitted by Lokesh Kalal,                                                                                       

Two days workshop on “Diversity and pluralism in India locating work of peace centers”:

CSSS has organized two days workshop on the “pluralism and coexistence in India” in St Pius college, Mumbai. Five team members of four peace centers have participated in this two days workshop. Irfan Engineer and Neha Dabhade facilitated the sessions. Irfan Engineer welcomed all participants from peace centers and discussed two days agenda of meeting because there was slight change in schedule that session on nationalism was added. Presentations went on the Planning and work done by the peace centers and what are the threats of the fundamentalist organizations and how to encounter them. Peace centers and CSSS both discussed about their future planning and aims and decided to work collaboratively and bridging the gaps identified. Irfan Engineer has discussed the beginning of Nationalism and threats of it. Neha Dabhade and Rachel made percentage chart of activities being done by peace centers.

Film Screening of “Mumbai Meri Jan” and discussion:

Peace center Ghati has organized screening of Mumbai in Ghati peace center with 20 young peace makers of nearby villages. Main motto was to bring surety that young people can understand and accept diversity and plurality as some opponents of society trying to divide communities on the behalf of ones religious and cultural practices. Mumbai Meri Jan is a bollywood feature film based on the effects of terrorist attack in five different people’s stories of Mumbai who are surrounded by prejudices, dreamy judgment and negative attitude towards other communities based on both religious and class. Naresh, a team member of peace center, briefly introduced youth about the film and suggested them to watch film sensitively as we will discus about it. Afterwards discussion held on the film’s story and moments when actor have refused or aware of their negative attitude towards other community.  Mohit concludes whole movie in one scene that “As we saw in movie how a Hindu man who has doubt of terrorist attack on a Muslim boy got cleared in end when police caught real accused, same here we do not have to be judgmental on any other community people just on the behalf of rumors.” Some other youth have given their opinions and experiences of real life when they have witnessed such incidents in their life.

Study Circle on Saffronization of Educational institutions in India :

 Peace center has organized study circle in Ghati peace center with 20 young peace makers. Main issue of discussion was Saffronization of educational institution and discrimination with tribal students in schools and colleges in Rajasthan. Team members of peace center Naresh, Mohan, Mohit, Rakesh and Praveen have led the discussion on these issues in meeting. They have discussed last one year cases of discriminations, eve teasing and rape of tribals. Praveen mentioned “In any educational institution of Kherwara block you will not find any tribal student seating on first/starting benches and they are being pressurized to seat on the last benches. Along with this issue rape case of one tribal girl in Adiwali tribal hostel is also discussed that how public representative and politicians tried to disclose this case but some organizations not let them done this. Priya form Ghati shared her opinion that we have to fight this all issues by ourselves and we have to take start by sitting on first benches in schools. She said that we also are partial responsible for any discrimination happen with us by not raising our voice against it. Each study circle held with upon issues and discussed steps to prevent them.

YOUTH PARLIAMENT REPORT

March 19, 2016

Aim: To conduct the first ever Youth Parliament on Gender Based Issues in India and develop young leaders and change makers on this social cause.

Date: The youth parliament was conducted at Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University Campus on March 19, 2016.

Target Population:  200 youth participants attended the Youth Parliament on Gender Issues. The participants came from different districts of Rajasthan including both rural and urban areas.

Objectives

  1. Visible connect among the urban and rural youths on the social causes as change maker
  2. Gender sensitization and awareness amongst the youth.
  3. Broadening the perspectives of the youth via exposure through cultural and academic media.
  4. Understanding the laws and policies and its dynamic nature (Including the implementation spheres)
  5. Promoting the analysis of the laws, policies and provisions of the state from view point of vulnerable and excluded groups including women and youths.
  6. Sensitize young college students on the issues of declining sex ratio, sexual harassment at work place, early and child marriage, eve teasing and Masculinity.

Panel of Experts

The panel of experts included Mr. Kailash ji (the Executive Director of Jatan Sansthan), Ms. Priyanka Singh ji (Chief Executive Officer of Seva Mandir), and Mr. Bharat ji (the Secretary of Vishaka Sansthan) and Ms. Preeta Bhargav (the Police Superintend of Udaipur).

Themes focused on Gender Issues

There were 30 students who were selected to present their research paper on the different themes of Gender. The students came from various disciplines such as Law, Management, and Social Work etc. from Mohan Lal Sukhadiya University, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, Central University Rajasthan, Jain Bharti University Ladnun and SBP College Dungarpur.

Following were the themes which were focused on Gender Issues:

  1. Early and Child Marriage
  2. Eve Teasing
  3. Sexual Harassment at Work Place
  4. Masculinity
  5. Declining Sex ratio

Students coming from both rural and urban areas have presented their research findings explaining the cause, consequences, suggestions and recommendations to the government to guide them on the policy making around gender issues. The Parliament focused on creating a Youth Charter which consists of the action points recommended by the young people to tell the government that it is the time for young people to enter in the administration. The participation of young people and their

Opinions in the policy and decision making is highly needed for the development of the nation. The discussion helped in bridging the gap between the youth and the government and also aimed at developing gender advocates in the community. The panel of experts at the end also put down the views on all different themes and had an effective discussion with all students and the audience. The experts also highlighted the existing mechanism and structure around all issues and what are the gaps and challenges. The discussion between the Students, Panel of experts and the audience had led to the development of the Youth Charter which will be submitted to the state government officials and representatives.

Formulation of Youth Charter

Here are the points which will be going into the final youth charter:

  1. There should be programs on creating awareness about the women empowerment
  2. The definition of ‘’Education’’ is needed to be revised and emphasis should be on the quality of education being provided in the schools
  3. The research/documentation should be considered as part of the education system and not just as an extracurricular activity
  4. Youth resource centre should be established in the rural and urban areas to create an open and safe space for dialogue and discussions
  5. The youth should be provided with platforms and opportunities to share their opinions and views whenever any planning/policy making is done by the government
  6. The institutes/colleges should have a gender friendly environment
  7. The participation of young people should be increased at the Panchayat level, in the policy and decision making
  8. Media should be sensitized and trained on the gender based issues
  9. The women should be certified with respect at all levels from village to the district which will help in empowering them
  10. There is a need to revise the education curriculum from the gender diversity lens (e.g. changing gender stereotypes, images and stories)
  11. To sensitize the government officials and representatives on gender issues and to tell them about the societal change
  12. The application/registration forms should clearly indicate all type of sex/gender in order to give equal opportunities to everyone
  13. There should be a Youth Policy in the state of Rajasthan
  14. The counselling centres should be established in every college/institutes to counsel students around gender issues
  15. There should be a Sexual Harassment Committee in every university/college which will be responsible to create safe, friendly and empowering spaces for girls and young women

The youth charter with the proper follow up and evaluation techniques will be submitted to the state government officials very soon.