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Mona, Purvi and Radhika have been working in Kathputli Colony in Delhi, a slum community of national award winning artists, to engage young people in challenging gender issues there; as part of Mona’s project with Changelooms With.in, a leadership journey run by Pravah, Commutiny and PACS. Read Purvi’s reflection from the closure event there-

Walking down the lanes of Kathputli colony, there was slight heaviness in my heart.  I could witness numerous emotions pouring with each changing moment. With time I had grown fondness with the people of Kathputli colony. In between oceans of thoughts,IMG_20150819_150329044 I clearly knew that ‘the closure workshop is not going to be that easy!’ The co-creation of Closure event included long discussions, brainstorming, meeting at random places and finally settling for a much simpler version of engagement as compared to our previous workshops (Though that simple version actually turned out to be very emotional experience). I reached the venue one hour before the designated time, tried to settle down- lot of memory flashes!!

So the workshop started with a round of introduction and the expectations from the workshop. Interestingly, I invited the person who got us projector to join in and to my surprise he agreed too. This was followed by whacky energizer, initially I couldn’t understand it. But once we got the point, it was IMG_20150819_151518414a riot, participants were actually “super energized”. Generally facilitator is the one who set the ground rules for the workshop after taking agreement with the participants. Against this traditional practice, the participants were asked to frame the ground rules and call for agreement. Most of them remembered the ground rules that were followed in previous workshops. This was -followed by sharing on a very open ended question “What are the things we are struggling and growing in life now?” The participants could freely share what they are going through in their life right now. By this time, I was trying to sink in all that was happening around me.

Story telling has been one of the most effective and interesting tool in terms of connecting with the people and the space. Giving full attention and 100% listening to my partner’s story brought me more in the present. Interestingly, we both had relatively same opinion about reserved seats in metro. With the logic I gave, he could understand a girl’s perspective on the same.

Reflecting and exploring, as to how and in what ways the 3 mIMG_20150819_151958onth engagement with the youth of Kathputli colony around self, gender and gender based violence got imbibed in their daily life was crucial. It was over whelming to see that participants could give examples from their daily life that showed the change in attitude towards Gender. They could clearly differentiate between what is an observation and judgment! Also being sensitive to genders other than males and females was a major outcome.

This was followed by screening of a beautiful film on our engagement with the youth of Kathputli colony. It was so over whelming and emotional to watch the film. I couldn’t imagine that we have come such a long way as a team; it was struggle some, yet fruitful.

There was lot ofIMG_20150819_150422985 happiness with tinge of sadness that this was closure to the most beautiful journey we all had together. The terms gender, gender based violence and non violent communication that were alien some days back were so well understood and inculcated in day to day life surprised me. The connection and the love betweenthe participants made me wonder about the meaning of beginning and the closure? Is this closure a sign of new beginning! Or does the closure actually exist 🙂


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