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Rang Shaala

Campaign by Rang Karwan Foundation

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Story

According to NFHS-5, in Uttarakhand, only 27% of all women aged 15-49 were employed in the 12 months preceding the survey. Also, 22% of women agree that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under some circumstances. Only 15% of women aged 18-49 who have ever experienced physical or sexual violence sought help, while 10% never sought help but told someone and more than three-quarters (75%) never sought help and never told anyone.

While working on MHH with women and girls in Champawat, we have seen that

  1. The women in rural Uttarakhand are still ostracized during menstruation and the myths among menstruators are quite high
  2. There is a clear lack of understanding about gender roles and it is generational oppression.

This data doesn’t only show the systemic and institutional nature of gender-based oppression but also that it's highly internalised by girls and women, especially in rural areas. The educational institutions lack the kind of curriculum that resists these systemic and ideological oppressions, especially for girls who are not even able to reach these conventional educational spaces. Not even the basic life skills and socio-emotional skills have been able to become a part of our regular K-12 curriculum despite seeing the heavy impact of its absence on adolescents and young adults.

Keeping in mind the contextual realities of the region, to begin our work with the adolescents here, we need to come up with a 3-5 year model where we move from stage to stage. We would begin by working on socio-emotional learning (SEL) to build the base work and open up the possibility that is needed to go deeper into the dialogue about gender and mental well-being leading it to become a 3 year long Comprehensive Sexuality Education program.

We aim to address the above issues in Champawat by designing a 3-year program. Apart from building basic career skills, we will slowly work through layers and build a larger understanding of gender, gender-based violence, rights, sexuality, social identity and the politics around all of it. To do this, we will mobilise young fellows who are passionate, sensitive and curious to build a deeper understanding of gender and sexuality issues and are ready to work in rural communities. For the next 6-7 months, we will be training these fellows through an immersive and experiential process and a part of their training will be to conduct the curricula, and create an applied theatre-based comprehensive Gender and SEL module by engaging with girls in government schools of Champawat.

Objectives of the program:

  1. To create local leaders, skill and capacity building of 6 young women from Champawat district in arts-based facilitation as an educator and training in gender and life skills and provide livelihood during the project
  2. To train more than 1500 girls (6th-12th standard) studying in GGICs (Government girls inter-colleges) of Champawat district around gender-sensitive socio-emotional learning
  3. To work with teachers in the above-mentioned schools and provide tools to work on their emotional and mental well-being
  4. To create an applied-theatre and arts-based contextual Comprehensive Life Skills curriculum for the mountainous regions of Uttarakhand by the end of this academic year

Our work in Schools also hinges on the need to create ‘safe spaces’ where adolescents and adults can express themselves, acknowledge their fears and establish a peer community for a sustainable support system.

We believe that emotional and mental health issues have a lot to do with systemic problems. It is therefore essential to create opportunities for students and teachers to recognize their agency, so they can consider the possibility of becoming changemakers in their community. 

We acknowledge that targeted arts-based interventions can generate relational and transitional spaces, characterised by security, social integration, therapeutic experiences and capabilities (Fleuret and Atkinson, 2007). Experiential expressive arts pedagogies are interdisciplinary and touch many areas such as creativity, empathy, inclusivity, compassion, acceptance, trust building, voicing one’s opinion, conflict resolution, team building, gender inclusiveness, making one aware and making informed choices.

Organisers
Rang Karwan Foundation

Rang Karwan Foundation

Beneficiary Charity

Vandana

Vandana

Organiser

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