16days of Activism Report
16 days of activism against gender based violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25th November (international day for “Elimination of violence against women”) to 10th December (Human Rights Day).
In the current year Vacha has engaged with educational institutes like schools and colleges, Bastis and activists interested stakeholders through various activities conducted in different locations in Mumbai as a part of 16days of activism.
Please click the link below for the detailed report.
October 11th is observed as Girls Day internationally. At Vacha everyday is a Girls day!!! We salute to the creativity, resilience and curiosity of young girls and boys who participated in various competitions, Educational fairs for understanding gender and health as well as vocational guidance in the last two weeks. 2755 adolescent girls and 624 boys from 13 schools and 2 colleges shared their ideas, concerns and dreams with us and were excited to know about various vocational options, gender issues and much more….. It’s the sparkle in those eyes that shines with new learning which keeps up going in Vacha… Thank you young friends for strengthening our belief in you……
Click here to see the photographs….
Poems are more than just beautiful words woven together in meters; they express the desires, aspirations and dreams of the person whose ink is colored with myriad emotions. Here’s a poem by a young girl of 14 years living in Mumbai, who is not only questioning the social norms which shackles the liberty of young girls, but is also hopeful at the same time about a positive change which could be brought by the girls themselves. Read on to see how she and her friends are determined to move “beyond the difficulties”…….
मुश्किलों से आगे
गली चौराहा, खुला मैदान
कहीं न मिलता मुझे मेरे हक़ का मान
जाऊं जहाँ कहीं भी,
वहां एक नज़र तो होती है बुरी
असुरक्षा हर कदम पर रहती है
मैं जाऊं तो जाऊं कहाँ?
बस यही सोचकर हर महिला घबराती है,
खेल-कूद की वो दौड़ थम जाती है,
जब “सयानी” होने की बात आती है.
“ये मत छुओ!”…. “वहां मत जाओ!”
यह कहकर दुनिया हमें डराती है.
आखिर हमें ही क्यों
छोटी उम्र में कर देते हैं पराया?
कहकर माँ की रानी, और पापा की गुड़िया
विदा कर हमें कर देते हैं पराया,
यही समाज ने हमें सिखाया
कैसी है ये सीख?!?
दौर नया है, सोच नयी है
आज हर महिला की अपनी सोच है
लैंगिक शोषण, पाबन्दी, बाल-विवाह,
अब और नहीं इनकी परवाह.
आज एक उम्मीद लेकर,
बदलेंगे समाज की सोच साथ चलकर.
लेकर सही सोच और सही इरादे
चलें हम दुनिया की सोच बदलने…
Finally we girls have a day for ourselves.. Since last year we get to celebrate girlhood every year on October 11th, the International Day of the Girl Child. In 2011, the UN passed a resolution that recognizes girls’ rights and the challenges that they face around the world. To know more about this resolution, refer to the link below:
We at Vacha celebrated this day by distributing pamphlets designed by our girls. Girls had created poems and slogans for this purpose and they also included information about the International Day of the Girl Child in their pamphlets. Girls and boys distributed hundreds of these pamphlets across 10 bastis of Mumbai, India.
An added advantage is that in India, the date falls during a festive time, during ‘Navratri’ which is a celebration of the Mother Goddess. This is a positive thing because Girl’s Day then coincides with many other important festivals in our country. The UN might not have thought about this aspect, but this is surely important for Indians.
While we do have the International Women’s Day, girls are a separate entity with different needs and they require a separate platform to have their rights recognized. For the second observance of the International Girl’s Day, the UN has decided to focus this year on Innovating Girls’ Education. Education does not reach all girls and we need a lot of changes and modifications in our education system for it to become accessible to girls. More importantly, we need to make changes in the society so that it becomes a support system for our girls.
But is girlhood all about issues and woes? Certainly not, there is a lot to celebrate about girlhood. There are countless things that make girls proud of who they are. Some realize it sooner, some take a little time, but every girl needs to celebrate herself! Hence a day to make them feel special is a good idea. We work with girls everyday and we know how much they have to go through to just get to school every day, or even step out of the house. There are many, many girls who have to fight everyday for their basic rights but they are happy and empowered. So we are celebrating not just girlhood today, but we are celebrating freedom, empowerment, and the courage shown by countless girls. We are also sending the message across cultures: I am a girl and I love myself.
Pamphlet made by girls