Made in India - Student Volunteers share their Experience

Let her live in collaboration with Commotion organized an event called ‘Made in India’ on the 14th of March 2015 at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi. The goal was to encourage young people to celebrate and value the women and girls in their lives by giving them equal opportunity, value and respect. Through an inter college competition with Street theatre, Music and Dance, mindsets which lead to discriminatory attitudes towards women and girls were challenged.

We invited some of our volunteers to share their experience and this is what they wrote:

I’m no goddess, treat me as human

The day was very eventful, the enthusiasm of students was felt strongly in their performances. The message about women's rights and equality came through very clearly, that it's not for few selected days that women are to be venerated as goddess. Instead of idolising her with some sacred image one should treat her like a normal human being, giving her the same space as men so that she is able to grow and be at par with men and that's when the true meaning of equality will be realized.

- Suparna Singh, Jesus and Mary College New Delhi

 

Can I make a difference?

I volunteered to brief the crowd about the festival and encourage them to jot down their thoughts on the Doodle wall on how they felt about the status of women in India and the changes that could be brought about for their empowerment. As the day went past, we were flooded with massive support and love, however we also faced retaliation by some. I approached a middle aged man and asked him if he would like to take a seat and enjoy the show, he responded by saying that he would rather talk about “the matter.” On more probing I found that he was referring to rape as the matter, I asked him what his views were regarding it. He asked, “Aren’t the women responsible as well? They flirt with men and lead them on.” As I tried to argue with him, I realised the importance of the work that ‘Let Her Live’ is doing.  Many men and women still harbour the idea of women needing to be quiet and submissive and do not recognize the rights and importance of women. The projection of their perspective, by itself, impacts the lives of many women directly and indirectly. At the end of our discussion, he asked me if I thought we could make any difference in the society. I responded by saying that I already did if our conversation, at the least, made him re-think his views, which I hope and believe he did.

- Prakriti Gurung

Please don’t save us, just treat us equally.

The much awaited event ‘Made in India’ to spread awareness about equality and gender discriminations kicked off with a superb performance by the participants from DU students.  A wide range of issues were covered –dowry, commodification of women, incest and sexual abuse, female foeticide, displacement and exploitation of tribals, women in armed forces etc. The performance about the discrimination faced on ground of homosexuality blew my mind  as they boldly conveyed the message  through their dance. The crowds sure had something to ponder upon as they headed back home.

Four of us (volunteers) were appointed at the doodle wall to invite people over to leave a message on it. Most of the people enthusiastically expressed their thoughts and I happily looked at the man who volunteered to write, but as I looked at the wall I saw a phrase ‘Save Women’!! The first thing that came to my mind was “please don’t save us. Just treat us equally”. We still have a long way to go to change the mindset of people. However, looking at the wall filled with hopeful messages, it warmed my heart to know that I was present there to take the very first step towards change.

To all the men out there- Real men, Respect women. Why don’t you start acting like one?

- Khouly

Male and Female: Made in India

I really liked volunteering for the event held on 14th March mainly because of two reasons-one was the fact that it basically dealt with the status of women in our country which was well depicted through dance, music and drama performances.
The second reason that it was really fun to work as a volunteer, there's a friendly environment and I got to learn many new things as wel.!
I consider myself to be very lucky to be a part of this event where gender inequality was addressed. I strongly believe the fact that we are all Indians (male/ female) and only together we can make a difference! J

 - Rose Sebastian

Made me confident to overcome the challenges

Working with 'Let Her Live' was extremely an amazing experience.  The event went very well. More than 10 colleges participated in the event and showcased mesmerizing performances on the theme. . All these performances made us realise how the society treats a woman and at the same time motivated and made us confident in order to overcome the challenges imposed by the society .It gave us great opportunity to interact with different people and helped in conveying the message to the people present for and to our society.  

- Veronica, Jesus and Mary College

 

Learnt how to work together

Made in India. This is the second time I have been part of an event with Let her live. It was an amazing experience by rendering a helping hand in organizing the event. I was looking at the level of competition and the issues that were brought into light by the participants and the manner in which it was presented to us. The street plays were my favourite as they carried such strong messages. They were so heart touching that it nearly made me cry. The play on mother and on taboos stood out.

 The best part about the event was that we were taught how to work as a group, the way we are expected to represent ourselves as being part of an organisation. ‘Let her live’ has been the most open and flexible organisation which welcomes everybody with warmth and love.

 – Rebecca Balman

‘Made in India’ helped immensely in drawing attention towards gender discrimination and depicting it through art, music and choreography. It directly touched the hearts of so many people. I think events like this should take place more often so that greater awareness can be brought about in the society.

Bharat

 

 

 

Will you pause, reflect and act?

“Made in India” kept hovering around my mind for a while. It was a perfect show put up with a touch of music, drama and performances. More than anything, it managed to instil some new perspectives in my mind. The young people who participated, did a marvellous job in communicating to the audience.
The students had put in a great effort of practice, team work and much thought behind it. 
The street plays had such fascinating dialogues which held the attention of the audience.

“The message is spreading, the question is will you pause, reflect and act upon it?”

Garcia Odile

I’m happy to be a part of the Let her live team. The event was a happy moment for me. I felt like I have finally stood up for something by joining the event.

 – Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Helping me to see the world differently

‘Let Her Live’ has always helped me to see the world in a different form. Made in India event gave a platform to the youth to beautifully address the issue of gender discrimination in various forms of art, including music, drama and dance which directly connects with the hearts of people and creates a larger impact. I am thankful to this great organisation to allow me to be able to work with such amazing people who are selflessly working towards the greater good of society and would like to work with them in future also

Mallika Agarwal

 

MADE IN INDIA: A WAKE UP CALL

‘Let Her Live’ and Commotion organised this Inter-College Fest  called MADE IN INDIA, where Artists, through dance, drama and music challenged the cultural inequality that exists in our nation. And all the colleges definitely put up a wonderful show.

I don't know about you, but for me this phrase is like a wake-up call.

From self composed songs to the choreographies, from acceptance of Gays to Prostitution, there was not one performance, not one aspect, not one theme, that'd not make you ponder over.  All the issues were brought to the limelight in a effortless manner. Never in day-to-day life I would have sat and pondered over the position of Gay Lovers in India, Never I would have sat and pondered over the position of women who are forced into prostitution, what their families face and what they go through.  Never I would have  sat and pondered over all the inequalities that existed in India. We talk about Make in India, Let’s also talk about Made in India

Working with Let Her Live has always been a blessing and a learning experience for me. And I am glad I missed my train to home that day.

Evelyn Bombley

randomness