Humko kahni apni baat
Over 40 meetings were conducted in the select Gram Panchayats reaching over 100 frontline government functionaries like AWW, ANM, PRI representatives,teachers and others using the the radio episodes for discussions on the Issues generating dialogue through an attractive and innovative medium to raise girls issues in their voice. Education and safety emerged as a key concern in all of these discussions and many aspects were debated and deliberated, Positive initiatives by communities have started to emerge to supports girls education and address safety.
Both connect to the core fear around girls sexuality which has emerged as the key driving factor that impels families and communities to marry their daughters early. Discussions around girls labor have been complicated and challenging, as girls enter wage labor since a very early age and continue to do a lot of unpaid domestic work, yet have limited access to their own earnings or any economic decisions. we see this as a key starting point for this crucial dialogue. Limited economic power has been cited by girls a key reason for them to be unable to negotiate compulsions of early marriage.
Over 300 women have been reached through monthly meetings and some of the key discussions have been around options and opportunities for girls including education. Most tribal women see girls lives entrenched in daily domestic and wage labor and marriage and childbearing. They shared that they do not have enough stories around them to show if education is a viable option at all. Most tribal girls are either pulled off school or fail the board exams. This discussion subtly raised questions on the quality of education or skilling training and whether they are really an option for girls over marriage. these issues were taken up for advocacy in the gram panchayat level meetings. Women showed immense solidarity with girls stories on the issue of mobility and safety and spoke about the need for change in social norms and administrative initiative to address girls safety.
Community discussions created space for highlighting un-talked about issues like sexual harassment by school teachers, questions over girls wearing modern clothes and its pros and cons, generating local debate and some key actions by parents offering positive intervention. 6. Over 300 girls have been reached through intimate discussions in listeners groups using the radio episodes. The episode on ‘Recreation – limited scope for enjoyment’ highlighted many new conversations around the sense of repression girls experience and feel and its impacts on mental health and a positive sense of self. The discussion also highlighted how this restrictiveness compels them to take up higher risks for accessing entertainment ( keeping mobiles secretly, leaving home in the night to meet friends and others ). The episodes on Marriage – a dream and a reality have explored many contours – what do girls think about marriage, why is it seen as compulsory, what do they desire in their partners, experiences of young married girls, the issue of control Highlighting Girls Voices on ECM and… –