As a part of our ongoing project, SAJHEDAR, a picnic to Gwalior was organised on 30th June, 2013 for the animators of Morena. This story elaborates the experiences of the animators who are the grassroots level change agents of the Sajhedar project.
This picnic was organised by Dharti Sansthan, Morena as a recreational activity for animators and their family. Eight animators accompanied by their wives and children went for the picnic along with the project facilitators. The picnic along with its recreational purpose served as a space where the animators went through varied experiences. “It was a personal change”, mentioned one animator.
The animators expressed that the picnic brought them many memorable moments as for most of them it was the first time they were with their wife for an entire day having an enjoyable time. Also such outings were uncommon to the villages which they belonged to. The animators were all very happy to express their feelings and experiences, some of what they shared are “It was a great outing experience for all the animators, wives & children, for some it was the first outing experience in the last 7 to 8 years of their married life”, one appreciated by saying “It boost up feelings for our partners, enhanced the intimacy between us”. All the animators shared that it was a great experience to take lunch with wife for the first time after their marriages, this some have incorporated in their daily practices as promised during the picnic. Some animators said that men are preparing morning tea at their home as earlier their wife used to prepare it early morning but this change have been seen after the picnic. Another one said that it has been seen that some animators have started involving their wife in decision making process at their home.
Another uncommon activity each of the animators did was clicked a photo where the couple were very close to each other. This they would have never done otherwise but expressed that each of them would like a copy of their photo to keep as a memento.
This picnic was an enjoyable one, full of rich and memorable moments as quoted and illustrated by the animators. We can surely say this was a lifetime experience for many of them and a learning one for us.
This month’s newsletter features Abhijit Das of CHSJ speaking at the Women Deliver Conference, as well as many other organizations doing work with masculinity across the globe.
A new documentary called The Mask You Live In will explore the societal pressure put on boys and men, and how that negatively affects their ability to express themselves, and, thus, decreases their overall happiness. This is very relevant in India, where boys recieve harmful messages about how they should act.
In many societies, fathers are thought of as disciplinarians and providers. But now there’s a global fatherhood campaign to encourage fathers to increase their participation in their children lives. Organizers say the Men Care Campaign benefits the children, the men themselves, and helps reduce violence against women.
This article shows that it is in the best interest of children when their parents break down gender roles. When the father takes on a more caretaking role, the child is less likely to develop behavioral and emotional problems, and will also grow up without rigid views of gender.
From June 10-13th, over 90 of MenCare partners, colleagues and friends from all across the globe will meet in Cape Town, South Africa to exchange ideas, celebrate what they have accomplished, and plan next steps in engaging men as active, non-violent fathers and caregivers.
For information, click the link, including info about how to follow the conversation online:
It is easy to talk about the atrocious sexual assaults that we see in India, but its another task to truly react and change your behaviors. A blogger for Tehelka echoes FEM’s sentiments that men who are not rapists need to change their behaviors. Every action, as small as changing the language used to talk about women, has ripple effects which can curb our patriarchal culture.