Portraits of Courage : Women in India being Beautiful and Bold

Puducherry, India, the Sanitary Napkin unit_FXB International Framing Hope 2014

Through our work, we get to meet all kinds of women, bold and brave, courageous and resilient. They all have different stories to share, but what binds them together are their enduring spirit. As Women they are trendsetters and an inspiration for their communities and motivating entire generations to follow in their footsteps.

Visibility and awareness help drive positive change for women. This International Women’s Day (March 8) through the global #BeBoldForChange campaign FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) seeks to honor social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and help accelerate the global goal of gender parity across our intervention geographies in India.

Radha K. ( Tamil Nadu )

An empowered entrepreneur: Radha, 24 years old, is living with her husband, two sons, a daughter, and her mother-in-law in Mathur Periya in Tamil Nadu. As a housewife, she was solely involved in domestic chores and was absolutely unaware of current world affairs. Upon attending a village meeting organized by FXB India Suraksha however, she was introduced to the manual production of coir ropes. “I attended a workshop of coir product organized at Kazuperumpakkam…I was amazed to see the huge machine used to produce the same rope,” says Radha.

Today, Radha is an empowered entrepreneur and an inspiration to many. “We have taken over the unit and are running them on our own, maintaining the books of accounts and making a good profit that we share evenly amongst ourselves. I feel proud that I am supporting my family equally with my earnings. I feel proud to be an empowered woman today, and I thank FXB India Suraksha for supporting this journey”, she adds.  

P. Prabha (Tamil Nadu)

Master trainer and role model: As a widow survived by her son and daughter, Prabha, 40 years lives in Mathur Periya Colony of Tamil Nadu. “I can’t explain how dark my life was when my husband departed from me five years ago. I was completely helpless. I didn’t have any job, no skill to work and earn and no money for our living. There were days when we spent nights without dinner.” Says Prabha.

It was around this time that Prabha participated in an entrepreneurship meeting organized by FXBIS. Despite initial reservations, Prabha tentatively joined the sanitary napkin production training group. “With fear and anxiety, I attended a one week training following an exposure visit to a similar unit in Villupuram. Today, I am a master trainer in sanitary napkin production. I make at least 150 sanitary pads a day and earn about Rs. 170/- on a daily basis. I have repaired my house and my roof no longer leaks. My children are in school. I am delighted and surprised where and what I am today…the “NOs” a couple of years back is all “YES” today. I have saved a good amount of money for the wedding of my daughter,” she says.

Andal (Andhra Pradesh)

A new life: Andal, who hails from Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, encourages people to come to the FXB India Suraksha Care and Support Program Centre. She ensures people remain engaged once they arrive. Though Andal is not literate, she recognizes ‘word pictures’ and points to information on the chart.

Andal and her husband were childless, so the couple decided to adopt a girl child. Without warning however, her husband fell ill, his condition worsening with each passing day. Due to a wrong diagnosis, he steadily lost a lot of weight and could barely work. When Andal and his husband tested positive for HIV, the world collapsed around them. They had countless questions, but no answers. When they were directed to the Care and Support Program Centre, Andal said that “entering the door of the centre was like walking into a new life.” The couple was counseled, provided ART, and provided supplementary nutrition. Slowly but surely, their CD4 counts began to rise and Andal’s husband was soon able to get back to work. Seeing Andal’s instant rapport with people and her potential to counsel, FXBIS took her into the program as a full time staff member. She says that the love, respect, care and acceptance at the centre were largely responsible for patients’ quick recovery. 

Goldy Chingakham (Manipur)

Against all odds: Goldy Chingakham is the only daughter of Ms. Sulochana Devi. She is from Singjamei Chingamathak Thokchom Leikai in Imphal West, Manipur. Goldy has no recollection of her father, who passed away when she was hardly two years old. She has been told that her father died of AIDS and her mother is infected with the same virus. Her childhood was tough as there were times when she was not allowed to intermingle and play with other children in the neighborhood, since others suspected she was infected as well. Goldy has seen her mother struggling to maintain the family by weaving. Her father’s lubricant shop business collapsed after he died. Ms. Sulochana couldn’t continue it due to the stigma and discrimination of a widow actively working.    

Goldy is one of the Suraksha Youth Club members. As a result of FXB’s engagement, she has now completed her higher secondary education and is preparing to pursue a medical career. Goldy always takes part in the major events hosted by FXBIS in Manipur, and she has even performed as an anchor of the documentary film showcasing the FXBVillage network.     

Sulochana in Manipur

From despair to triumph: A few months after marriage, Sulochana came to know that her husband used to be a drug user and regressed into old habits from time to time. Sulochana and the family tried their best to rehabilitate him, but poor peer networks and readily available cash made a complete recovery difficult. Their first son was born in 1996, but he did not survive for more than a year due to serious health conditions. After giving birth to her second child (Goldy), Sulochana lost her husband and became a widow. With the help of some friends, both mother and child were taken for testing in a facility in Imphal. Sulochana was found to be HIV infected, but Goldy was thankfully immune.       

Sulochana eventually started working as a volunteer for the FXB program and soon became a counselor and senior social worker, functioning as a role model who has been widowed, infected with HIV, and still thrived for more than 15 years now. She has been trained and empowered to impart psychosocial support to the vulnerable infected/affected beneficiaries. She organizes advocacy and awareness sensitization programs and also facilitates Self Help Groups.

Manipur has been identified as one of the highest HIV-prevalent states in the country. Sulochana has pledged to utilize her full potential in filling the crucial role of implementing the FXBIS programs relating to nutrition, education, medical care, livelihood promotion, and sensitization.  

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) believes that communities are strongest when women, children and their families lead self-reliant and empowered lives.Through its interventions FXBIS has been empowering women in difficult circumstances by providing quality education and access to information technology, facilitating livelihood opportunities, equal access to medical facilities and making them aware of their rights.

 

We believe that boldness is the impulse that drives a person to achieve their potentials at different stages of life and through the past decade we have striven to help women achieve the same. We take inspiration from these ladies that being bold does not necessarily mean a revolutionary act, but also the simple act of standing up for oneself and one’s peers in our daily lives.

 JOIN US!

 

For more information on our projects empowering women please write to

Mr. Kiran Kumar,
Programme Manager, FXB India Suraksha
gkiran@fxbsuraksha.org

Advertisements

Reflections from 2016 Global Symposium on Social Connectedness at Montreal

30214759704_f641bca3f7_o

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave – a native American proverb from Dakota (USA)

An inexplicable excitement seemed to shadow me as I pirouetted through immigration. I am a frequent traveller resigned  to the tedium of questions but I was taken by surprise at my own anticipation of visiting Montreal for the Second Global Symposium on Overcoming Social Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness. The secreted hope of running into Justin Trudeau, the young and progressive Prime Minister known for his candour and walking into public spaces without notice also added to the excitement.

 The Symposium was to be held from the 25th till the 28th of October 2016 at the Mc Gill University. I am thankful to the Synergos Senior Fellowship community for giving me an opportunity to attend the Symposium. More than a 100 thinkers, activists and community leaders from across 23 countries gathered to develop a shared perspective on the importance of social connectedness in community driven change for development. Waiting to board I surfed through the event website and was struck by the simple yet artistic logo. There is  Cheyenne (Native American) raxxrj6hproverb that says , our first teacher is our own heart and looking at the beautiful logo, I  felt kind of being ‘drawn in and then drawn out’. The journey felt  auspicious.

Curious and anxious at the same time, I stepped into  Mc Gill University. Away from the refreshingly clean yet chilly wind I found myself scouting the hall for my colleagues from Synergos. I was once again struck by the unadorned hall designated for the meeting. The effortless set up with only rows of chairs and blank white boards lurking in the background once again drew my attention towards colourful logo of orange, green and blue. The colourful convergence of shapes towards the centre seemed apt for the event and its location. McGill University located on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehaka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange among peoples.

The symposium started with an indigenous ceremony led by native elders and leaders of the First Nation of Canada. This session set the tone for the rest of the symposium and for each one of us, reminder of how disconnected we have become as a civilization. Their simple and humble mannerisms in tune with nature  exposed how in the name of development we are socially disconnecting those who are voiceless or in  minority, and  how aggression has eroded humanity of its humaneness. As I heard the elders thanking mother earth and recognising the values of family, reminding the importance of compassion and empathy, I realized how badly we are caught in a web of complexity created by ourselves.

The next few days, through firsthand accounts I was exposed to the anguish and pain that the native people of Canada went through when they were annexed by the ‘Canadians’. Using the rationale of  education and development, children were taken away from families and put in residential schools  where they suffered terrible  mental and physical traumas. The sensitivity around the extremely emotional reconciliation process was a major learning for me as someone who works in an organisation, FXB India Suraksha that is striving to give voice to the marginalized. Development needs to be enmeshed with dignity and rootedness and not super imposed by external experts who believe their knowledge is the best solution. 

I learnt connectedness is a two way process- something that in our hurry to achieve our targets, we forget. I realised how short sighted we have been in designing the development agenda in a world- where those who are privileged decide who is and what makes them poor. When the group of elders stood up during one of the session and said- ‘you think we are poor and steeped in poverty, but we do not agree, we are rich, we have enough and we are grateful that mother nature takes us care of us. We do not need what you think being rich is all about- did you ask us when you were deciding that for us?’. They reminded us how in the name of education, the natives have lost their language as currently only 7 of 23 languages are known and spoken.

31056462231_a50828ae08_o

Drawing similarity with the conflict around indigenous movement in India, this symposium made me understand at least in part of the complex issues surrounding identity and existence which seem to instigate and sustain conflict. The 461 aboriginal groups called “Scheduled Tribes” in the Constitution, a designation invented by the British, are considered to be India’s indigenous peoples. In mainland India, they are referred to as Adivasis, literally indigenous peoples, account for 8.2% of the total population at 84.3 million. Unofficial estimates however state the number of such groups as high as 635. These tribes live mostly in the seven states of north-east India, and the so-called “central tribal belt” stretching from Rajasthan to West Bengal. India has had a long history of indigenous peoples’ movements aimed at asserting their rights. India has several laws and constitutional provisions, such as the Fifth Schedule for mainland India and the Sixth Schedule for certain areas of north-east India, recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to land and self-governance. The scheduled tribes are represented in the central parliament and state legislatures in proportion to their population in each state; there are reserved service posts for them, seats in professional schools and colleges, and other examples of “affirmative action”. In the last few years, massive uprisings around identity and rights between mainland and tribal communities across different pockets of the country has been a frequent reality. Their demands range from a separate state to separate nation.

30545505790_7e1cf5f319_o

Those who are determining rights are socially disconnected to the identity and culture of those for whom they are intended. What is to be reconciled and seek forgiveness for what? they say. The word ‘reconciliation’ is  not even entertained by those in charge of this development.  The fact is that in the garb of growth, we have taken over, land, resources and tried to modernize ‘culture’ and creating  web of isolation for a rich, rooted and connected community, for which we as a country might have to pay a big price.

I thank the native elders, leaders and youths whom I heard and interacted with for reinstating faith among us who believe in connectedness for change. The magic and beauty of the Special Olympiads left me immensely inspired. I also thank Kim Samuel, professor of practice, Institute for the study of International Development at McGill University, for giving this opportunity to be a part this movement on social connectedness, that she started to ensure – “No one should even be made to feel as if they are sitting at the bottom of the well”.

Learn more about Social Connectedness through this Global Symposium Report and Online Graphic Reports

Mamta Borgoyary, CEO, FXB India Surakshamamta-borgoyary-4

Connect with her :

mborgoyary@fxbsuraksha.org

Marching towards Change : A photo essay on the vitality of life in Jharkhand

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) Integrated Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) promotion project is being implemented in five Gram Panchyats (GP) of Namkum block namely Dungri, Hardag, Hurua, Hahap and Sidroul in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The three year project was initiated in March 2015 with set objectives of creating demand for improved WATSAN services, facilitating access to safe drinking water & sanitation in the project villages, building capacities and ownership of community institutions to access government WATSAN services, managing their infrastructure effectively and building an integrated model of promoting safe WATSAN practices for replication.

The project supported by Arghyam, has reached out to more than 16,000 people in Namkum block through an Integrated Behaviour Change Communication (IBCC) campaigns. The IBCC campaign includes street plays, wall paintings, workshops, and inter-personal communication sessions focusing on creating demand for safe and sustainable water and sanitation solutions. FXBIS conducted trainings to 124 Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) members and strengthened 26 such committees to install, operate and maintain water and sanitation initiatives in their respective villages.

landscape_ulidih-village_harhap-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhand-2At sunset, the villagers make their way back home from the field with their cattle. 

71% of the total population in the selected 5 Gram Panchayats belong to Schedule Tribes and  are dependent on agriculture and wage labour for survival.

village-life__-sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhand

Her smile always shines bright.

Sukurhuttu village lacks basic facilities like primary school and primary health care center.  Malnutrition related health problems like anemia and water borne diseases like diarrhea and skin allergies are commonly found. 

villagers-looking-at-the-wall-painting-in-sukurhuttu-village-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhandShanti (The IBCC protagonist) says…  

Awareness generation on WATSAN through wall painting as part of Integrated Behaviour Change Communication (IBCC) campaign

fipchart-session_-sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhandCommunity Awareness session on water security

Peer educators and FXBIS team spreading awareness on water security measures as part of the integrated behavior change communication 

orientation-with-fxbis-team_ulidih-village_harhap-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhandVillage Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC) Meeting.

FXBIS staff at one of the regular community meetings sensitizing and encouraging villagers to access appropriate technology to develop safe WATSAN systems at the village level

orientation-meeting-with-fxbis-team-sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhandLeading from the front

Community women in their roles as VWSC members, Jal Sahiyas, Swasthya Sahiyas, village leaders  attend refresher trainings

using-water-for-household-purposes_sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhandWater at your doorstep

Households getting improved access to clean water through Government pipe water supply scheme and FXBIS works closely with department and community to ensure continuous supply by strengthening VWSCs and users

using-water-for-household-purposes_sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhand-2

We don’t have to go to the well, ponds and different water sources to collect water anymore. It saves our time and energy“, says Savitri Devi, Sukurhuttu village, Ranchi

img_7398Guiding the Change towards a healthy life

The Drinking Water and Sanitation Department, Government of Jharkhand is actively engaged in providing technical and moral support to the project

happy-a-girl-from-_-sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhandThank you for helping us to get  clean water to our doorstep. It feels so good that my village now has pipe water supply facility”, says Seema Kumari, Sukurhuttu village, Ranchi

smiles_sukurhuttu-hardag-panchayat-namukm-block-jharkhand

Our village is much clean and healthier now!

During first half of the three years project, the dynamism of the community members, elected functionaries and Government officials in supporting the initiative has been heartening.

The photos were taken by Ms. Namrata Raha (Senior Communication Office, FXBIS), during her visit to the villages in Jharkhand.

Let us know which photo is your favorite. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

My day at FXB India Suraksha in Noida ..

8704616678_91a005dcda_o

It was 2 p.m. on a hot Saturday afternoon in Delhi. I was waiting outside the metro station for a coworker who had generously offered to take me to visit FXB India Suraksha’s (FXBIS) Noida slum program. In addition to some of the nation-wide programs such as FXBVillages and Vihaan, FXBIS also operates an education center in the NOIDA Sector-16 slum area. I had heard about the 24 hour emergency outreach service for children in distress in the Noida area, but I did not know there was also an education center for the benefit of the children in the neighboring slum community.

 The office was only a short walk from the station, and was humbly located adjacent to the community it intended to serve. I walked up the winding stairs and entered the office. There were no children present, but one look at the walls made it clear who the space was intended for. Bright posters adorned the wall, with cartoons intended to make the space as welcoming as possible. Upon stepping inside, we were greeted by two of the teachers that have dedicated their time whole heartedly to the slum program. Independence Day was less than a week away, so the kids were busy preparing their routines, but they were going to be back any minute. I had interrupted lunch time, but the teachers openly welcomed us in, and offered us a place to sit. Adjacent to the teacher’s desks, there was another desk where a Childline member sat for 24 hours- in conjunction with FXB India Suraksha staff, Childline maintained India’s only free, 24 hour emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection. The number (1098) was easy to remember and even easier to remember in Hindi: dus nao aath. The Gautam Budh Nagar office was only one of the 133 cities and districts across 26 states and three Union Territories that Childline was active in. As I was learning about these services, the cozy space was brightened by the arrival of around 10 kids that energetically filed in. They greeted us with an enthusiastic ‘good afternoon’ and beaming smiles. While they varied in ages from 6 to 15 years old or so, each one was brimming with the curiosity, enthusiasm, and innocence that only a child carries about them.

After the first round of introductions, it was my turn to put them on the spot and ask them to show us what they had been practicing. Without a moment’s hesitation, they proceeded to perform the play they had wrote, directed, and practiced by themselves. There was a king, a queen, a thief, their subjects, and many other characters. There was suspense, drama, accusations, and reconciliation. The level of creativity and care with which they put this play together was nothing short of enrapturing. Each child assumed their role with ease, without any inhibition in the presence of strangers. Once the play was over, they performed two dances that they had worked on. I successfully managed to dodge having to sing or dance myself, but I was intently watching them execute each step. Two kids, in particular, looked like they had done this many times before. The teachers, who saw these kids every day, gently reaffirmed the need for more practice after congratulating them. I remember thinking I would make a horrible teacher, seeing as I would probably just let the kids dictate the agenda. It was inspiring to watch how much time and energy the staff had dedicated to ensure the well-being of these children.

The day ended with an excursion to the vocational workshops designed for the kids and adolescents. My favorite part was the walk through their slum community- despite living in Mumbai, I had never walked through a slum before. Enterprising entrepreneurs and resilient spirits were abounded- the energy and buzz of activity was everywhere. One walk through the community would quickly shatter the narratives of indolence and dependence that we commonly hear in the media. As we stopped by an FXBIS classroom on the way, we saw three kids sitting there reading, despite the fact that there was no school or classes today. As we reached the other side of the slum, we stepped onto the shuttle bus that ferried the adolescents to the workshops. Once there, we visited a character development and confidence building class, a cooking class, and a sewing class. Hearing the kids talk about their dream careers betrayed the faith they had in their own abilities and in the efforts of the NGOs that operated in these limited-resource settings. You had aspiring actors, dancers, singers, scientists and more. If there was one take away from this short visit, it was that we have a societal obligation to create the kinds of learning environments that will empower these children to realize their dreams. Their lives were juxtaposed with mine in every way imaginable- whereas I had grown up with extracurricular activities, tutors, and parents who had free time to dedicate to my education every day, these kids had lived their whole lives in communities where their efforts were needed for income generation rather than education. And yet, one visit and conversation was enough to realize that they still had the same dreams and desires. The alternative and parallel education offered in their communities gives me hope that these children will be able to break free from the vicious, inter-generational cycle of poverty and lead the lives they currently dreamMohit headshot of living.

– Mohit Nair, MPH, FXB Suraksha Intern

To know more about the FXBIS Noida Slum Project please visit our website  or  write to us at fxbindia@fxbsuraksha.org 

Project Mukti : Enabling young women and men to combat human trafficking in Manipur

13876133_1135280773161710_6773931847138935517_n

Conflict ridden Manipur has been vulnerable to trafficking both as a source and a strategic transit point for the criminal networks operating in the region. The FXB India Suraksha project “Mukti” with the support of ECPAT Luxembourg was launched in January 2016 to draw attention to the causes of the vulnerabilities of the marginalized communities and their exposure to the criminal networks. It underscores the urgency of the situation and the immediate need for intervention in favor of the women and children in particular.
Mukti translates to ‘freedom’, has reached out to more than 1500 students in 10 schools spread across the districts of East Imphal and Ukhrul in Manipur. Utilizing an integrative approach Project Mukti combines elements of protection and empowerment. Students and teachers are informed that every individual under the age of 18 is a child and consent in such cases are also counted as abuse. Through interactive workshops and seminars, students and teachers are made aware of different aspects of sexual exploitation and violence and their rights to protest unwarranted sexual advances. They are made aware of the laws and the officials they ought to contact if they find themselves in a difficult situation. As a preventive measure they are made aware of the difference between good and bad touch and the need for the youth to speak out if they encounter anyone who tried to lure them with promises of employment or better living conditions elsewhere.
IMG-20160726-WA0000
IMG-20160726-WA0001
IMG-20160726-WA0005

An ‘Education of Circumstances’ : Travelling across the United States of America with the International Visitor Leadership Program, 2016

IMG-20160421-WA0017

‘If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.’
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850, Journalist, Critic and Women’s Rights Activist)

For a travel bug like me, it was no less than a dream come true when I received a call from the United States Embassy and was informed that I have been selected to participate in a three week visit to the United States as part of the International Visiting Leaders Program (IVLP).  The IVLP program is sponsored by the US Department of State, launched in 1940, and seeks to build mutual understanding between the US and the other nations through carefully designed professional visits to the United States for current and emerging leaders. I was one of the 10 such leaders selected from across India to meet individuals, organisations and representatives of government working on Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The three week trip starting from April 4th 2016 was an exceptionally enriching experience and I came back informed  and enlightened. I was indeed surprised to note that the issue of domestic violence is a  looming threat to the social fabric of the United States.  As early as 1970’s it was recognized that homicide and suicide were consistently leading the  top 15  causes of death in the US. The fact that one in 3 women in the US are abused and one in 5 are sexually abused  reflects the depth of this problem (Centre for Domestic Violence). What is impressive is that thanks to a visionary like President Obama who changed the discourse of gender based or domestic violence from that of a social issue to that of a public health issue. The campaign ‘It’s On Us‘ has made the situation a mainstream issue that requires extensive public awareness, attention and action.

 The policy statements and the intervention strategies are based on the premise that “Domestic violence is a barrier to health care and leads to myriad of health problems and health risk behavior and is therefore a public health issue”. This is in sharp contrast to how we treat gender based violence in our country from only social lens and laws and actions are more or less punitive in nature. On the other hand in the US gender based violence laws and practice are equally focused on prevention as much as on reaction. The ardent integration of behavioral change and counselling within the discussion and mechanism for violence prevention  in the United States is an example for all.

Compulsory awareness programs at schools, colleges, hospitals and academic institutions is facilitated with awareness and coaching at every level. The entire system of violence prevention is further backed up and supported by relevant policies, laws and insistence on immediate response by law enforcement agencies. On the reactive side, there are more than 2000 domestic violence shelter homes, 13000 sexual assault service programs, 18000 separate police sitting along with forensic technicians and social workers at centres which are specially assigned to cater to this issue alone. Demonstration of technology aided response procedures by medical and para-medical officials is an incredibly eye-opening encounter. One of my most memorable moments of the trip was the visit to the Family Justice Centre in Los Angeles. With its focus on provisioning all round care and rehabilitation for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and children is an impressive arrangement. Their strategy that includes, talking to an advocate, planning the safety of survivors, facilitating interview with a police officer, meeting with a prosecutor and obtaining civil-legal services as the first response mechanism is an orderly process that has made a revolutionary change in the life of the victims at the center. The program with its seven components: an emergency shelter, non-residential program, a transitional housing program, permanent housing program, 24-hour crisis line, a public education program and two Family Justice Centers is a remarkable scheme that I believe has tremendous scope for replication in India.

Civil society organizations like Futures Without Violence and Coalition Against Domestic Violence play a very important role in the prevention program both at the federal and the state level. Exposure to how media and especially social media is playing an important role in addressing GBV in the country was particularly relevant for us, as India is a predominantly young country with an increasingly widening access to mobile and internet technology. Peace Over Violence with its emphasis on building healthy relationships, an hotline for victims and emergency response service and Break the Cycle addressing violence among youth at college campuses through Twitter, Facebook, interactive guides on their website are organisations that are playing  a very important role in reformulating perception of gender roles and combating GBV in the country. Campaigns like ‘Let’s Be Real‘ and the Love is Not Abuse Coalition brings youth across the country to talk about relationships are a wonderful initiatives to bring the most important constituency in eliminating GBV into the conversation.

Making new friends is one of life’s greatest gifts and hence ‘Home Visits’ were a fascinating and innately enriching component of the program. The rendezvous with American families was an amazingly beautiful time  that yielded an experience of the country firsthand.The biggest take back for me was that at core, the pain and the consequence of GBV remain the same irrespective of where you are- A battered woman in a remote corner in India goes through the same trauma and pain as an educated woman in the most powerful country in the world. Where it makes a difference is the response to such violence. The declared non tolerance against gender based violence in the United States and prioritizing it as a public health violation, is geared towards addressing it from the start- from educating a  child to creating response mechanisms to address the after impact of violence. As I look back on my experience, I  am left to contemplate, are we in India prepared to move ahead from viewing gender based violence from a conventional social lens to treating it as a violation of public health right? .

In conclusion, I cannot thank the US Government enough for broadening my perspectives and increasing my knowledge and in particular helping me make new friends both in the America and in India. I am hopeful that these relationships will go a long way to foster knowledge and impact to create a better world.

Mamta Borgoyary, CEO, FXB India Suraksha

To know more about FXB India Suraksha please write to us at fxbindia@fxbsuraksha.org

You can write to Mamta Borgoyary at mborgoyary@fxbsuraksha.org

When Jollity and Merriment defined Learning at Summer Camp…

DSC_0359

Summer 2016 was a time (which/when) children from Suraksha Education Center, Noida look back to with glee and merriment. A time beyond the pressures of school curriculum and agonizing hustle bustle of  the Delhi summer, defined by paucity of water supply, frequent power cuts and severely high temperatures.

Wonderoom, an innovative and free children’s library maintained by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was their Narnia-esque gateway to a time of uninhibited imagination and expression. With over  5000 books to explore, 15 children from the FXB India Suraksha Center in Noida participated in storytelling, art and craft, drama, science and creative writing workshops.

Moments from the Summer Camp..

13435591_516827611851959_1374500259003793118_n
Learning the value of Recycling waste products
DSC_0341
Crafts Workshop
DSC_9845
Imagination carved out on paper
13410782_1102322646457523_120302977_o
Learning with Friends
BeFunky Collage
Winners of the Journalism Contest

FXB India Suraksha believes in the universal and fundamental ‘Right to Education’. With a focus on mainstreaming vulnerable and marginalized drop out school children back to regular schools, we work with parents and local schools to ensure that the children go back to school and attend regularly. Know more about our Education programmes here

To know more about the Summer Camp activities click here