One step towards building an equitable society
Gender sensitisation is of immense importance for teachers when it comes to managing a project exclusively for the girl child. The teachers and the staff may come across issues while dealing with the community, which may lead to problems, if they are not dealt with properly. In order to impart training to staff working with Deepalaya Loesche India project, a training session was organised at Lodhi Gardens on 22nd March, 2016 for want of space at the learning centre. 6 people including Ms. Rachana Kulshreshtha, Executive Director and Mr. Jahangir Alam, Project in charge gathered at Lodi Gardens at 9.15 a.m. for the training.
Mr. Shubham Chaudhary, a Gandhi Fellow and a member of a voluntary organisation Must Bol India, started the training by asking simple questions like do children have rights and does beating children facilitate the teachers in teaching. He asked several questions and then deliberated on them after taking note of the views of the teachers in a very elaborate manner to discuss the intricacies of the issues. The staff was overwhelmed at the revelations that came forth. Willy-nilly as the human tendency is, we end up discriminating against a girl based on our existing notions and societal limitations.
He also narrated a few incidents from our day-to-day life to bring a level of clarity. Mr. Alam then discussed about a girl, Farzana, who has faced discrimination since her childhood and was never sent to school. When the teachers approached her parents, they somehow agreed to enrol them in the centre. However, the girl could not cope with the environment. The project head then discussed the issue with her parents and guided them to take special care. After a few months, the girl showed immense improvement in her behaviour with her peers, parents and teachers as well as in her learning skills.
After listening to the case study, Mr. Shubham guided the teachers on adopting a friendly attitude towards the students. He advised the teachers should adopt different strategies towards girls who are about to attain the age of puberty. In most of the cases, the girls are not given freedom to share their feelings, emotions and physical problems with even their mothers. In case, the teachers are able to talk to them freely, the girls shall open up and shall not live with the kind of mental stress like Farzana. Not only this, the teachers can help the girls who have gone through child sexual abuse or eve teasing etc.
He also guided the teachers on how they can create awareness amongst the girls regarding their rights so that they are able to raise their voice against discrimination. He also cautioned that it is necessary for every child to know about their rights at the same time it is equally important for the children to respect their parents. A balance has to be maintained to promote a workable and peaceful environment, both at home and at the centre. Besides, the children should also not feel that their parents discriminated against them and did not send them to school at appropriate age.
The session ended with a promise from Mr. Shubam to come back again after a few days to assess whether the teachers were able to use the knowledge gained during the session.