SHEROES Meets Gen Next
As a part of the SHEROES outreach programme, our team has been moving across Delhi-NCR to polytechnics, technical institutes and even remote neighbourhoods, gathering views, listening in, participating in conversations and getting a unique perspective on lives across the spectrum.
What is a young student looking for, what are the issues close to their hearts and what do they want from life.
We went to tell them about what to expect from SHEROES and got to hear a whole lot of voices and opinions that moved us, got us thinking, touched our lives and brought new learning and insights.
Here is small slice from one of our visits to a Polytechnic in south Delhi. The first thing that caught my eye was the hearts pasted around the room - big hearts, small hearts and still smaller ones scattered around each other.
This is a woman thing, I thought-a lot to do with feelings, emotions and sentiments. The other thing was a Dreams cloud with little notes on what the girls wanted.
The wish list included a night out in Goa with friends, a trip to Paris, a flat for Mom, a desire for a stable government job, to see everyone in the family happy, to earn a lot of money so Mom never has to work again. Among other starry starry things were the relationships that tugged at the heart
Our sessions there brought a deeper questions in the open. During one on one counselling later,the girls opened up about what really bothered them. A lot about love, heartbreak and relationships. And, deeper issues about self esteem and confidence.
A young girl shared how she had failed a regular graduate course ,done a computer course at her mother’s suggestion and was pursuing a polytechnic course now but her family insisted that, “tumhara dimaag toh band dubba hai’’.
‘I don’t know what to do and what I am meant for.This session is the first positive message I have received in years. I feel light like a big burden has been lifted off my shoulders.’
Another group of girls said they were so glad to know a platform and community for women, like SHEROES was there for them to use and there was somewhere to go to. There were questions about aspirations and careers ,stable jobs and bodies.
Most significant was the delight at bonding and knowing there were similar stories out there.
The absence of judgement and a safe community to open out to. A helpline with counselors who were close at hand and ready to talk things through.
We learnt how powerful the idea of a community can be. How it can provide a platform to acknowledge weakness, speak up about failure and celebrate success.
The motivation it can bring through the sense of belonging that connects us to develop relationships and the support network it becomes, like a pine tree that allows the wisteria vine climb to the very top.
We feel that connectedness and strength all over again and would welcome volunteers who want to experience it too.