As we walked into the Amity University campus, the CSR team of Amitabh Kumar, Vikram Sheoran, Arnika Singh, Nikita Blanes and Abhiruchi Ranjan were baffled with the sheer size of the 60 acre campus. We saw neatly manicured lawns and as we made our way towards the workshop venue, we were greeted by two ginormous security dogs seated at the doorway. The auditorium was a state-of-the-art facility with a combined seating capacity of a 1000 people. As I saw the preparations of the workshop, I drew parallels in my head with Santa’s toy factory in the North pole. A team of students worked at their specific tasks with utmost precision, hard-work and discipline. The enthusiastic team of students headed by the effervescent Mokshda Bhushan worked diligently to ensure the workshop went on smoothly.
The first speaker of the day was Nikita Blanes, who spoke on the issue of sexual violence. She started off by defining rape as, “All acts of sexual penetration, of any nature, committed onto the other person, by force/violence, constraint, threat or surprise.” Nikita explained the importance of consent with the help of a short video. The video compared consent with a cup of tea and used humour to draw attention towards the important issue of women’s consent and attitudes which justify its violation. Students cracked up and got immediately hooked on to the presentation.
When the atmosphere got too loaded and heavy with jargons, Amitabh Kumar stepped in with a fun activity. He asked the students to close their eyes and go back to the memory of the time when they uttered their first word. Then they were asked to open their eyes and share their response.
Most of the students replied with a prompt ‘hey’. Amitabh explained how this was because of their frequent use of social media for sending personal messages and communication. This worked as a perfect explanation of the importance of social media and internet in our routine lives. Amitabh, with the help of a video explained how social media had become a part and parcel of our very being.
The most interesting session of the day, were the student campaigns. The students were divided into groups and asked to prepare a social campaign on a theme they were most passionate about. We were stunned with the level of social awareness and enthusiasm on display. A team presented with the title “those three days”, on the importance of sanitary pad dispensers. Another campaign which impressed us, was called, “delete dress code”. The campaign bravely stated, “even men can wear skirts”. The campaigns were largely based on the ideas of right to consent, breaking gender stereotypes, sensitizing people regarding women’s rights and freedoms of the youth.
As we headed back to our office, we broke off into yet another discussion, only this time we felt smarter and more sensitized. The workshop had inspired us to work for gender sensitization with even more vigor and energy, for the times to come.
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