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Komal Panwar

Blogger & Singer

Pratiti Visits JWB Office To Sign Us Up Against Gender Violence

  • IWB Post
  •  November 30, 2015


In a country like ours where gender based violence still remains somewhat a remote issue, Pratiti by People for Parity, is working majorly to effect change in the minds of people. We all have different perceptions on gender issues, some are completely intolerant of homosexuals, some don’t care, and some even don’t understand the true relation between a woman and a man, but there are still many who work hard to get them the status they deserve.

We met Somesh Menon who came to our office and enlightened us about how Pratiti has been trying to enforce change. He came and sat surrounded by the JWB Team. We pestered him with our set of questions, grabbed those forms he was giving out for us to fill. Ayushi, the CHILD, seemed most excited and instantly started scribbling on her form. She made sure that she hid it so that no one could see her answers. Thank god she wasn’t my cheating partner back in school. Luckily, Somesh was a breeze to chat with and he didn’t mind our clumsiness.

JWB – Who all work for Pratiti?

Somesh – We select a team of twenty members in each city. We make sure that all 20 of these have different mindsets. From transgenders, sex workers to World Bank consultants, we have them all.

JWB – How do you execute it? What do you people talk about in the meetings?

Somesh – It is all done in a very safe space. We make sure the team is comfortable, and it is assured that their experiences will stay within the four walls of the rooms. The training period is for four months. Of course, there are field activities, too. But it is mostly a learning procedure during this time.

JWB – What are some of the issues that you discuss in Pratiti?

Somesh – We talk about marriages, rapes, everything! Society expects that Every girl must begin thinking about marriage when she is “of age”. We talk about how gender operates in public. It’s very different from how we like to believe it works.

Somesh told us about the founders, and by the look of it, they had some more pulp in store to give to us about Pratiti! So, we spoke to one of the founders, Arushi Mittal of Pratiti.

JWB – Hello Arushi! What inspired you to begin Pratiti?

Arushi – Well, we conceptualized it after the Nirbhaya case. I have been a student of IIT Delhi, so I’ve literally been through the same routes, and taken the same precautions that she took. It shook me completely when I heard the news. It was definitely a catalyzing force.

JWB – How did fighting against Transgender and LGBT discrimination add to the concept?

Arushi – It has been evolutionary for us as well. We really took on to a very strong point that gender differences affect everyone. Not a woman alone or a man. It has victimized many. It goes to show how much we identify with people due to gender!

Wow. That’s something! Inspired? If you thrive to be a part of  those 20 members of People for Parity, you can read more about them here.

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