We see, we understand, but the quest to bring the change remains questionable and absent. A simple Facebook post can change lives, the mere gist and the ability to question stereotypes and changing them for good is what counts. Siddhi Pal, a Second Year student from Ashoka University, is breaking chains and mind-sets by launching an international e-magazine on Gender and Sexuality ‘The Thrive+’.
There is this boy. Alone. He seems lost. Playing with a trash bag. Kicking it back and forth. Concentrated. Distracted. Entertained? No one knows what exactly is going on in his mind. Only a few of us can imagine. Only a few of us can think about the burden he carries on his shoulders. The memories he has, the instances of his life he carries deeply inside him are hidden to the outer world. And I am sure that I, at least, can only imagine little of what he has been through. He’s about 12 years old and lives in a refugee camp. He only has once wish: he wants to go back, back to the streets he was raised, back to the country and place he belongs to. But he can’t and that’s why he tries to make the best out of the situation he is in. Kicking his trash bag back and forth.
Look inside yourself. What do you see? An empty black void that consumes your consciousness and slowly you get pushed into the deepest recesses of your entity. Your mind then shows you the truest reflections of what you are. The images seem disturbing yet one feels so intricately connected to them. Of all the things I see within myself, the endless search for something to quench the thirst of emptiness is the most rampant.
Srishti Chauhan, Trustee YFPI , shares a very personal experience of hers in the camp and how she is looking at life through this.
On 25th November I visited the camps with the YFPI team and Deloitte had joined us that day. After we had distributed the food packets to the kids, we conducted a Play for Peace session which was being facilitated by fellow team members Saumya and Niharika. The kids were very happy after having their scrumptious meals and were also enjoying the activities. I was just standing there and looking after the kids. Suddenly, I saw a kid who was disturbing everyone.
On 29th October 2016, Youth for Peace International, with the help of Ms. Abha Jeurkar hosted a ‘Play for Peace’ session for the kids at the Shaheenbagh (New Delhi) refugee camp, She an ex-engineer now a Certified Trainer for Play for Peace firmly believe in using the joy of cooperative play to create an atmosphere of laughter, compassion and peace with communities in conflict. As an added bonus Youth Alliance International’s Co-Founder Shah Imtiaz Hossain joined for the session. YFPI got acquainted with Ms. Abha and Mr. Imtiaz during the 5 day Training of Trainers session on Youth and Peacebuilding in Chandigarh from 18-22nd of October.
My domestic help, Rajkumari, 34, has been working at our home for the past 10 years. She lives in an urban slum with minimum facilities provided by the government. She is a widower with two sons, one being her step son has abandoned her after using her resources. She lives with her 17 year old boy, Monu. Now Monu is a young chap, who quit school after 10th grade because he “didn’t want to study anymore.” He has become a victim of drug addiction. He often threatens Rajkumari to commit suicide if she doesn’t give him money to meet his addictions. With whatever income she gets, she runs monthly expenses and meets her bills. She has no savings. The added stress of her son makes her depressed. She says “even though I have enough to sustain my single life, I don’t have peace to sleep at night after a tiring day.”
When you read the book in your hand or an article on the internet, maybe much like this one, do you ever think, “Wow I can understand what this possibly random streak of alphabets on paper mean to convey to me”. No? Neither do I. However, when I started my Arabic language classes, I saw how hard reading can really be.