My safety is my resposibility

The case put up on children by other children in open house in Aarohi.

“Hurting by pushing and hitting hard on private parts especial chest and bumps comes near the ears and shouts “you cry baby”. Scratchesand pinches me, says fuck, threatens me and hits me especially on private parts, falling on me. Telling “Oh baby, you are too much”, scares me with big insect, despite telling firmly not to do so.

The first stage of discussion was to DETOX – all shared their thoughts.

1. “I do all these things – sometimes I do just like that, sometimes I do when I am angry.

2. When I sit next to some children – they push me and I get angry and then I trouble him.

3. When I get bored, I run around and not listen to others.

4. Even If I am not doing anything they cry loudly for nothing and blames and I get angry.

5. I get angry when children makes secretes about and tells “I am bad”, and I trouble them.

6. I get angry when they trouble me and hide my sandals and make fun of me.

7. I get angry when they pass my bag to others in the circle and they keep things in my bag.

8. Sometimes I touch when I am angry to hurt them, sometimes I touch to tell them I want to play with them.

9. Some children will be talking about me and when I go next them they stop and when I go away, they again start – I feel bad.

10. My friends, tells me that do not see this movie because they kiss each other, which is why I do not kiss others, because it is bad. I only touch bums when I am angry and want to trouble others, kissing is bad. I like to play with all but they tell me that I am bad and make fun of me.

Some children reflected and shared

1. Earlier I used to feel that they are bad, so I used to behave badly with them. (We had discussion on this last week and we realized that due to our images our behaving differently with different children).

2. I make secrets about them and make signal and stories about them.

3. They trouble me, but I tell them firmly and I am able to manage. I do not like when they put me down when I am not able to catch the ball.

4. They make fun of me. I hid sandal to take revenge, because they tore my story.

5. I felt nice to trouble. I do not like when children tease me and say “I am fat, “you cannot do this, just leave it”.”.

6. I do not like and I put them down.

7. When someone troubles me, I get angry and tell firmly, but when he does not listen, I do nothing. She cries loudly and not stops even if by mistake hetouches her. This is like Nobita crying because Gean hit him, He cries with big tears, he does revenge with Gean. Gean gets angry and again hits Nobita and he starts crying again.

8. Even if they don’t do anything, some children push him, tell each other that he is bad.

9. As soon as some children sit next to some children, they start screaming “you are bad, we do not like you”.

10. Even if by mistake some children touches them they scream, if the same things happens by others they do not say anything. Children make fun of few children their sounds and laugh at them.

After detoxing we had the round of REFLECTION. We pondered “what all this doing to us, others and environment?” – here is the brief

· This makes environment negative.

· This makes person for whom we make secret, feels bad. The one who is making the secrets feels happy. We make secrets, instead of express. We continue to feel bad, and take out our frustration by talking again and again in the corner or make stories or secrets or fun.

· This makes other feel bad, when one touches the boy and tease. The one who touches the body feels nice to trouble other, the one whose body is being touched, feel bad. We take out our frustration by troubling others. All continue to feel bad, and take out our frustration by touching, pinching, making fun again and again, putting down and hurting again and again.

· All kinds of hurts – emotional, physical and mental are negative for the environment. We hurt each other in many forms – making secrets, making groups and making stories, telling about others that they bad, or different, telling wrong things about others, crying for nothing, blaming, hitting or touching body.

So we identified various actions which make the environment negative

1. Secrets and stories about others

2. Touching body parts

3. Crying for nothing

4. Hurting physically

We explored further WHY we do that, what needs is met? We realized that “We hurt others to take revenge, we feel good when we trouble others in different ways like make secrets, hide sandals, tell bad about others, scream, touch body parts. We use these ways to take out our frustration on others”.

We churned our mind “How is all this helping us? What are we learning?” Suppose one person is touching your body parts in the train, then will making secrets about that person will help us? Or learning to DEMAND for our safety will help us?

This raised a question “Is Aarohi only about “no exams, we do what we want to do, we learn with our interest or it is more than this?

Hmmmmmm this brought some kind of thinking, so we began our journey of exploring. One child announced, so “my safety is MY RESPONSIBILITY”. This announcement became the basis for further communication.

So we looked into “how do we make ourselves SAFE?” When anyone is troubling me

1. I can tell firmly, If the person does not listen

2. I tell to my peer, If the peer does not listen

3. I tell to faculty, If the faculty does not listen

4. I go to group of faculty, If the group of faculty do not listen

5. I go to GK team – Amable, SS, Khoj…..faculty, If they do not listen

6. I go to my parents, if my parents do not listen THEN??????

7. I go to police

This brought a BIG surprise “why we need to go to police and why faculty will not listen to us?” We pondered over the question “what if the Aaorhi becomes a place where faculty does not listen, then? What if you are outside and the people do not help you in your safety?”

Kids pondered “So making fun, putting down others or touching body parts will not make me feel safe or prepare me to face any abuse”. I have to start training myself NOW!

hmmmmmmmmmmm “Children have the RIGHT to be safe, right to raise their voice, right to be respected and have right to be listened Do you know about that right? Areyou aware of your rights”?

This brought some kind of excitement and we continued

1. I go to police., If my police does not listen

2. I go to media like newspaper and TV channels.

And if they also do not listen then……………….One child said “start the chain again, till you get YOUR SAFETY”. Here we together did the role play how we can DEMAND from the faculty/parents in the session to give you SAFETY.

Here we shared the story of current gang rape, stories how people throw acid on face to take revenge…………children shared – we saw in TV serial also. I shared my story how I made one boy get down from the bus when he was kissing my hand in the crowded bus of Delhi. Kids laughed that I made one person get down from the bus. And Also I did not listen to threat of another boy who wanted to marry me.

We ended the discussion with “MY SAFETY is MY RESPONSIBILITY” and our current behaviour is not helping to make us safe. We are not DEMANDING safety – we are only taking revenge or feeing good for something which is not helping us to learn “how to demand?”.

We all need to re-look into our behavior – I am teasing others, I am touching body parts, I am making secrets, I am putting down others, i am making groups…………………..What it is doing us?

We left the discussion here.