Gender Samvad, a three day event on  respect and equality of women in Indian society and their rightful human rights in their personal and professional fronts, the journey of educating the Indian crowd about women equality, awareness towards the social and criminal justice pertaining in the crowd halted to discuss solutions for these issues.

Day one (22 December 2018 ) started with a performance by Bajika Bayar from Taryaani Chhapara, students of Astha Vidya Niketan, Sheohar also presented their understanding about gender equality through dance, drama, singing and poetry.

Day two started with a speech from Kamala Bhasin. The meaning of ‘Gender’ was discussed.

This three day event ended with a concluding session headed by R.Sreedhar, Geologist from IIT Roorkee now Managing Trustee of Environics Trust, New Delhi.

He said that there is a need to work at three levels (described below) and sought views from the people gathered.

  • I would like to know the idea that how we can continue the process that started from Sheohar.
  • A new kind of rhythm has been arranged with the efforts of Rakesh ji. People come from different places, organizations, background, i.e., teachers, businessman, artists/musicians from different directions having different identities. How the organization/group formed in the Gender Samvad should be in touch with each other and how we all together can take this process forward.
  • What role can we play even if the government forms adequate policies? What are the arrangements on these issues? Like after the Nirbhaya Mishap, the government collected a related tax to benefit survivors and women affected by such incidences. Where did government spend that tax money? Rs 7000 Crores have been deposited in the Nirbhaya fund and no assistance has been received by the victim’s family. We have seen some statistics in which the government wants to give 100 crores of Nirbhaya fund to the Railways, where the Indian Railway wants to put an emergency telephone, message services, etc., for any inconvenience in travelling, etc.

People presented their views based on the points raised by him.

  1. We need to co-ordinate more with people concerned with with gender programs and such programs need to be taken forward. We should give direction to the effort, it should not end here but be a continuous ongoing process. All the people who have come forward should work together at their level. Government implements many policies, yet people are unable to get benefits from these policies. We should try to reach there and convey it to the people around. We must intensify our efforts to ensure that people reap the benefits of such policies. We must work from the grass roots level.
  2. Things emerging from Gender Samvad should also be applied in our country’s law. Kamala Bhasin ji said that we have words that classify the gender. There are so many words that have just been made describing men, but there is a dearth of such words when it comes to women. List of such words for women have been made and it was handed over to UN. We should present a proposal in front of the government about how a gender neutral curriculum should be introduced in schools.
  3. We talk about working from the grass root level, we should include more and more teachers in the process as they are responsible in preparing the future generation. We somehow forget the role of teachers therefore this should also be our priority.
  4. No action plan being formed whenever such meetings are held. We should focus on making an action plan along with identifying the problems. We should also think how we can work more intensely in Bihar.
  5. There is no reaction without an initial action. We should start work at grass root level and then make it global. A team should be constituted to work at the international level.
  6. The roles of the village Panchayat, Panchayat samiti, city council, the women’s reservation of the district council, and the Dalit/Backward Classes in the village was questioned. We should work on women’s reservation for the next two years.
  7. People of Sheohar should assure that we will not tolerate gender discrimination. For this, the proposal should be given to the district officer. People of the country should join together. A group be formed at the National Level and people should work at their levels.
  8. The movement at grass root level which Rakesh ji did looked easy but we can’t overlook the hardships behind the process. Economically capable people have to come forward for fund raising and we should have more committed people.
  9. What changes have happened on the ground level for women’s safety? People of Sheohar should come ahead to organize these programs themselves for gender discrimination.
  10. We should bring the Gender Samvad’s Dialogue to the Parliament.

With these thoughts and suggestions, it can be said that Gender Samvad marked a beginning of change which needs to be taken forward.

To read the report – Click Here