19 Feb 2017

I couldn't fight for my rights without it!

Farheen is a Youth Fellow 2016-17
YRC Roshni
I am Farheen Naaz and I'm 21 years old.

My mother is a housewife, and my father, who is the only earner in the family, works as a labourer. The money is not enough, and my father is getting weaker. I have four sisters. My elder sister is divorced and stays with us, my parents worry about her. My grandmother is very old and has become bed-ridden after breaking her hip-bones.

These days I am a Youth Fellow at Thoughtshop Foundation. I also facilitate an adolescent group at my YRC Roshni and take tuitions. My hobbies are reading stories, and helping others. And sleeping!

My sister, Mehzabeen used to be a part of the group and she shared the activities with me at home. I got curious when I saw my sister protesting, debating and speaking up at home with confidence, with knowledge and wisdom that I did not have!

Like boys do

Sonali is a Youth Fellow 2016-17
YRC Nabadisha
My name is Sonali, and I'm 18 years old. My mother works as a maid in different houses, my father is a daily-wage construction labourer.

We are very friendly with each other and there is not much fighting at home. Sometimes when my mother returns from work late, my father wants an explanation. As we have financial problems my father often asks me to earn my own spending money.

I believe in gender equality, and that girls can go out with friends too like boys do. My group believes in sharing and maintain confidentiality. Ours is the only local group where girls and boys can come together with their parents’ permission. The Parents are also giving rights to their children now.

People don't talk enough about this

Archana Naskar is a Youth Fellow 2016-17
YRC Youth Voice
I am Archana, and I'm in 2nd year college. I live with my parents and younger brother. My mother is a housewife and my father is a gas delivery man. My brother and I are very different, so we don't get along well. He is very religious and superstitious.

I argue with my parents every day because they are also very superstitious. Sometimes I get beaten up at home because I have a boyfriend. My parents are not comfortable with this relationship, and want us to get married Now! They are worried I might elope, so they lock me up from outside at night. My elder sister had eloped, and now we have no connection with her.

18 Feb 2017

Times they are a changing!

Rafikul is a Youth Fellow 2016-17
I live with my grandparents, parents, brother, sister and uncle. My mother is a housewife, uncle is a carpenter, sister is studying in class XI. Financially we are going through a bad phase because my father doesn't have any work.

My family puts a lot of pressure on me to earn. They taunt me for not doing so yet. The financial crisis creates stress on the whole family, and there are times when people stop talking to each other. They even tell me to drop out of college and to stop coming to Thoughtshop Foundation.

But I still go to TF. I go to college, and am a member of our group KYP. I first got interested in the group when Azhar told us that they would give free computer training to 4 members. I used to bunk school twice a week to take that free training. Nowadays I teach kids how to use the computer. I've always really liked working with computers, and have recently found my passion in film editing.

Operation Rescue!

Sangita is Youth Facilitator (2017)
Read her earlier post
I want to share an adventure I recently had where I had to use my skills as a Social Investigator and Youth Facilitator in a very different context!

I had participated in a workshop on Human Trafficking at TF, conducted by an organisation that does Rescue Operations along with the Police. I learnt in a lot of detail about the familiar and yet horrifying ways in which women and children are regularly trafficked; attractive job offers, feigned love, false promise of marriage... eventually the girls and boys are trapped into sex work or child labour. They are not paid enough, not fed enough, and are abused physically and sexually if they protest.

Whenever the Rescue Team goes on an operation they need a few volunteers. I signed up as a Volunteer in September 2016. A day before the event I learnt that a minor girl would be rescued from a red-light area in North Kolkata. My job was to be a witness.