Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Farewell Reflection

On the cusp of a new year, when possibilities seem untold and we turn to new prospects and challenges, it is my duty to officially sign-off from the 2014 Prajnya 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence.

2014 for us has been the year of individuals. This was the year  we sought to push for the ideal that each of us within our own lives and our own interests and careers can and should serve as change-makers.This was the year we took the campaign out of conference rooms and into people's drawing rooms.

Personally, this has been an exciting and educative experience for me as it challenged all my notions of what a campaign like this should be like and allowed for a more organic exploration of civil society engagement on issues of violence, inclusiveness and equality. It was anxiety-provoking but also exhilarating to make connections and witness the collision of what is and what could be. Small, individual changes CAN have an incremental effect and it can ripple out and touch people and communities in unexpected and unplanned ways. 

When we do this work, we talk tirelessly and rightly so about change and we direct all our energies towards it (as this campaign does every year to be and do better and to make us all more equal citizens and stakeholders). What was reinforced with greater certainty for me is that we cannot  always direct or predict change but it is important to keep engaging anyway.

Before I sign-off for good,

 Swarna Rajagopalan, played mentor, friend and cheerleader in equal measure and made this a truly special experience. Her vast knowledge and experience and her incredible generosity in sharing both without any caveats has been a strength through this campaign. Many, many thanks! 

Anupama Srinivasan has been a constantly warm, steadfast and unfazed presence, tackling my panicked phone calls and endless questions with practiced ease. Thank you for the confidence, the support and the laughs.  

Santha Nallathanmbi, our administrator and co-newbie to the campaign was immensely helpful in helping organize everything and traversing new waters with me. Thank you!

Shyamala Rajagopalan, who tolerated late-afternoon invasions with grace and warmth and sent good wishes and thoughts every time we stepped out for an event. Thank you for the tea and biscuits. I am not a tea-drinker, but yours are an exception!

To all our volunteers, thank you for your enthusiasm, commitment and support, and thanks especially for picking up the phone and responding with a 'Yes'. 

As we sat down to take stock of the campaign, I was asked if we should do this again. And here's my answer: An Unequivocal Yes!



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