Monday, December 31, 2018

Farewell to 2018

It seems like only yesterday I wrote my first blog post here welcoming you all to the 2018 Campaign and it is already time for the last post and for me to officially sign off as Campaign Coordinator. Personally, the last 2.5 months has been an exciting experience. At every turn, I was challenged to do more, to persevere, and to give my best to this opportunity I was given. Observing people is by far my most favourite thing to do, and throughout this campaign watching and listening to different perspectives on gender violence has in a way revived my energy for this sector. I have learnt so much, had the opportunity to work and connect with some great people, found so much joy in my work and finished the campaign feeling a deep sense of accomplishment. As I sign off, I am taking this with me.

The 2018 campaign, in my opinion, was a grand success because almost all the events went the way we had planned, we didn't have to cancel any major events, we didn't have to reschedule or adapt any event but this could also be because the majority of the events this year were closed events and the rains and cyclones were merciful and didn't threaten to cancel any event.

It takes a village to pull off a successful campaign, and I want to send out my special thanks to 'my village';

Dr Swarna Rajagopalan who carries with her the memories of eight successful campaigns was the best mentor and partner a campaign coordinator could ask for. When not dishing out instructions, she would roll up her sleeves and jump into even the most boring work of the campaign without a second thought. Her infectious energy and enthusiasm kept us all going. She has wielded my panicked messages and phone calls with ease constantly assuring me that this is how it goes. I am grateful for her confidence in me and for the mentor I have earned for life.

Ms Sudaroli Ramasamy whose steady presence, expertise, and energy was a huge asset to this campaign. She has lent her ears innumerable times to my anxiety-driven ranting and has often shared my load of campaign work to make things easy for me. I am grateful for her support and friendship.

Ms Shantha Nallathanmbi, our administrator whose help ensured a smooth campaign. Without her, we wouldn't have been able to bring back the mannequins for the dummies' guide to sexual harassment for our public event, The Counterpoint. She took the sole responsibility for organising it and she made sure throughout the campaign that everything was in the right place.

The friends of Prajnya - Nandhini Shanmugham, our trustee, without her we wouldn't have had our sisterhood chit activity at two retail outlets. She was also my go-to person for almost everything throughout the campaign. Michelle Ann James, who helped me a great deal in the initial brainstorming stage; Shakthi S, Sweta Narayanan, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, who all generously offered me their time and their ears to bounce off ideas and pitched in wherever they could. Most of all, I want to thank these wonderful women for replying to my texts and being there.

Ms Shyamala Rajagopalan, for opening her home to me and generously offering tea every single time.

Lastly, a big thank you goes to all the partners, donors, volunteers whose contribution went a long way in making this campaign a success.

As I finish writing this, I realise its time to say my goodbyes. I am going to say my goodbye to the 2018 Prajnya 16 days Campaign, but not to Prajnya.

- Nafeesa

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