Thursday, March 19, 2009

Women & Media Event sings 'Mann Ke Manjeere'

This is about the Film Screening and Discussion organised at the Nirmala College in Ranchi, organised by Open Space with the support from Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS) Pune and National Service Scheme (NSS) wing of the college, on 16th March. The half day event was attended by 150 girl students and resource inputs were given in the form of facilitation of response from the students by Sister Sushma, Elina Horo and Dr Sunita Kumari.
Two video productions were utilised. First, 'Strength in Action' training package prepared by Breakthrough on domestic violence. And second, Shabnam Virmani's 'Tu Zinda Hai' based on the grassroot women activists engaged in land rights struggle in Madhya Pradesh.
Response 1 - We liked the song 'Mann Ke Manjeere' (मन के मंजीरे) based on the true life story of Shameem Pathan of Gujarat. In the video she is depicted as truck driver, who fights life pains and earns independently for her daughter. Especially the words like 'Sathi hoon apni mai' (साथी हूँ अपनी मै). These words were very inspiring for us.
More is said at
The video found its inspiration in the true story of Shameem Pathan, a single woman from Ahmedabad, India, who escaped from domestic abuse, braved discrimination and embarked on a career driving a mini-van taxi to support herself and her child. In the video, a woman steers down a dusty road in a heavy-duty truck, stopping to pick up women passengers on the way to a roadside celebration.
Response 2 - In the film clipping of 'Bend it like Beckham', the sikh girl is very good in football, but her parents discourage her because of her other boy mates. Such thing happens in our daily lives, we are always warned to keep off from certain areas of work because of more men involvement over there.
The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism by running off to Germany with a football team. Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?
Response 3 - "The program needs to be done for boys too, so that they get sensitised. Now even boys are changing and they are accepting girls who are working. Such a change process will come through rigorous sensitisation on gender issues."

The response from the media was appreciable. When the television channels like Sahara, Focus and Etv came, this opportunity was also utilised for on-camera responses. The speaking of responses by a few girls motivated others to speak too. And this whole act was in front of the participants to make the processes of media expression transparent and creation of a learning atmosphere.
The understanding of gender and discrimination was constantly facilitated. It was expressed that in the film 'Chak De India' (चक दे इंडिया) the Jharkhandi adivasi girl's story pointed out as to how they face discimination (beyond gender to racial). But it is the fight and courage of the girls of this area that many of them are finding place in the Indian Hockey team. More at!_India
Many expressed their opinion that films sell more because of the kind of 'exposure' done by heroines in it, this should be stopped. Others expressed that it is the public demand. In the film 'Mai Madhuri Dikshit Ban Na Chahti Hoon' (मै माधुरी दीक्षित बनना चाहती हूँ) such a portrayal has been done. Such a change has also come up in real life where girls who are more 'outwardly' and confident (in their body language) get more opportunities to grow in jobs
Film scenes from 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' (दिलवाले दुल्हनिया ले जायेंगे), mainstream cinema caught the spirits and emotions of young girls. They smiled and hushed the story analysis to their fellowmate sitting besides.
The spots of Jagori - one on perfection of body and the other on physical abuse 'provoked' the right responses. "Yes, women are socialised from there childhood to curb there desires, and develop strength within, to face all forms of subjugation, not to respond to it. Young girls should be trained to respond to such situations - both mentally and physically".
The participants filled up an evaluation form regarding what they saw, their opinion about the importance of the issue and how such an educational activity can be further taken up.
At the end, a 'Strength in Action' training kit was presented to the NSS Nirmala college for taking ahead the cause to stop domestic violence and all forms of violence against women (VAW), through such sensitisation amongst the young girls.
To understand more about Strength in Action toolkit comprising of 'Mann Ke Manjeere', please look into or
See videos on YouTube by searching for videos titled Young women's response to "Mann Ke Manjeere". Also see link on this blog

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