The field has been a space full of conversations, curiosity, laughter and learning – a KGBV school, in the village of Jalmana, Panipat District. My experiences on the field have been taxing but also enriching, tiring but also mesmerising, exhaustive but also oh, just wonderful. Working with girls (aged 11-14) studying at KGBV, Jalmana, has taught me many lessons in many ways. Ranging from learning the tricks of the field on the field, interview techniques, and honing my observation skills, to conceptualising, preparing and organising educational workshops in an interactive way such that I can hold the attention of these young imaginative and creative minds and be ready to answer to their curious questions. Some of the workshops conducted so far have been on the topic of Menstruation, Consent, Good Touch-Bad Touch, Arts, Toy Making, and Scientific Experiments.
Working with them as a team member instead of assuming a position of a hierarchical team leader has been instrumental in opening doors to more questions and discussions. In these close exchanges, I have learnt a lot. They have helped me understand the plays of hierarchy, power, and gender roles. They have sensitised me to the life of privilege I have been living, all by the virtue of luck. They have helped me better understand where I am positioned, what change I seek and what action I am capable of, and, have added more meaning and relevance to my education in Liberal Studies by grounding it in its larger social context.
About Author: Mahima Jaju, 24, Communication Designer • Young India Fellow 2019
Mahima sees her education in Design as a privilege, to be used to fulfil her social responsibility as a concerned and sensitive citizen, as a well-rounded designer. As a student of Communication Design for four years and after having worked in the industry for one year, she has great confidence in the good that good design can do. Currently pursuing the Young India Fellowship, Mahimais exploring the many realities that make up this one world. She has been an integral part of Swataleem in capacity of ELM team member from Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University since September 2018.