Do you follow some rules for Casual relationships?

Living alone in a city, is never really easy. One is always looking for that one person to talk to, maybe sleep with, or just cuddle with. And being a women, it just becomes all the more tough. It is like people already  a moral code around have how to live alone in a city.

I was born on October 2nd. Woah! What a great day to step into this beautiful world!

Birthday of the Father of our Nation and I got holidays on my birthday during my schooling and even when I started working- Privileges of being born on a public holiday.

And  now , tell me how someone can forget this date and do not wish me on my birthday- any excuses.? Ohh maybe you are not good at remembering dates – but I am not very convinced with that – in this world of social media- you can never forget an important date.

So here goes the conclusion: That simply shows your place in his/her life.

This year, on my birthday, as usual  I got my public holiday off from work but still  I was feeling sad. A guy that I have been sleeping with, had not wished me and in the afternoon I was simply laying on my bed ignoring every other calls and wishes.

I felt so stupid.

I don’t want any commitments. honestly!

But I see a birthday wish as a sign of respect . I would like to be acknowledged on my birthday especially when I have very few people to show up with love. And about love, Yeah.. a birthday wish is a fair amount of love to carry all over the year. I choose to have sex with him because sex is phenomenal. And before him I was not very much aware of the ecstatic feelings our bodies can give us. And when we are together we are actually genuinely laugh and have pretty good conversations and he is one of the nicest human I have ever came in contact with.

I act like I don’t care about not receiving a well wish from him .
Like Damn. I thought at least we were friends—but I guess I am not even a ‘Friend’
But  wait.. Am I being over dramatic?

 

He may had no idea that him not wishing me birthday would become a matter of life and death for me. We are not exactly in an ideal relationship and as far as I know, he is really really bad with dates . If he can nearly miss his international flight due to his forgetfulness, this is nothing.

So here I implemented a key aspect : Stop Counting.

I wanted to hear from him but he did not call or text and in this I forgot the people who took their time out to wish me. I should appreciate the friends and family who wished and forget this specific guy I wanted to hear from.

When I say forget, It’s just about forgetting this incident- not forgetting him.

Living alone in this big city, I have very few people to rely on and he is one.

He is the solace , we are having great sex, he makes me laugh- and moreover, no strings of attachment so far.

It’s great,Isn’t it ?

It is!

So stop counting and start living.

 

Why did my termination of pregnancy have to be this painful?

Hello. I just wanted to share the story of the most traumatic event of my life in the beginning of 2017. I feel like other people could benefit from this and not make the mistakes I made. So, I was just beginning to be sexually active and ended up having unprotected sex on multiple occasions because I wasn’t aware of the absolute necessity of condoms.

However, on the times that there was ejaculation in me, I took an emergency contraceptive pill, thus thinking I had successfully avoided at least pregnancy.

 

However around New year’s I started feeling a dull pain around my abdomen and the area between my vagina and anus (perineum) but ignored it for about a week. A friend advised me to test myself for pregnancy and I tested positive. I was aware or hopeful that an abortion is a relatively easy procedure, so I went to a gynaecologist to get it. It was fortunate that the gynaecologist was an experienced, non judgemental personAnd she asked me to get an ultrasound and a HcG done. I paid her one thousand rupees but in retrospect I’m thankful I spent that money instead of procuring abortion pills from somewhere as I had also considered at a point. Anyway I got a total of four different tests for HCG done, in three different places. And only the third time, at a super speciality hospital were they able to fully confirm that it was an ectopic pregnancy.

I was 18 and had no way I could tell my parents about it. I used up all the money (around 20k) getting various tests and ultrasounds done and due to the incompetence of the earlier two clinics and the pricey third hospital.

The last hospital  wanted to admit me asap as an ectopic pregnancy at the stage I was in (6-8 weeks) could be life threatening. However I didn’t have the money that they were demanding, and there was no way I could ask for it, without telling my parents, and that proved to be the hardest part. Finally in a very difficult call I told my  father about it and he asked me to come home and said that he would get me admitted in AIIMS. He sounded calm, maybe because he was at work. I went home and my parents had a difficult time wrapping their head around what my diagnoses was, the fetus had attached itself in my right fallopian tube and because of the pressure the tube has burst and I had severe bleeding in my uterus. After the internal ultrasounds were done, it would be difficult for me to walk even.

My mother delayed taking me to the hospital because she wanted me to suffer and once I came back home my father’s calmness went away and he just became apathetic.

They didn’t take me to a hospital for another two days in which my friends kept persuading them, and finally when the pain because too unbearable, my mother took me to another hospital, where I waited for several hours as there were I think very few beds/ very few doctors. There was a lady waiting with me whose child had stopped moving and was probably dead, at the end of her third trimester, but her husband and mother in law were extremely casual and apathetic about it. Of course, the milieu was traumatic and added to my overall mental state, and at various points I kept thinking about killing myself, but it was heightened the most that day. Ultimately that hospital did not have the infrastructure to deal with a case like mine so they sent me to big hospital There I was admitted in the emergency ward. The hospital treated me with very little empathy and my mental state was severely deteriorating, but at least they were quick and efficient unlike the other private clinics. They decided to operate on me, to perform a selpingectomy via a laproscopy. It was done on the 20th of January.

The medical emergency/problem was taken care of, but the lasting impact it had on my mental state hasn’t been taken care of till now.

My parents still remember that and are cold towards me, not understanding the excruciating pain I had to suffer through all this. My mother once blamed my ‘character’ for my sister getting home late and tried to stab me in the stomach and I injured my hand trying to defend myself. There was blood everywhere. Even after the surgery, I have what are probably adhesions that are quite painful on some days.

For a very long time, I didnt want to go to college or anywhere at all, even now I have terrible anxiety and I have fucked up my graduation because I wasn’t ablet to concentrate on my studies at all..

And the lack of support from my parents didn’t help. I have become a different person now, sometimes I remember how alone I felt going from clinic to clinic trying to know what was wrong with me, and just not having the energy to do anything but still having to go out to put an end to the pain. I didn’t know how dangerous an ectopic pregnancy could be, and I have realised that there is very little awareness generally amongst people still.This is cathartic for me, and even after close to two years of the incident, even though my mental health has started to improve, I feel phantom pains in my abdomen and am terrified of anything going wrong with my reproductive parts, even something as simple as a UTI sent me into the same spiral of depression. I break down very often in frustration, I recently had a yeast infection and it immobilized me, especially because I feel afraid to discuss these problems with my mother, even though our relationship too has improved. I cannot stand the thought of needles and I’m afraid of blood from my vagina.Of course I understand that an ectopic pregnancy is just a medical condition.

However the way I was treated and because of lack of support of any kind, as well as the desperation and pain I had to be in in the days when I going clinic to clinic have probably traumatized me forever. Added to that was the hopelessness, I didn’t know what to do at all, and until my friends intervened with my parents, I didnt know if I could even survive.

Thank you for reading this. I’m much better now, though the slightest of problems sets me on the same path. Abortion and pregnancy termination of any kind shouldn’t be this traumatic, and I really hope people like you ( Hidden Pockets) will be able to bring about a change (:

 

Editor’s note : We are extremely grateful to this person who shared her story with us and wanted to ensure that nobody should feel lonely and should go through what she went through alone.

We want to again emphasise the fact that Hidden Pockets is just a WhatsApp away : 08861713567. Trust Hidden Pockets. We Care.

Ex-orcism?- How Did I Finally Leave a Miserable Love Life?

We answer your doubts around sexual and reproductive health.

WhatsApp us at : 8861713567

Yes it is about an exorcism ! It’s about how I chased a demon out of my life.

I met this amazing man in Goa. Handsome, educated, from an affluent family and I fell on my knees the very first time I met him and soon he asked me out. Eventually we became the most celebrated couple in our circle. Things were all well and good for the first 7 months and then boom, we decided to take it to the next level,

We both Virgins; decided to have sex one fine morning.

Stress was circling around us but we did it… YES- we did it and miserably failed – anxiety and fear over ruled our hormones. But we never quit, tried over and over again, and we did it.

Wow the feelings.

Pain and pleasure of passion, mourns and murmurs.

I touched him, kissed him and circled around him like he is the sacred gift sent from up. I spent every breathing moment consumed by his presence around me.

But then things started changing, our happiness started fading each day.

He wanted more.

But what more? I was confused! I was giving my all- Love , Sex, Money and what not.?

Doing his laundry , his assignments, work excels and everything I can. And I believed it’s the duty of a good girlfriend. Still I was lacking something.

He replied to my Love texts in a rough way saying “it’s your problem that you love me so much, did I ask you.?” And he started comparing me with his endless list of ex girlfriends. I was heartbroken but still did all my so called duties.

Our days were filled with arguments and I sobbed all nights wondering where I went wrong. Our changes were noticeable and my near and dear ones started questioning my dark circles.

I was unable to listen to those who watched me struggle and spent 3 years doing everything I could to try to force a man to love me, and in the process I forgot how to love myself.

For 3 years I chased. I begged. I cried. Nothing seemed to work. He would come around when he wanted sex but would push me away when he got his fix. It was a never ending cycle of depression and humiliation.

I became insomniac- Never touched my pen to write my heart out, never said a word to my parents.

The sex once we enjoyed become a nightmare for me. He was so addicted to porn and wanted to experiment everything he saw on the screen- I pray to almighty that he should climax soon- I wasn’t able to take the tight slaps anymore and he wasn’t ready to stop it as my tears is what helped him to reach an orgasm- He wanted me to tell endless imaginary stories about how I made out with my boss, brother, his friends etc in order to get pleasure .

Still, I couldn’t stop loving him. I was afraid that if I did he would forget me. For 3 years I lived in fear of losing someone I deeply loved but never really had in the first place.

I slaughtered my dignity with my crazy behaviour, and I still couldn’t understand why he would treat me with such little care. But how could he not? I treated myself with so little love and respect, why would he treat me any different?

I tried to kill myself, tried to run away from the place – My friends were there to save me.

And slowly, I was able to move on. Then months later he told me he loved me. He wanted a second chance, he wanted to be a better man- he wanted me back.

But I already read the book- I knew how the story ends!

I chased a man who never really loved me because I was emotionally sick.

I think the hardest part of this three-year ordeal was accepting that my perspective of reality was just a fantasy I had created in my mind. It was hard to come to terms with the reality that he is less than perfect.

Part of me hates myself for holding on for so long. I could have saved myself years of heartache and gallons of tears if I had just accepted that I couldn’t make him love me. Instead, I spent years questioning over and over why he couldn’t.

Loving someone who doesn’t love us back, or even worse, someone who loves someone else, is the most painful thing in the world. But the most important thing we can do for ourselves is accept that certain things are beyond our control and take responsibility for the things that are.

We need to listen to that inner voice that tells us we deserve to be loved. And we need to accept that some people will never love us, no matter what we do.

 

Writer :

Aadhira : Just a small town girl trapped in a big town. Amature at everything. I live for the moments you can’t put into words, and few things transcend a cup of coffee and someone to share it with.
Hotelier by profession. Still living the quarter life crisis.

 

 

#OpenPockets Cafe and Health in Jaipur?

I attended the event organized by Hidden pockets on September 28, 2018. I have never attended a meeting like this; and I have attended a lot of meetings as a part of my job. This was hands down one of the best meetings I have ever attended.

Kshitiz sharing his experience 🙂

The way this meeting was held, it is a great format, and everyone felt free to share without having any reservations. I work in the field of health; hence I am aware about abortion and have some understanding around the issues related to it.

I had an idea that people have a lot of confusions around abortion and its issues. But after the event I came to know that how little (even lesser than I had imagined) people know about it. People who live in an urban setting and came across as well-educated people also had many confusions about the issues around abortion.

This goes to show that how little we talk about these issues in our daily lives. It is great to hold such events in such a setting where talking about these issues is fun. It was very participative, and everyone felt free to speak. I also liked the vibe of the meeting as everyone was speaking without having the fear of being judged. A light-hearted conversation around an issue as stigmatized as abortion is really a breath of fresh air.

As a health professional, it made me realize that we do not have to be serious all the time. Just relax and talk about the complex issues that are less talked about. I strongly feel that there should be more such events in future. I congratulate the organizers to pull off such an event in a city like Jaipur where we rarely seen such events in cafés.

Article by : Kshitiz Sisodia, a development professional from Jaipur.

What is the procedure for Abortion?

In Indian Medical Termination of Pregnancy is legal under certain conditions. It is important for us understand the procedure for abortion.

 

For abortion or also known as Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), the woman needs to fill a consent form called ‘Form C’.  Only the consent of the women is required for performing the medical termination.

The woman is provided with a medicine kit containing mifepristone and misoprostol.  These medicines are best helpful in first 12 weeks (1st Trimester of abortion).

The doctor properly explains how to utilise these medicines as it is important to take these medicines in a proper way and under the doctor’s guidance

miso-and-mife

Procedure:

  • Day 1:One 200 mg tablet of Mifepristone is taken
  • Day 3 (between 24 to 48 hours):Misoprostol pills of 200 mcg each (total of 800 mcg) are given orally or vaginally.
  • Day 14 – 15:Person returns for a post-treatment examination to affirm that a complete end of pregnancy has happened.

The doctor would recommend to come back for an ultrasound check up after 15 days. Then get an ultrasound (abdomen) done because it is important to find out if the abortion is completed and women is safe.

These medicines don’t have any side effects but should be always taken under the doctor’s guidance.  It is always better to see if the clinic has displayed the certificate for medical termination practice. One needs to be careful from quacks or unregistered doctors.

Privacy and sexual health at Digital Citizen Summit

Hidden Pockets discussing Privacy with regard to sexual health at Digital Citizen Summit

We were present at Digital Citizen Summit organised by Digital Empowerment Foundation on 1st and 2nd November, 2018.

 

It was a great experience to discuss the role of privacy in our work on sexual and reproductive health and how do we work with other open source communities like Free Software Movement of Karnataka to build this further.

Why every Indian man should watch (Stree) movie?

 

It is a rarity that we have feminist and sexist jokes in the same movie and everybody in the hall is laughing at it, with the same intensity. Stree is a movie made on a village that can be anywhere in india, using the language which is very familiar and colloquial to the big part of the country, and is trying to be feminist without using a single jargon of it. and that is what makes this movie such a winner. 

a) O Stree kal Aana

A beautiful writing on every wall written with red colour. 

This seems like a perfect joke in a country where women fear to walk in the streets. But this movie is about to turn this joke and make the other half, the men; fear for their lives for the next 2 hours.

A movie which talks about fears of men and yet slightly and very innocently talks about all the atrocities done on women in the name of righteousness. It is not just men who fear her, but even women of the village who fear that she will pick their men. 

A very simple plot; where every year, for 4 days a ghost comes to the village and takes away the men of the village. And men are willing to wear sarees and bangles just to ensure that the ghost does not pick them. The gender roles are happily reversed just to protect themselves.

 

b) O Stree aana. 

Even though the hero keeps thinking he is meant for higher calling, he is aware of the fact that he is an excellent tailor and is really good at making women’s clothes. His work becomes even though important when they realises his work is equated to art in the secret to destroying the ghost. 

The men are not so masculine, they are kind and willing to be part of women’s lives as long as they are happy. 

There are instances in the movie, where the male protagonists themselves justify the act of the ghost and feel that the village needs to pay for their sins. As a prostitute the ghost had made everyone happy and when she decided to stay with her lover, they killed them. How unfair? and men in the movie feel for the prostate/ghost.

And this point is repeated throughout the movie, that people of the village are the ones to be blamed for their attitude towards women.

c) O stree who can read and is intelligent.

There is a strong emphasis on strong women, even though most of these women were either dead or were ghost. 

As they say the ghost ( who is the ghost of a prostitute who used  to live in the village) is somebody who is well read cos she can read the writing on the wall, very patient as she patiently comes back the next day.

The only person who could save the village had to be a son of a tawaif ( courtesan) ( or tawaif zada). and this scene is dealt so gracefully. Even though the hero breaks down on realising his mother was a courtesan, he comes to term the next day and goes back and defends his mother and her profession. 

There are two things that the ghost needs, love and respect. Something that the hero realises and utters in the end of the movie, to convince his friends that they need to better prepared to face her and indeed have to give her what she rightly deserves. 

Even when the dance number happens, there are body guards who ensure that she is treated well, and she finishes on time. When the call girl comes to entertain one of the guys, nobody misbehaves with her. 

d) Yes Means Yes

A beautiful point justified and reiterated through the movie, by the act of a ghost. How does a man resist the stree? Simple. Just don’t look back. She will come and try to lure you and all you have to do is to resist her. She will ask you consensually to join her. 

Her kidnapping style is odd and simple, as rightly pointed, she asks consent first, calls you three times and only when the man turns around, she attacks them. 

How very different from the style of men, who generally just kidnap the women and there is never consent or for that matter any requesting. 

She could not kill the hero as he had love in is eyes but somehow the other men did not have that, and she easily dragged them with her. 

All the ghost sought was for some love and respect. 

 

E) Stree is a satire on what Indian women feel on a daily basis and how could men actually make this situation a bit better. 

The only fact that I could laugh throughout the movie was that this only happens in movies. I knew no where people to be precise men were scared of being kidnapped or taken away, this is indeed cinema, but for women in my country ( India) this was a reality. and even though it was sheer for 2 hours, I was glad the other sex or the second sex ( men) would be forced to live it through a cinema. 

In the end the hero urges not to kill the ghost as he claims that he is different and he does not want to be like of the rest of the tribe who unjustly punished a women. He calls on a higher duty where he seeks his friends and village to be more courteous towards a woman who indeed took care of her. 

Images : from the internet.

 

 

 

#OpenPockets : Conversations with young people on sexual well being

In 2018 , Hidden Pockets is conducting events in Bangalore with service providers with an aim to bring an audience of young people to the service providers and have open conversations around issue of health and young people. We call it the #OpenPockets.

A place where we come and talk about our sexual well-being and at the same time get a chance to talk about some of the myths and fears we have around sexual health.

a purse with things spilling over.

It is a great chance to meet counsellors and doctor and have some conversations with them to demystify some of the doubts we have around sexual well-being.

Coffee with Kamala Das: Right to pleasure for Indian women?

Soulful conversation 

One of my friend recommended me to be a part of a discussion which was about the exploring of sexuality, by reading of Kamala Das’s poem ‘An introduction’. She told me that it was to be held in Atta Gallata, Koramangala. I really didn’t know if I should go or not. I mean I was too confused but later on I made up my mind to go and be part of the discussion.

In case you are wondering, why did I go there or what made me go there . To be honest I didn’t go there because I am a feminist. I went there for poetry. I mean poetry is said to be something that moves our souls beyond this world and helps us to connect overselves with the cosmos. I am a huge fan of poetry. I love reading and writing poetry. I often sit in my balcony, sipping coffee and I write or rather I should say I spill  the ink. Poetry, for me its magic. It’s a living, breathing presence in my life. People often tell me that I write well. To be precise I write a lot of Urdu poetry. It carries huge amount of value . It’s deep, sheer and perfect. And rightly so.   But I panic a lot . I have social an anxiety so I don’t have the nerves to face the stage or be a part of any discussion.

 

When I came to know about the fact that Hidden pockets is organising a program about poetry, and its about Kamala Das. I was really happy to hear about it  but as soon as I came to know that it is not just a session but a discussion and each one of us have to speak and talk, I was really anxious. I mean I wanted to go but then the fear of facing the audience made me worried. 

Somehow I made my mind and went there. To be frank enough to say, I was little shivering as I sat under the spotlight. I didn’t know what to do though I was familiar with the poem ‘An introduction’. I mean it’s one of my favourite poems. After a while people came and one by one all the empty chairs were filled. People who were unknown to me, totally strangers. I became nervous, yet again. I told the organizers beforehand that ‘i am going to talk less ‘ and they were approachable enough . 

 

Kamala Das : An Introduction 

“Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook,
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh,
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sit..”

 

So here it started. We all introduced ourselves. Some of them sang, which was an ice breaker for the discussion. Everyone had that broad smile on their faces. And once we started of with the poem, I was the one who started to put give opinions and  interpretation on the opening stanza or lines. I was actually moved by the lines she has mentioned in her poem. It’s so good. Shamelessly she is talking about sexuality and things which are a taboo in our society. My opinion was that why not? Why not to be fearless enough to love someone we want to. Why not to have sex or feel the pleasure even before marriage. Why not to wear crop tops and walk in the deserted or even the crowded streets. Why?

  One by one everyone read the different stanzas of the same poem. Many different interpretations came, there was no right and wrong. Everyone was putting their words and pouring out their thoughts without any fear. 

I was surprised, not only I was speaking but I was fully indulged in the discussion. I mean i spoke a lot. Gradually my fear became my strength. I no longer was a weak or other sex but felt equal to other gender too or maybe same gender but with lot of energy and enthusiasm. I  was full of zest and full of energy too The session turned out to be a “Soulful Conversation” for me.

Kamala Das and her poetry was a living breathing presence for me at that time . We all spoke about exposing our sexualities, we discussed orgasm, what is it to be a woman and what not. It was so great to be part of such discussion. I don’t think I have ever had such good time with people whom I don’t even know. And I’m glad that they didn’t judge me were listening to what I was saying . I feel that talking about anything or everything in front of unknown crowd or strangers is better. I mean I don’t know about others much, but I  comfortable enough to open up before strangers other than the people I know.

Some people who were familiar with Malayalam language, read out the original text by Kamala Das. As the discussion ended. We all just like a new family, spoke to each other. One on one . Shook hands, laughed, smiled. To keep up with the funky trend we also took a selfie. 

I’m sure I ain’t going to forget this discussion ever in my life. I am looking forward for such discussions more and more . 

Hidden pockets gave me a gift ‘ To Face My Fear’ and I will always cherish this gift ! Thanks Jasmine, Aisha, Sekulu and Aren.

-Nashafa Firdous Mir : I am a very moody and choosy kind of person. I am a weirdo and hardly I am comfortable enough to indulge into a discussion but this discussion was so good that I didn’t even feel uncomfortable for once.

 

Photo and video courtesy : Kiran Sopanam and Shikhil.

Sexuality Education Workshop in Kannada – Mysore

Our day began as early as 5:30 am on a Sunday when Charu picked us- Jasmine, Kiran and Aruna up. Jasmine had earlier insisted that we bring Kiran along since the presence of a man changes the way young boys listen and respond to a session, especially facilitated by women. I have learnt this to be true myself.

We landed up in Mysore where Chaitra and Mangala guided us into the community where Buguri is situated. The amount of space there for children amazed an urban space person like me which allowed me to look more into how spaces and behaviours, especially of children are so intertwined. Buguri Mysore is a tiny space and decorated very beautifully with art works made by the children. The atmosphere felt extremely warm and inviting.

There were about 15 children in the age group of 9-16 years and their curious younger siblings peeping from the window, who were ready for the workshop to begin. They were clearly prepared earlier for the session, seeming very eager and some, having skipped their breakfast. The 4 of us had squeezed ourselves between the children along with Chaitra and Mangala. Jasmine had already begun asking their names and it amazed me how in 10 minutes she had managed to remember most of them! She was also asking them who their favourite actor and actress were, later corrected by the children to ‘heroin’. At this point is when I realised that the session had already begun. Seemingly effortless and quietly warming up the children. The idea seemed to get the children to speak. The following questions were about make-up, what makes an actor ‘average’, beauty parlours, bullying and love. The role of gender and the opinions of the boys and girls were addressed subtly and with very minimal judgement. Jasmine was also careful not to ‘correct’ what politically may seem as ‘wrong’ answers.
The girls seemed to share very similar ideologies on these topics bordering feminism. Their responses and standpoints being very mature for their age. While the boys, had very mixed responses from- girls as bullies cannot be given a second chance, boys can be; boys should say no to dowry; boys don’t wear make-up because they aren’t girls. And interestingly, there were moments of exchange between the boys who answered differently trying to get one to see the other’s point of view. And this happened very conversationally.

Audio Podcasts as a tool

 

These discussions were combined with the playing of 2 podcasts made by Hidden Pockets followed by a discussion of the same. One podcast was on bullying in a school discussed between two friends that was later escalated to the faculty who handled it in the school assembly without outing the bully. The discussion followed with the children stating how important it is to address an issue in a more general sense in a school space rather than picking out the child at fault resulting in their embarrassment.

The second podcast was on growing up through an introduction to menstruation explained by a mother to her daughter with the growth of a tree as a metaphor. It also addressed changes in the body of teenagers and reassuring that changes are normal. The children reacted by discussing how some of them and their older siblings now have pimples.

This on one hand, with the verbally strong, there were some children who were very shy. Jasmine opened out to them an option of writing down their thoughts and queries without a need to mention their names. This was more than welcome in the group.

This time they took to write also meant that some would sneak out for a quick snack!
Soon after, Chaitra began to read the questions and I was wondering what this session had spiraled out into. The answers would definitely mean another session! The children were eager to know more on a range of subjects- child marriage, menstruation, friendships and medical help. Jasmine patiently responded to them all also keeping in mind to be sensitive while addressing the group as some content may not be suitable for the 9-10 year olds in the group, to be spoken explicitly.

We ended the workshop very warmly with Chaitra and Mangala handing us crepe paper flowers made by the children with their name tags on. As like one child said “Preeti manassinda barbeku” (“Love should come from the heart”), we left with hungry tummies and love in our hearts.

About Buguri:
Buguri (‘Spinning top’ in Kannada) is a community library for the children of the waste collectors currently in 4 locations in Karnataka- Banashankari and Hebbal in Bangalore, Mysore and Tumkur. Buguri is a Hasiru Dala (‘Green Force’ in Kannada) initiative, an organisation based out of Bangalore that works for the welfare of the informal waste collectors in Karnataka.
Buguri runs with a primary aim to work with the children in the age group of 6 to 16 years, in the waster collector’s community through books. The idea was to introduce a no-fee and a fun library space as a means to open them up to the magic of books and explore the empowerment it gives to young and fresh minds.

 

Author : Aruna

Image Courtesy : Kiran Sopanam.