Chedkhani: The Blurry Lines of Consent and Youth

Chedkhani, for me, was always a form of sexual harassment with terrible consequences on young women’s mobility where they might be forced to discontinue their education, be married off at an early age or face severe violence. But my idea of chedkhani got challenged during an interaction with the girls of our learning centre at Khanpur. While waiting at the centre for other girls to arrive, Roshni (name changed) came and said “Didi yesterday I was going to the park and at the entrance of the park a few boys were sitting. They asked for my name and address but I aggressively retorted and shooed them away”. Hearing this, other girls also jumped to share their experiences and joined the conversation. The most interesting part was that everyone had different ways of looking at such incidents. For some it is scary, but for some it is simultaneously a way of getting attention as is exemplified by Anjali (name changed), “when someone comments I start running hurriedly to avoid the boys but I also feel that I am looking good and at least somebody has noticed me”.

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कविता: खेल सी ज़िन्दगी

(This poem was first featured at Feminism in India on July 1, 2016)

न जाने मैं कब इतनी बड़ी हो गयी,
खेल-कूद, दौड़-भाग को भूल,
जीवन की पतंग की लरी हो गयी।

कामकाज को, चाल-ढाल को,
सीख-सीख कर मैं बड़ी हो गयी।

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An Account of Literacy Centers Opening in Birdha Block

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Bajrang gadh village, Birdha block.

In December 2012, Sehjani Shiksha Kendra opened its new literacy centers in Birdha block, Lalitpur. The team visited each village in the block to mobilize people for the opening. We divided ourselves into two groups, each group aiming to visit two villages in a day. Each morning, we packed ourselves into the car where one could sense the strong conviction, energy and enthusiasm of Sehjanis in their work. The car ride to the villages was always filled with lots of fun, jokes, laughter and singing.

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