|YRC KYP Boys (2013)|
Unlike the other MSC stories in this blog, this one is compiled from testimonies of several group members and members of the community, all relating to the same set of incidents.
Village Kuldia is about 80 km from Kolkata, in Magarahata block of South-24-Parganas district. Our neighbourhood is called Sheikh Para, comprising entirely of about 100 Muslim families. Farming is the main occupation. Many Men and Women are also engaged in floriculture and zari work. Some men also do masonry or painting work, for which they travel to the city, and sometimes out of the country. This kind of work attracts lots of young boys too, but on the whole most children go to school./span>
25 years old. M.A. in History and taking tuitions at home. Youth Facilitator with TF. Main source of income is farming on family land. Family of four - Azhar, his wife, 2 year old daughter, mother. Two brothers, their wives and children live in the same house as separate families.
“A couple of years back, I created two groups in our neighbourhood – one for boys, called KYP Boys, of which I am a member, and the other for girls, called Disha. At first I had tried to create a single group with both boys and girls, but people objected; plus, some boys and girls were also not comfortable about sitting and talking together.
While the groups are separate, when we conduct any programme, members from both groups attend. A couple of members from each group were elected as Youth Fellows by TF, and got the opportunity of being trained on different subjects. Later they trained the other members of the group and conducted programmes in the para.
When we conducted a programme on our feelings and thoughts surrounding our para [Neighbourhood Diaries], most people supported us. But later when we started talking about the equal relationships between men and women, then conflicting opinions were aired. Some felt that it was very important to talk about this, while others felt that such topics went against our religion and had no place in our society.
From then on, both the groups have been going through a very hard time. But this has only increased the self-confidence of some members of the groups, including me. We are seeing the light of hope in the problem itself. The way we are questioning our own stereotypical patterns of thinking, in the same way we are feeling the need for society to change.