|Tahsina is a member of YRC Roshni|
Youth Facilitator (2015)
Read her earlier post
I am Tehsina Bano. I belong to a Muslim family in India. In my community, girls go out only for their studies. Other than that, they are not permitted to go out of home for any other reason because they are girls. The boys here are not so well-educated. However, they start working from quite a young age, or get involved in small businesses of their own because they are boys and it is important for them to earn.
For about five years now, I have been associated with an organization called Thoughtshop Foundation (TF), which has taught me about my rights. I also have a group of my own where we talk to our adolescent friends about their rights. It was through TF that I got a onderful opportunity to go to Bangkok, Thailand. I was very happy to hear about this opportunity, but it was because of one of my identities that I started feeling that I won’t be able to go – my age did not match their criteria. When finally I heard that I would be able to go, I became very happy and started to prepare for the visit. It would be my first ever journey by aeroplane.
While a group of us were preparing our presentation for the Bangkok event, there was a lot of conflict going on at home. My brother was saying that I shouldn’t go to Thailand, because I was a girl, and if I did go, he would walk out of home. This made my mother a little worried – what would people say if her son left home on my account? But then she tried a lot to convince him by saying that his sister was grown-up now. What she was doing was not wrong, and he might just let her do what she wanted to do.
The day before I would make the trip, I did a lot of shopping. At night, when I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I was impatient for morning to come, and for the flight to carry me to Thailand. Finally day did dawn and we got ready to go to the airport. It was the 20th of January, 8.30am, when we reached the Dumdum airport.
It was the first time that I was entering the airport. It was my dream to travel at least once in my life in an aeroplane. That day I felt as if my dream was actually coming true. Prior to this, no one in my family except my father had ever flown in an aeroplane. And it was a great thing in itself to be able to represent India in front of other countries.
After a flight of two hours and twenty-five minutes, we reached Bangkok airport. Before visiting Bangkok, I used to think that it would be just like India, but it was not. After coming out of the airport, when I saw the taxis there, I kept on looking. They were so colourful that I just wanted to keep on looking.
Then we boarded a bright-pink taxi and in that 45 minute journey to the hotel, kept on looking at the cars of different colours and wondering how different it all was. When they were moving, it seemed to me that all of them had the same destination in mind. It felt good to see all the long flyovers and the clean highways and streets.
The #YouthUnite programme happened from the 21st to the 24th of January. In the programme, people of five different countries had come. It had never occurred to me as to how we were going mix with these people. I was confident that I was very flexible and could easily blend in with everybody, but this was not the case. Perhaps I was flexible only in India, and not in other countries. I was not being able to come out of my comfort zone.
Before going to Thailand, I used to think that I hardly judge people, but during one particular session there, I have been able to know myself better. At the same time, I got to know of the challenges faced by other countries, like how anybody can kill someone because of a trivial reason, how society looks at widows with a wrong perspective, and how, if a girl wants to do something with her life, she has to finish all the household chores before she can go out. This is perhaps true in my case even today.
But one question comes to mind repeatedly, that if I had listened to my brother and not gone to Bangkok, what would I have missed out on?
· The opportunity to be happy
· The opportunity to know myself better
· The opportunity to have fun
· The opportunity to learn many new things
· The opportunity to get to know people of other countries
· The opportunity to present my own country to others
I would have lost out on all these things because I am a girl.
[If you felt something after reading this post, please leave a comment; it would mean a lot to this young author! Click here to jump to the comment section. The English version has been translated from the original article below]
Mera YouthUnite Safar
Main Tahsina Bano. Main India ka ek Muslim family se hun. Mere community ki ladkiya sirf padne ke liye bahar nikal sakti hai, uske elawa aur koi bhi karan se woh bahar nahi ja sakti hai kyun ke woh ladki hai. Humare yahan ke ladke utne padhe likhe nahi hote per haan, sab chhote umar se hi kaam mein ya phir khud ke choti si business me lag jate hai kyun ke wo ladke hai aur unke liye kamana zaroori hai.
Main takriban panch saal se Thoughtshop Foundation naam ka ek organisation se judi huyi hun jahan se mujhe mere rights ke bare me pata chala hai. Mera khud ka ek group bhi hai jahan pe hum humare sathi adolescents ko unke rights ke bare me batate hai. Thoughtshop ke zeriya hi mujhe ek sunehra mauqa mila Thailand jane ka. Opportunity ke bare mein sunkar mujhe bahut khushi hui par mere ek identity ke karan mujhe lag raha tha ke main nahi ja paungi -- mera age us criteria se match nahi ho raha tha. Jab mujhe finally pata chala ke main Thailand ja payungi, tab mujhe bahut khushi hui aur main jaane ki taiyari me lag gai. Yeh mere zindagi ka sab se pehla aeroplane se safar tha.
Issi dauran hum aur humare sathiyon ne milkar ek presentation taiyar kiya tha jo hum log wahan present karne wale the. Us waqt mere ghar me bahut conflict chal raha tha. Mera bhai ka kahna tha ke mujhe Thailand nahi jana chahiye kyun ke mai ek ladki hun or agar main gayi toh woh ghar chod ker chale jayenge. Yeh sunkar meri ammi thoda ghabra zarur gai thi kyun ke unka ladka mere wajah se agar ghar chod dega to log kya kahenge. Par phir meri ammi ne unhe bahut samjhaya ke uska behen ab badi hogai hai. Woh jo kuch bhi kar rahi hai wo galat nahi hai aur jo karna hai usey karne do.
Jaane ke pehle ke din humne bahut saare shopping kiye aur jab main raat mein apne bistar mein sone gai to mujhe neend hi nahi aa rahi thi. Aisa lag raha tha ke kab subha hogi aur main aeroplane se udhkar Thailand jayungi. Akhir kar subha ho hi gai or hum taiyar hokar 20th January ko 8:30 baje Dumdum airport pahunche.
Main toh airport ke andar bhi pahli bar jaa rahi thi. Yeh mera swapna zarur tha ke main kamse kam ek bar bhi aeroplane ka safar kar payun. Us din aisa lag raha tha ke mera swapna sach ho raha hai. Isse pahle mere ghar ka koi bhi member ne aeroplane ka safar nahi kiya tha mere Abbu ke ilawa. Aur dusre desh mein India ko present karna khud me hi acha lagne wali baat hai.
Do ghanta pachhis minute ka safar tai karne ke baad humlog Bangkok ke airport me pahunche. Bangkok jane se pahle mere soch yeh tha ke Bangkok bhi bilkul India ke jaisa hi hoga, per nahi, aisa nahi tha. Airport se bahar nikalne ke baad jab maine wahan ka taxi dekha to dekhte hi rah gaye kyun ke woh etna rang berangi tha ke mujhe dekhne ka hi man ker raha tha.
Phir humlog hotel jaane ke liye ek gulabi rang ke taxi me baithe aur 45 minute us taxi me baithe baithe rang berang gadiyun ko dekh kar aisa lag raha tha ke wo kitne alag hai. Par jab woh chal rahi thi to aisa lagraha tha ke sabh ko ek hi jagah jana hai. Wahan ke lambe lambe flyover aur saafsutre rasta ko dekhne me bahut acha mehsus ho raha tha.
21st se 24th January tak Youth Unite programme jari raha. Is programme mein panch alag alag desh ke log aye huye the par mujhe ek baar bhi yeh mahsus nahi huwa ke hum kaise un logon ke sath mil payenge. Main confident thi ke main bahut hi flexible hun or main sabh se asani se mil jati hun. Par nahi, aisa nahi tha. Main shayad India me flexible hun par dusre desh me nahi. Main apne comfort zone se baher nahi nikal paa rahi thi. Main wahan jane se pahle yeh sochti thi ke main logo ko bahut kam judge karti hun par wahan pe ek session ke dauran main apne aap ko aur achhe se jaan payi hun.
Saath hi saath dusre desh ke challenges ko bhi jan paye jo mere liye bahut hi naya tha, jaise koi bhi chhote se karan ki wajah se kissi ka khun ker sakta hai, koi agar vidwah hai to usko samaj mein log galat nazar se dekhte hai, aur agar koi ladki kuch kerna chahe tu usey ghar ka har kaam karke jana padega. Aisa shayad abhi bhi mere sath hota hai.
Par mujhe baar baar ek sawal ata hai ke main agar mere bhai ka baat sunkar aaj Bangkok nahi jati tu mai kiya kiya kho deti?
· Khush rahne ka mauqa
· Khudko aur achhe se pahchanne ka mauqa
· Maja masti karne ka mauqa
· Bahut kuch naya sikhne ka mauqa
· Dusre desh ke logo ko janne ka mauqa
· Khud ke desh ko dusre ke samne present karne ka mauqa
Itna sab khuch main kho deti kyun ke main ek ladki hun.