17 Sept 2013

My Dream Becomes Reality [msc]

Narrated by Ashok Majhi, 16 years, YRC, Swapno, Namkhana
Recorded by Binita Chakraborty, 5th May, 2013. Please see the brief note on MSC for a background on the process.

I live in a village in the Namkhana Block of the Sundarban area. It is few kilometers walk along a dirt track that leads from the highway. A lovely little river called Chinai flows by here. Our village is very beautiful.

At home, we are four people – my parents, me, and my younger sister. My father has a business of growing betel leaves and my mother is a homemaker. I am in class XI, my sister is in class VI. I go to the Union High School located in another village called Shibnagar Abaad. It was through my school that I got associated with a group called Swapno [Bengali: "Dream"]. We meet in Shibnagar Abad every Saturday after school hours.

The most significant change for me has been seeing my dream for a health centre in my village come true with the help of my group and family.

Me and my Group [msc]

Narrated by Rina Dhara, 25 years, YRC Alor Sandhan, Dum Dum
Recorded by Binita Chakraborty, 5th May, 2013. Please see the brief note on MSC for a background on the process.

I am the youngest in our family with two elder brothers and two sisters. My eldest brother and sister are married and now there are 8 members in our family. We have three rooms in which all of us live together. My father used to drive a tram, now he is completely out of work. I had to give up my studies after class X. I now work as a beautician, as well as take tuitions from home.

A number of years back, I had seen boys and girls from our adjacent neighbourhood holding a programme in our local field. They were discussing equality of women and men in society. Many people participated in that discussion. I wanted to be part of something like that. A year ago when I saw my friend Pinky holding a discussion in the neighbourhood clubroom with some local boys and girls, I knew that this was my chance to join a group. And so I joined Alor Sandhan [Bengali: "In Search of Light"].

The most significant change for me has been the unconditional love and support I have received from my group. It has helped me value myself and made me want to address my weaknesses.

14 Sept 2013

No More Name-Calling [msc]

Narrated by Tinku Sarder, 13 years, YRC Alor Sandhan, Dum Dum
Recorded by Krishna Goldar, 5th May, 2013. Please see the brief note on MSC for a background on the process.

I am Tinku Sardar, a student of class VII. My home is in Birsa Munda Pally near Dum Dum Airport. People in my neighbourhood - both women and men - are mostly daily labourers. Some also work at tilling land or reaping grain. My father works as a driver while my mother is a housewife. Besides them, our family is made up of my elder sister and myself.

The most significant change has been in myself because I learned to respect people.

Resolving Conflict [msc]

Narrated by Sariba Khatun, 22 years, YRC, Disha, Kuldia- Mograhat
Recorded by Krishna Golder, 19th May, 2013. Please see the brief note on MSC for a background on the process.

I am Sariba, doing my B.A. 2nd year. My family consists of my parents, my elder brother, four younger sisters and four brothers.

I live in a beautiful village with trees, fields, ponds and cultivable land everywhere. Most of us are Muslims and we - both women and men - survive on farming, zari embroidery work, or have nurseries. All the people in our neighbourhood are related to one another in some way or the other. My paternal grandfather and uncles were born and raised in this village. We have lived our lives in this close-knit way having good relationship with our neighbours.

The most significant change for me over the last six months is related to how the group has helped me deal with a conflict with my closest friend.

13 Sept 2013

A Normal Sacrifice

Piyali Paul
This is Piyali's third post
read her earlier post

I’m Piyali, and I live in a small neighbourhood near Dumdum. I have grown up amidst a lot of hardship, but I’m an optimist – every moment finds me walking towards my goal with unbounded hope. Life’s experiences impel me to question and enable me to learn new things.

Although I do have many questions regarding religion, I fundamentally believe that all religions are the same - humanity and relationships of love constitute the most important religion for me. For this reason, I have friends from different backgrounds and I interact easily with all of them.

I have a very good friend who works in the same office with me. I used to visit her at home frequently and was with her at her wedding. Everyone in her family loves me a lot and I’ve grown to be friends with many people in her neighbourhood. I used to visit her area every week and conduct workshops with the local kids. The kids also loved me very much, so I really enjoyed going there.

This incident took place one such Saturday when I happened to be in their locality. Four-five people