This beautiful update came to us from Deepika and we think you're in for a treat with this one!
I spent my last five days in an interior tribal village bordering Rajasthan and Gujarat. This was the first time that I was accompanying my partner, Nadim Nikhat, along with my five year-old son. We have had many opportunities to work together as professionals. One of the key assignments included developing a curriculum and capacity-building plan for young people on the Constitution (of India). The other assignment involved Nadim developing a curriculum for the adolescent girls' program in Jharkhand by QUEST Alliance.
I was just a fly - not even on the wall but outside the wall - doing my calls and keeping an eye on my kid. The workshop was on the Constitution of India for school-going children. On day one, I observed that the children were silently participating. There were no questions nor were there many responses - just a blink, a smile, and a nod. On day five, I saw the last session and the participants read out what they understood their duties and rights were. No document was introduced to them. The detailing of the right to life included joy, food, sleep, love, and respect. In a way, the kids included The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) without having been introduced to these documents!
You may not be able to relate to their lived realities but they can. Trust the process, and have faith. He had even introduced write-ups based on Amartya Sen's philosophical written exploration titled “Identity and Violence” and they were able to understand power, violence, choiceless, and choice-based identities. To me, ‘fun’ was the key ingredient. “FUN Is a Right” as Nadim always says. We both learned ways to integrate fun activities into more 'serious topics from our friends Agyatmitra and Swati. They’ve even been able to run workshops without any resources! They introduced us to the world of Play for Peace where minimal resources are used working in conflict-hit areas with children and young people.
Nadim and I have been generously integrating Play for Peace activities in the workshops and every time we have experienced the magic of play - it works.
(Editor’s note - Some of the elements of the UDHR include the following statements: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.” Read more here)