Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Week 1

This first week in Delhi has been a bit of a waiting period. The first 4 days I was here, I did not really know anyone. I arrived on a Wednesday night, and first visited my NGO (Shakti Shalini, a women's rights NGO that focuses on domestic violence) on Friday. However, my primary contact was not in the office that day, so I was told to come back on Monday. This meant I had the weekend to myself. I chose to wander around the old tombs that are close to where I am staying on Saturday. I visited Humayan's tomb, which is apparently the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. It was absolutely incredible, but also incredibly hot. I barely made it up the stairs of the tomb without falling right over...

By the time Monday rolled around, I was more than ready to meet new people and get to work (doing what, I wasn't so sure). I went back to Shakti Shalini and met with everyone as they arrived (everything seems to start about 2-3 hours after it's meant to around here...something that is actually very much my style). Unfortunately, we have found that the language barrier is really...well...a barrier. Many of the women in the office know only a few phrases in English and I don't know any Hindi. Luckily, there is a girl my age, named Sakshi, that is also interning at the NGO, and she speaks excellent English, and has become a very good friend.

The two of us have embarked on a very excited project. We are going to be working in a community called Nehru Nagar, researching the effects of gender in the community. It is a very broad question, but we are breaking it down into many different topics (education, reproductive health, domestic violence) and will be holding meetings with the girls in the community to talk about these things. We really just want these meetings to be fun discussions with the girls in the communities, and eventually serve as a form of consciousness-raising, once they start to see that many are facing similar situations.
Our hope is that these discussions will be able to continue once we are no longer in the community, and form into a women's group.

I am very excited about what's to come, and hope that it works!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see you're off and running with your project! I'm excited to hear more about the discussions in your community!

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