September 18, 2018
Yes, there exists a phase in the year that observes celebration of womanhood, celebrating pride of being a woman and pampering oneself with no social objections. The fortunate time is called Teej that calls for merrymaking by women. However, the festival is bound in the shackles of embellishing oneself with beautiful clothes, henna on hands, and social gatherings. Santulan acknowledges the festival as revival of the spirit of Maa Parvati to combat all odds, not giving up and stay spiritually empowered, and thus extends the scope of celebration to mass sensitization in regards to women holistic empowerment. Holding that belief, Santulan commemorates the festival every year with great vigor and enthusiasm and objects to widely spread the message behind the festival. Continuing the trend, this year too, the agile Santulan teams are celebrating the festival all over with women in the form of a month-long campaign under the banner “Teej 2018 Women’s Convention” from August 13, 2018 i.e. Hariyali Teej till September 12, 2018 i.e. Haritalika Teej, by means of distinct workshops.
The workshops are designed as assortment of diverse activities like panel discussion, forum theatre, lecture, swing ride and exhibition, intending to discuss and analyze gender based issues that are catching up pace. Acclaimed women dignitaries and exemplars are being invited on board as panelists to share perspective on violence against women-its causes & impact and women empowerment in real sense. Forum theatre involves demonstration of such violence, gender discrimination, plight of women and lack of righteousness being the consequence to dormant consciousness of individuals, includes both genders. Subjects like acceptance of subordination/violence and incorrect understanding of empowerment are being taken up & performed by Santulan volunteers in the form of a role play. The play is frozen in middle and taken forward by volunteers from audience to invite their views on the subject matter and response to such issues. This keeps the session interactive, engaging and introspecting. Delivery of sensitizing lecture by Sadhvi disciple, shedding light on women strengths and rights also forms part of the workshop. Sadhvi ji accentuates the dire need of solidarity amongst womenfolk, the spirit of moving ahead together, respect for each other’s challenges & shortcomings, being the real essence of Teej festival. With a major mention of Maa Parvati’s dedication & strong willpower, emphasis is laid on abilities of women, if they get determines to withstand any form of societal storm against them.
Thereafter is a swing arrangement, being the festival’s tradition, a ride to which is a pledge to save girl child. An exhibition is also organized alongside to distribute informative Santulan pamphlets to participants, seek feedback and counsel on queries related to issues discussed. Attendees, post the enlightening workshop, take the ride on swing and pen down their pledge to voice against gender based violence on a pledge board at exhibition. Other related activities like floating of diyas in rivers, group singing are also being carried out by attendees. The count of workshops is skyrocketing with each passing day of campaign and so is the number of beneficiaries. Santulan believes in exploring every possible option to inculcate self-worth in every woman and is reaching out to small towns and cities too to attain this objective.