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Monday, November 28, 2011

Glimpse to Jumbish n Sign Cafe

This Saturday, PJI was witness to a spectacular workshop by Surabhi Jain, a newbie at Pravah but no newbie at sharing things beautifully :) She conducted a session on the basics of sign-language. Old and new volunteers alike, along with the stalwarts, got to learn something new from this session. A lot of us were surprised to see that sign language uses such common-sensical actions, and it was lots of fun to spell out our names and other words for PJI family members to guess! 

The next in this series of learning Sign-Language is to follow soona fter Jumbish! 

Surabhi is a 2nd year student of B.Com at Kanoria College, Jaipur and works with her mother at the Deaf Women's Society of Rajasthan. Most of us take for granted, our ability to talk and communicate with words and voice. Born to parents who are speech- and hearing-impaired, signing is Surabhi's mothertongue. Her life, and indeed that of her parents, shows us that courage and determination to excel can never hold us back.  

Sunday saw a hullaballoo in true PJI fashion. With over 20 masti-mongers working in and around the kitchen, the plan was to have a cook-out Awesome Style. And indeed, that is what it turned out to be :) WIth someone chopping the onions, another boiling the rice, a group peeling pea's - the Sunday cookout tasted a mouth-watering pulao and chutney! Yum. We should do this again, and soon! 

(Who's hungry? I AM!) 

Till next time, folks! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish 2011

Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish 2011

Why Jaipur?

Our exchange with young people and organizations across the city of Jaipur led us to discover that while Rajasthan is known for its social activism across the world, the young people in Jaipur tend to be very disconnected from this legacy. The city is undergoing a number of changes which is resulting in a lot of turmoil. In terms of aspirations, the city is looking towards Delhi- malls, multi- storied buildings and call centers. Personality development, English speaking classes and tuitions for civil services among others are on the rise. Dealing with this fast paced urbanization while being rooted in the cultural tradition has created a tough situation for young people. In this fast-paced, competitive world, the locus has somewhere shifted from education for development of character and growing up to become an effective human being, to education that merely equips young adults to do well for themselves alone. This has led to a preoccupation of the young person with his/her own development in exclusion of the rest of society.

Why do we need to work with Young people?

We believe that young people can change the world today. We believe that the young people have great energy and passion which infuses young people with the potential to initiate, actualize and sustain positive change in the world. Every young person has a potential to be a change maker, all they need is an opportunity to discover that potential.

In a world where every day brings a new headline to add a sense of insecurity and fear, values like trust, love, peace and interdependence are fast giving way to cynicism, and a desire to focus on just self.

In this scenario, many young people who want to engage often hold back (willingly or unwillingly) for fear of being perceived as mad or being labeled as the odd one out. Often they are held back by their immediate families, who feel that this may take them away from their path towards success.

In this process the young people loose a great opportunity to develop as good human beings, who retain their individuality while valuing interdependence and hence connect their self with the larger society. The ability to think and analyze for one self, look beyond what exists, take stances and action, are all skills which are necessary skills for both career and in life and are learnt in the process of becoming an active citizen. Working with young people to inspire them to become change makers and active citizens is therefore imperative to the health of the entire world.

What is active citizenship?

The word citizenship is often viewed solely from the political lens. To many of us it defines the relationship of an individual vis a vis a state. However, we believe that a citizen is also a denizen of a city, a nation and a world. We have a responsibility as guardians of these common spaces, beyond our homes and institutions.

Citizenship is that, which makes us participative, proactive, and responsible towards society. This citizenship is boundary less, not defined by state, caste, religion, language.

An active citizen is someone who steps out of the comfort zone of complacency and acts for social change. Values of interdependence and ownership are at the core of active citizenship.

What is Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish?

The Youth Jumbish is going to be a space to celebrate the young change makers, inspire young people to get engaged and see how the process will benefit both of them and the world at large. It will also give them concrete spaces to get involved through volunteering and other means, and put the focus on how it can be cool to be an active citizen. The Festival we hope will also help the society at large see active citizenship as an integral part of education of a young person.

We hope that the spirit of fun, celebration and hope, along with real examples will help inspire young people to embark on a journey of self to society, and start the process of creating a community of Youth active citizens who can create their own vision of what Jaipur should be like and act on it.

What will the Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish do?

There are many young people wishing to create social change and becoming active citizens in Jaipur. However, they often find themselves in isolation and feel the need for a platform where they could connect with like minded peers, and discover and enhance their potential as change makers.

It is precisely this platform that we want to start building through the Jaipur Youth Festival. With this festival, young people will be inspired to become active citizens by creating their vision of Jaipur, celebrating the work of young active citizens and identifying ways in which they can get involved.

It will also create a case for how getting involved in society gives a space to learn many things including skills which help in developing a good responsible human being which will help in both career and life.

All this of course while having fun, and using interactive and creative methodologies like theatre, music, art, and craft among others.

Some questions that we hope the Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish will raise:

- Can Citizenship be more than just a relationship of an individual and a state?

- What are our responsibilities to common spaces beyond our homes and institutions?

- How are our lives connected with those who we have never met?

- What can we do to make love, peace and respect universal values?

- Why is Active citizenship so important?

- How can we move from independence to interdependence?


To inspire young people to become active citizens by promoting new thinking and imagination on the theme and recognizing citizenship work done by young people.


- To inspire young people to become active citizens by recognizing and celebrating existing youth citizenship work.

- To create a community of Young active citizens who can engage with social action by helping them identify ways in which they can make a difference through methods such as volunteering.

- To enable young people to make a connection between self and society and make a case for active citizenship as an integral part of an individuals’ education and life.

Possible Outcomes:

- 40 young people register to volunteer with different organizations.

- 30 people sign up for exposure trips

- A forum of young active citizens who meet once every month for sharing what they are doing towards the Jaipur that they want and have imagined and sessions by diff orgs as inputs for the same.

Target Group- 15- 25 years

Scope of Impact- Adolescents, Youth and Parents and the larger society.

How can different people/ groups / institutions get involved :


- Send children on the day of the event to participate (sections 9 and 11 pref)

- Choose to create a group to perform on day of event- within which

Option a- To choose a theme and devise it on their own

Option b- they ask us to connect them with facilitators on issues and/ or skill

- Host a film screening followed by a session on an issue to engage people in dialogue.

- Hold an internal debates, discussions and sessions, to talk about what active citizenship is and why it is needed.

- Take the children for an exposure (with or without our help)

- Nominate groups/ individuals who have already been engaged in social action (groups who participated in Project Citizen)

- Ask children to create posters, write poetry, and create notice boards in this issue.

- Hold parents – children dialogue on this issue.

- Hold internal sessions on skill building on how to get engaged in society.


- All of the above

- Give us space to mobilize people and invite them to participate even outside of college if the college does not wish to engage directly.

- Nominate students as volunteers for the fest.


- Stalls during the event

- Facilitators for issues and skills- help facilitate the process

- Take on volunteers

- Facilitate exposures

- Volunteer as part of org team

- Share resources

- Help in outreach

- Help in identifying other facilitators and access to young people

- In case youth or adolescent oriented org then all the options as under schools and colleges.

- Developing creative interfaces between school and college students and the communities that they work with.

Artists- Theatre, painters, photography, musicians etc.: 

- Help facilitate the process with young people.

- Create pieces on social issues which can be exhibited during the event and even before and after to make people think

- Creative ways of communication through the festival

Media :

- Outreach

- Taking up the issue for public dialoguing

These are some of the ideas that we have on ways in which people can engage

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

By The Way (part 4)

I was reading about static and dynamic energy. Static electricity refers to the buildup of electric charge on the surface of objects. The static charges remain on an object until they either bleed off to ground or are quickly neutralized by a discharge.

I was wondering where I should keep young minds in this definition. I guess, they are static energies, ready to either discharge or transform into dynamic energy.
One example we are seeing in the form of university elections. Such an energy and passion!!But God knows, in which direction this energy is flowing. How many transformation this energy takes…from static to dynamic to light to mechanical to thermal energy. Yes.. lot of heat has been generated in the campus.

Confusion is also an energy form. History is full of such examples where young people have transformed their confusion energy into something productive..I won’t take the name. This task I leave up to you to think those names

In context of energy, I suddenly remembered three young people, who are trying to transform their confusion energy into something. This something is what that I can’t tell you as I don’t have a right to judge or comment but I can observe that they are not sitting idle and watching what so ever is happening or not using their energy in freaking out with friends and not converting this energy into any university election.

Then what are they doing and who are they.. This is the tale of The Ashutosh, The Shyam and The Jaiveer.They struggled with their confusion and I guess still struggling but they are using this confusion as their torch to see their path. This way they have transformed this energy into light and looking for ways in which they can transform it into productive kinetic energy.

By the way.. They are not afraid of confusion. After all confusion gives us options and confusion energy gives us courage to at least try those options… SO FOLKS , LETS BE CONFUSED… and cheers to The Ashutosh , The Shyam and The Jaiveer to enjoying and living this confusion and trying to convert this confusion energy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Café Mohalla- BACK WITH A BANG!!

“Theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can  share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
- Oscar Wilde

Participants-Garima, Gunjan, Dipesh, Ritansh, Jimmy, Sunil, Anand(volunteerfrom faith), Bhomik, Keshav, Shyam, Sangeeta, Mridula, Kritika, Chaitanya, Karan, Shivang, Abhishekand Rajesh.

This Saturday Café Mohalla of PJI started with the celebration of Ritansh‘s birthday and its rebirth (applauds!!). It was best to commence the programme with a brief introduction about CAFÉ MOHALLA from the mouth of Gungun, as the idea of café is the seed of her mind only. She explained the concept of 5th space of PJI and how we can build relationships by sharing keeping importance of money constant.Acquaintance with Café Mohalla demanded introduction of everyone present for the café which was carried out by their respective names along with a gesture each.The programme got a step ahead by the question asking the thing that pops up in mind first when the word theatre is heard, and the question was answered very actively and creatively by everyone like

“projection of feelings- anger,frustration,bliss etc.",

”mean to express humanity”,

”expression of thoughts...”

Naveen took the cafe further by a group game of quickly forming groupsof number of members said in random.Next succeeding was movie making game in which everyone got the chance to add on to the play started by Sunil and to show their acting and creativity skills.The next two wereBang-bang game and the Bhains-gawala (blind fold) game which taught participants the importance of trust and listening skills in a very fun- interactive manner. Non-stop fun called for a breakin which everyone enjoyed delicious and healthy sprouts salad andchaach (butter milk) prepared by Gungun and Dipesh.Fun and learning were more tocome as we got served withFarjistan-Ki-Farzi baatein game, yes-boss game and fake-acting game in our plates by Naveen which worked on their skills likes improvisation, presence of mind and creativity. But the real show stopper was the Pantomime game in which participants were made to sit in two rows and been given themes to enact and hence transfer it along the row. Giving them the feeling of competition and team work and also bringing out the essential life skill of inter-dependency.

The session concluded with a little discussion on what all we had learnt about theatre and life through all these games and how easily all these things also describes the quality of our behavior, emotions and perceptions with others in our daily life.

Overall the café on Theatre was all about fun,acting,spontaneity,sharing and learning in a row. Café Mohalla’s return was at its best and credit goes to Naveen for the way he designed and left no leaf unturned to imply acting through various games and also to the ever enthusiastic PJI volunteers to show so much of energy and interest throughout the session (CURTAINS DOWN !!!!!!!!)

Facilitated by Naveen Sharma and Co-facilitated by Aprajita Sharma.

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