Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Proud to be A Woman


Growing up in a single child household, I was always the peak of attention of both my parents, both in a positive and negative way. My parents loved me but were overly worried about my safety. My parents loved me but my extended family kept nudging them about how I should be raised like a man to be better in the society. The thought of being raised like a man has always made me cringe. As sexist as it sounded, this was a day-to-day conversation in every household. According to my father, specifically, he wanted me to be as responsible as a man and very often found himself in an avert position of dreading himself that I, one day, would be married off. I never really understood why this was such a necessity. Why couldn’t I be a woman and be brought up like one? That’s when I realized that to them, being brought up as a woman meant to cook, manage the household and take care of the children. So, I got their point, they wanted me to be independent - emotionally, financially and in every other way possible. After so many years of gender equality movement, we are back at the image of independence being equaled to men.

But as I grow up, I realize that I am proud of being a woman. I don’t think of myself as better or worse than men but I just want to be unapologetic as a woman. I can be strong and efficient. I can take care of the household (even though maintaining household should not be gender biased) and my work. I can take care of children and serve my passion at the same time. I don’t think, as a woman, should stop me from being who I am or who I want to be. Every woman should look at the positive, rather than the negative. We have to deal with too much stuff, from home or the world outside but that’s what makes us unique. We have the capability to turn the tables and be who we are. We have the strength to fight for what we want. We should never be sad for getting lesser trips than men or feeling more chained than them - rather we should focus on how to find happiness with what we have and who we are. We should help others to accept us and believe in us and it all starts from right now, today. Take
a moment, breath and enjoy being a woman - without any fear, without feeling like a burden and definitely, without feeling guilty of being a woman.

~Raisa Rahman

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Monday, August 06, 2018

Modern Parenting?

In a steadfast generation, good parenting is a necessary. Children are like fresh mud, they can be molded in many ways. Many of our societal problems start from a very early age, be it drug abuse or eve teasing. These things are to be taught from home but parents often emphasize more on educating the children by the books than focus on educating them as a human being. The importance of parenting is often misunderstood as a sort of guidance to only being successful in life but in reality, parenting works as a pillar for children to help them build perspective and personality. 



We have had long discussions and debates about gender equality and feminism. The ideas are the same without different explanation but in every way, the argument poses the same verdict and that is, everyone should treat everyone else equally. This lesson is not to be learned from an article or from a book but from home. Both boys and girls should be taught from when they are young to respect all genders and treat them equally. This is an important lesson to evaluate their future perspective. The idea of equality when engraved into children will help them build better ethics and morals. I believe that in this way we can stop or at least decrease sexual abuse, rapes, harassment and much more. 

From early on, parents should teach their girls to fight for their rights and protest when they are discriminated or when they feel abused or neglected. Parents should also teach girls to defend themselves emotionally and physically as well as help others to do the same. These important lessons can help the girl throughout her life and she wouldn’t feel like a burden to anyone and be more independent and responsible.

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These lessons are thought to be crucial for girls and the parenting for modern parents are changing but at the same time, these lessons apply to boys as well. Boys are to be taught about gender equality, respect for all genders, consent, behavior etc. When boys are taught attitude of such, girls would feel safer around them. When you teach boys to be responsible and teach them to know what to do and what not to do, the rate for abuses will decrease. 

As said previously, the lessons start from home. It’s the baby step towards a better perspective which makes the world a better place to live in. We need to start from now to give our future generations a healthier mentality and society to live in.

~ Raisa Rahman

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Volunteer: Is it a mind-game?

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A very common notion around volunteering is that it is about helping others and to ease guilty feelings. It is thought of as ‘more privileged’ people giving to those who are ‘less able’. Our brains are trained to measure everything based on something that is tangible or quantitative. We quantify privileges or abilities also in similar fashion. For example, we measure physical strength by appearance; we estimate the level of education or intellect through degrees/diplomas. The mind is also efficient and inclined in estimating financial strength of a person through visually available signs. To summarize, we are programmed to define ‘more able’ in a limited way. The intangible benefits or strengths which we lack lie in the blind spot zone. We create a self appealing picture to protect our illusive ‘more privileged’ image of ourselves and assume we are positioned to help others. 
After volunteering we feel good which might be due to the heightened feeling of self-worth or self-power associated with this act of ‘giving’. But we turn a blind eye to the ‘taking’ involved in the process. Volunteering is not just about helping others, it’s about helping oneself. There is a lot more one is left with while volunteering than what one gives during the experience. Everyone needs help, everyone needs a volunteer. 

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With the advent in technology, it’s even simpler to volunteer, by volunteering online. A few take-away from volunteering – 
  • A unique experience
  • Understanding of social, economic and legal factors
  • Connections across the globe with volunteering network’s
  • Learning new skills
  • Knowing yourself better
Volunteer
On
Line for
Understanding socioeconomic factors
New experiences
Teaming up at volunteer social network’s
Empowering yourself and others
Engaging others
Re-inventing yourself

Volunteer not just for others, volunteer and do something for yourself.

~ Ashpreet Dhillon

Monday, July 23, 2018

Self-Defense : psychological changes to human behaviour

In simple terms, defense is a countermeasure. If some damage or threat is perceived, natural response to protect oneself is triggered. The keyword here is ‘natural’. It implies everyone is born with the natural instinct to protect oneself from harm. Even harmless looking plants have self defense mechanisms, which range from visible defenses like thorns to invisible ones like release of chemical compounds.
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So, when faced with threat, natural response to protect oneself automatically takes precedence. But, is the involuntary engagement triggered by instinctive reaction enough to save us? The outcome does depend on one thing – practicing Self-Defense. Generally speaking, Self-Defense is thought of as a skill to enable oneself to stand against any harm to oneself. This is because of the benefits it has in terms of increasing physical strength. But, Self-Defense is not only about being able to protect oneself; it is also about being capable to protect oneself. This is especially true in case of women or children, who might be considered as being less able to protect themselves, based on comparative measures of physical strength. Self-Defense deserves due attention as it has the power to improve capabilities and compensate for any lack in abilities, hence changing lives forever. 
Just like reading a book on cars cannot make one a car driver, it requires practice, similarly Self-Defense needs to be practiced. Again, driving on an empty road might be impressive but it is not as challenging as driving in real traffic. Self-Defense, just like any other learning activity has its phases, too. As one goes deeper into the phases, it is easy to understand and feel the invisible benefits of Self-Defense. The observable visible benefits include increase in physical strength just like the visible plant defense mechanism, thorns. In addition, Self-Defense makes psychological changes to human behaviour too, which transcend the benefits to the internal mechanisms like release of chemical compounds on facing a threat situation. It helps to co-ordinate mind and body. ‘Battles have to be won in the mind first, and then with the body’, and Self-Defense helps to train both the mind and the body.
Colorss Foundation: Quick-Self Defense application for Android Phone
Practising Self-Defense broadens self-perception on one’s own physical capabilities, it increases confidence and self-esteem. These benefits are visible in the body posture and response reactions. It also has positive effects on the behaviour. It narrows the mental confusion and fear driven responses, helps to make quick judgements in threat situations and hence transforms a natural instinct into a more responsible means of protection for self and others.
~ Ashpreet Dhillon




Thursday, July 19, 2018

A woman’s safety under a fingertip : Quick Self-defense Application


“The best protection any woman can have is courage” - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women make half the population of the world and yet life has never been equal for them. Looking down the history, a woman’s life only surrounded in pleasing her counterpart, the man. In a patriarchal society, a woman has been looked down upon, not given the opportunity to shine and was never enough. We came a long way from the extremist views of women, at least, in many cities of the world but the image is very different if you walk down the streets of the rural areas.

Being a woman myself, I recently had the opportunity to go to rural areas for a survey project. The idea of women working in the rural areas was still a taboo in Bangladeshi rural areas and we had just been at the closest Dhaka outskirts. Their whole lives revolved around the thought that women were better off at home, taking care of children and taking care of the household. Definitely it’s the duty of any family man or woman, but not just women and any women who want to be free spirit face extreme consequences, known as domestic violence. A study of 2002 (Raj and Silverman Study) reported that 42 percent participant out of 160 participants admitted to have been physically or sexually abused by their current male partners. We have passed sixteen years since the study but the numbers were staggering even back then. The abuses still happen, behind the doors, the taboo is still there.


In 2013, a UN study (UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific) found out that in six countries at nine sites, 23 percent of men admitted to at least one rape. Another staggering figure. In the South Asian region, rape is increasing and all this calls for an action that starts from home. NCRB data shows that in India 93 women are raped everyday. We hope to dedicate a few words to all the women on self defense and how to be safe.

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Self defense is a newer idea in the South Asian region and is one of the most important things to learn now. That is why, Colorss Foundation brought about a program that encourages women to learn new techniques of self defense. Their aim is to conduct workshop six days a week and/or ten days self-defense workshop. They hope to increase the intensity and rigor of these workshops gradually.  The benefit of self defense is just not learning how to fight rather it’s to improve body flexibility, shape, control and discipline. 

Now, this opportunity is easier to access to everyone around the world now because Colorss Foundation created an app for Android users [Quick Self-Defense] with an access to all the quick self defense techniques at your finger tips. The app consists of 9 different and useful techniques. These techniques have two separate options - first, learn and second, practice. Each technique is guided through by pictures and instructions down below. This gives every girl out there to have a good look on how it’s supposed to be done at any place, at any time. This handy app is like everyone’s go to book for protecting themselves. The availability of this app is what makes this very preferred. You can download this app from Google Play.

This app is an initiative that takes women one step closer to safety and also one step closer to achieve Gender Equality under SDG. The motive isn’t to just help women from India or from South Asia, rather the app tries to connect with all the women around the world. These techniques can be used against anyone who violates a woman’s rights and abuses them. Do not be afraid to raise your voice and to raise your hand on your aggressor. 


Therefore, being a woman strong enough to handle any situation is infused within us, all we have to do is take the lead. We came a long way and we have a longer way to go. We have to remember to teach our sons from home because the action comes from both ways. If we talk about equality, both the genders need to understand the retrospective. Taking a small step forward could make a huge difference in empowering women and helping them get their rights. It always starts from here.





Wednesday, May 09, 2018

In conversation with Tata Tea Jaago Re



Mission 1000 has been working to uplift the self-esteem and confidence among the girls and woman who are trained through our customized curriculum of self-defense. This is project shown good results, increasing the confidence and self-esteem of the participants. The results are encouraging and the girls have shown commendable behavior changes post workshop. i.e one of the girl who had been training with us, trained her mother and younger sister in self-defense. Few of the girls are now confident to travel along in government bus to attend school and go out for other work as well. These might sound small changes, however at large in the longer run; this is going to bring upon a great change in the psychological build up of the young girls.  

Recently in conversation with Tata Tea Jaago Re, I got the opportunity to share my views about Mission 1000 and how we can collectively build up a safer society for women and girls. Request you to go through this link. :  https://bit.ly/2KoGnOE
In conversation with Tata Tea Jaago Re, Anand Koti, a professional martial arts expert, explores the need to Pre-Act towards building a safer society for women. 
Read on to find out more: https://bit.ly/2KoGnOE
Look forward to hear your comments and views. Want to be a part of change come join us and drop an email to us.

Best wishes as always,

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Girl Power : Quick Self Defense - Easy but requires dedication!



The weaker sex. Damsels in distress. Women across the world are considered as fragile creatures who cannot protect themselves. So, it is high time that they defy all the odds and prove their mettle.

Self defense-learning to fend off an attacker can not only help women have peace of mind when walking alone, but also boost their confidence, independence and instill in them a sense of accomplishment.

In Dec 2014, Colorss Foundation had launched its Quick Self-Defense Application that teaches women invaluable skills to defend themselves and their loved ones. With the help of this application, women and girls will be able to learn and practice self-defense.

A new version of this application will provide one with language options (yes, now you can choose from 19 available languages- Japanese, Nepali , Hindi , Bengali , Assamese , Marathi , Gujarati , Kannada , Malayalam , Oriya , Tamil , Urdu , Punjabi , Russian , Telugu , Chinese , Portuguese , Arabic , Spanish!) which will help reach more women and children. 

Though Colorss Foundation is going forward with the Android version of this App, we hope to launch an ioS version soon.

You can beat the world. You can win any battle. You can move mountains. You can break rocks. Your body is more capable than you think & your resolve is stronger than you believe. 

Download this app from the Google Play Store and keep yourself updated : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.colorssfoundation.colorss&hl=en

Remember-if you have been knocked down, come back swinging!


-Sagarica Brahma