On Saturday March 22nd, we opened our office and resource center to the general public for the first time. Amongst those invited were students from Jadavpur University, Loreto College, St.Xaviers College and numerous city NGO’s; all of whom came together to show solidarity for the fledgling organization that has only recently established it’s name in the field of child right’s activism and Child Sexual Abuse awareness through performing arts, intervention, counseling and interactive discussion.
The interactive session was facilitated by members Mirna Guha and Nayantara Mazumdar, both students of Elaan’s in-house peer counseling course, who deftly tackled questions on sexuality, gender, communication barriers between parents and their children, “coming out”,homosexuality and other topics that are otherwise considered “taboo” and not “media-friendly”. It was interesting to note that not one media person chose to support the occasion despite it being a noteworthy one and indeed, a “one-of-a-kind”, given the most recent tragedy ; that being the death of Scarlett Keeling.
Among the solutions that resulted from the session were the ones that involved speaking with parents and heads of organizations about personal safety, involving young children in self-awareness and self-esteem and speaking to both parent and child as a “team” to ensure clear and consistent communication between both, so as to ensure less stress for both.
Elaan ended the session by mentioning it’s tele-counseing details, and also it’s website address (www.elaan.org) and all pronounced themselves as being grateful for the openness and informality provided by an open space and tea-time atmosphere.
The organizers are grateful to Mr.Barun Roy for his invaluable assistance with the LCD Projector, and for his chipping in voluntarily with last-minute help. Mr. and Mrs. Sinha are also to be thanked for their patience with open gates, spilt tea and other things. A special hug to Minoti di for the tea and Blue the dog for being the best mascot we could have!