Over 60 student leader participants from Delhi Public School, Budgam, in Srinagar, Kashmir, at the WISCOMP workshop Parwaaz: Inner Spaces and Outer Expressions spent a day exploring and discussing their aspirations, the challenges they encounter and the resources they use to overcome adversity and the need for education to provide a liberating space.
The participating young boys and girls spoke of challenges ranging from anger, depression, lack of self discipline and separation from friends especially the anxieties of living with everyday violence. Shreya Jani, trainer in Non Violent Communication and Director, STEP (Standing Together To Enable Peace), woveinstances from Malala Yousufzai’s story from the film He Named me Malala to inspire the participating youth to think beyond aspirations for the self and identify what they would like changed in the community around them. With education as the focus of the workshop, a group of participants sang songs of resilience and fortitude. The workshop with the students was complemented by a module for teachers that focused on Understanding Emotions and Aspirations in the classroom. Over 70 teachers from the school participated and engaged on how they can deal with anger within and assist their students to convert anger to understanding and empathy.
The challenges encountered by girls and women in Kashmir were foregrounded on May 17th during an interaction with educators from the KCERT College of Education and students and faculty from other educational institutions of Srinagar and civil society representatives. This interaction carried the message of equal rights of girls to the educational community and policy makers in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. WISCOMP hopes that the flight of dreams (Parwaaz) can be taken by all young people, especially girls whose lives are touched by the participating educators from Srinagar.