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Ignitors set student minds on fire

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CAMPUS: Ignitors, a two-day integral formation programme for the PG and UG students, on Monday saw a variety of sessions taken up by industry experts and educationalists in which they shared their first-hand experiences and social concepts with the participating students.

The students of Mass Communication, Political Science and Social Work attended two such sessions on ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Sex, Gender, and Sexuality’ on the first day.

Akkai Padmashali, a human rights activist and Rakshita from the foundation Ondede spoke to the students about‘Sex, Gender, and Sexuality’ during the second half of the day. The session started off with a fun game similar to a tug of war,after which the students were asked to express their opinion on the terms Sex, Gender, and Sexuality.

These terms were simplified and explained by Rakshita who broadened the knowledge of the students by introducing them to terms like ‘intersex’, ‘asexual’, ‘demisexual’ and a few more.

At the end of the session, Akkai Padmashali opened up the floor for an interactive question and answer session to clarify any doubts regarding gender equality and sexual orientation with regards to the thinking of our society.

While answering the questions raised by the students, Akkai Padmashali said “Nobody has the right to judge.” She went on to explain that if we keep following society’s norms, we will only “satisfy the society, not ourselves”. She went on to say that society works on the notion of “Judge, not support gender equality, judge, not support sexual orientation”.

During the first session for the day, John Shanthkumar Joseph from Youth Empowered in Action for Humanity (YEAH) addressed the issue of human rights. John believes that human rights is ‘inbuilt’ and ‘universal’.

He used the idea of “Every human being is sentenced to 15 years of prison” from the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy to make the students realise how much their life is similar to that of the prisoners. He noted that all prisoners and students are identified by a number and not by their name which is the identity of a person. The prisoners have a uniform and the students, a dress code.

John Shanthkumar said that “In certain cases, we are worse than prisoners. Prisoners can at least think. In institutions, we are told what to think, how to think and sometimes we are also told ‘don’t think!’”

He pointed out that from the very first day of  kindergarten, children are told to be quiet, “The word silence has silenced us.” He made the students question themselves, “In this principle of education, what are you?”

John engaged the students in a game that helped them categorise the society into three- the donors, who feel the power by giving; the receivers, who think they should be thankful for whatever is being given like it isn’t their right to own it, and the law, that has been just sitting and enjoying the show while injustice prevails in the society.


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