How SRK's Role In Dilwale Dulhaniya, Darr Will Explain Concept Of Consent To Kids
#MeToo, a women-led activism has gained momentum in recent weeks in India, where women reveal the name of their perpetrators who have sexually harassed them in their workplace. Here social media has played an important role, it has given these women a platform to tell their story and find solidarity with other women who have faced the same. There is no denying that it’s a step in the right direction but have you given a thought to women who are poor and have no access to social media but are abused and exploited on a daily basis? Sad part is they don't even know they are being sexually abused and that there is something called "consent."
A huge percentage of our population comprise of poor, orthodox and uneducated, here girls from the age group of 20 to 25 years are not aware of safe sex, contraception, safe periods and consent. That's when Super School India (SSI), an NGO based in Delhi, become important. It runs various education initiatives for urban slum children by targeting the above issue and helping them lead a respectful and a healthier life.
But the reason why they are in the news is because of their innovative way of explaining the concept of consent, using tea and Shah Rukh Khan as examples. "The original concept was tweeted by a British blogger approximately five to six years ago where he explained how consent is like tea. We have simplified and localized the same concept and I believe it makes it easier to explain it to children." said Radhika Mittal, Founder, Super School India while talking to edexlive.
Radhika explains that if one asks you if you want tea and in answer you just smile. It doesn't mean that you want tea. When you seek consent on things as small as tea why not for kissing and sex. Radhika explains further by adding, "Manzuri chai ki tarah hoti hai (consent is like tea), a girl may have spoken to you openly about sex but that doesn't imply she wants to sleep with you." Radhika says that this analogy worked pretty well in explaining consent to children.
Taking the tea analogy a step further, she says, "Now, say I had tea with you twice last week. What if you come up to me, open my mouth and pour tea in it? At this point the kids laugh and say that would be a crazy thing and that’s when we take it further and talk about how consent is not permanent."
Similarly they use Shah Rukh Khan to explain what is the acceptable (cool) and not acceptable (ajeeb) behavior. For instance, the SRK character in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is showed as how a gentleman behaves i.e. in an empathetic and gentle way while his villainous character who stalks Juhi Chawla in a movie Darr or his alter ego in Fan would be showed in order to explain children that why it's unacceptable to behave like that.
According to Radhika there are two areas that has been ignored for a long time, which needs maximum attention, which is quality English speaking education and sex education. "Sex education will continue to be a major focus area as I believe it needs lifelong intervention. We have already impacted 5,000 students as we tied up with schools for delivering our programs and in the next two years our goal is to have an effect on 10,000 children," concludes Radhika.
Three years ago, Radhika who grew up and worked at Singapore, decided to move to India hoping to work with urban slum children. Because of that, she started this organization in order to provide good education to these children. She began interacting with slum kids near her house in Delhi, she tried to figure out what was lacking in their education and then keeping that in mind she finally designed programs to help them.
Though they have been successful in terms of sex education but their English speaking programs are still in its initial phase. According to Radhika, sex education will continue to be one of the focus areas, primarily because the information that these kids have are usually half-baked and so are of no use. Their programme so far have been designed for 150 children, but they hope to involve other government schools and reach out to at least 5,000 students in one year.
Picture Source: EdexLive; The Better India
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