PGs or Paying Guest accommodations are a big ‘phenomenon’ in Delhi given the number of universities and colleges the city has and the limited hostel facilities that these institutions provide. Outstation students have no choice but to take recourse to PGs. There exists a huge diversity in such PGs in terms of the cities the students belong to, the different courses that they are studying, the different colleges they go to and their age groups.
Volunteers at TARSHI decided to organise an awareness campaign about ‘Sexual Rights’ in one such girls’ PGs, with young women of 18 – 20 years. This awareness campaign was unique because it involved awareness through a photo shoot. The participants were asked to make posters about what sexual rights meant to/for them.
The level of engagement among the young women during this session was tremendous. Heated discussions and debates took place regarding each one’s views on consent and sexual rights, what constitutes as violation of rights, how they can prevent these rights from being violated, etc. Each girl felt the importance of this exercise and wanted her voice to be heard. They gave a lot of thought to what they were writing.
The young women had the option of covering their faces in the picture but most of them wanted their faces to be seen because they thought it to be an act of courage. The ones who covered their faces did it so that the message would be highlighted instead of their faces taking attention away from the message. The sessions gave these young women a platform to discuss such issues and provoked them to think about issues of sexual rights.