Somewhere, some place, sometime ago; a wise man said “It’s all in the mind”. The brevity of this sentence clearly shows that its whole substantiality is well beyond measurement and whose implication can do wonders. Milan, a non-governmental organization based in Uttar Pradesh echoes in alignment with this thought and understand the importance and often, futility, of perceptions of stratification deep rooted in our minds.
“We all talk about equality’s importance for the functioning of the society. But how many times have you questioned yourself on the number of friends that you have from a lower caste or a worse economic background than yours? We all understand this, but it is only after committing a face off with it, that we realize its importance in its true sense”, says Dhirendra from Milan.
Understanding the need for such a face off with reality, Milan collaborated with and became a part of the Samjho Toh Express, a 9 month long campaign initiated in 14 states by Commutiny -The Youth Collective which broke religious and social stereotypes amongst thousands of youngsters from diverse social, economic and religious backgrounds. In their case, they invited couples throughout the city who did inter caste or inter religion marriage and had discussions with youngsters on how the diversity has actually helped them to understand and live their own lives in a better way. The approach worked wonders, especially for the youngsters who were new to this form of a bonding. It began a new journey of realisation for the youth. It helps them create a 5th Space for them where they can think beyond the stereotypical.
Although the concept of an direct encounter with reality can be mildly corrosive for many, but Dhirendra’s standpoint clears the fog completely. He says, “ We don’t react to any situation until it comes to us bluntly. Accept it or not, it is the reality. It’s only after losing a seat for a college to the “Reservation system “that we start speaking on it. So when this reality hits your face, how much prepared are you? It is of utmost importance for the youth that when they face such a situation, not to react in an inconvenient manner, rather pause, form a perspective around it and understand true importance of such a system. This is what the Samjho toh campaign does and helps in giving the youth the much needed space to think, to grow”.
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