Tag Archives: cake

Art Galleries and Women’s Rights

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Art Galleries and Women’s Rights

Another exciting weekend as my third week in India draws to a close. Working days in the office so far this week have been fairly uneventful. I’ve been busy getting on with my assigned tasks, and though it’s very difficult working six days a week, sat in an office all day, I’m starting to get used to it.

Each morning I trawl the same six newspapers and select articles relating to human rights violations, or issues in general, and collect them to put into a quarterly report. This is my daily task for the year, and I’ll be doing four such reports, and hopefully the data will then contribute to a much larger annual report from SICHREM as a whole.

In addition to that, I’ve been working on a funding proposal for their Human Rights Helpline. My other longer-term task is to conduct a larger research project into the functioning of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission; interviewing Members and the Chairperson, as well as several civil society groups dealing with the Commission. I’ll hopefully finish my research and get the report written at least by May, which will then be published as part of SICHREM’s series of short reports they are bringing out. My own name in print!

VIGBYOR 2013

More excitingly though, Julika and I got called into Mr Mathews’ office on Friday. Thinking this could only be bad, I was totally surprised when he asked if we wanted to go to Kerala on SICHREM’s behalf, all expenses paid. “I’ll give you some days to think about it and give me your decision,” he says. Julika and I both instantly told him it was a definite yes. So as of this Thursday, we’ll be manning a stall at Thrissur’s own international film festival – VIBGYOR – raising money from the sale of SICHREM’s own branded mugs etc. Even better, we’re free to watch whatever films we like in between stall sessions, and attend talks and debates that are also happening alongside. I’ve already been poring over my Lonely Planet guide for things to do.

On Saturday I got the chance to accompany Chithra to a meeting with representatives from several other NGOs, where the discussion centred around an upcoming event they were planning. It was only when we arrived that I learnt we were at the offices of Vimochana – a charity I’d heard about in England, who work with gender issues and women’s rights – so I was in my element! The event being organised was to coincide with the global movement 1 Billion Rising. This movement is a protest by women the world over against the growing culture of violence in so many countries, and aims to use dance and movement as a means of resistance and hope.

 

So the event is going to focus on these two themes, using dance, music, poetry and spoken word, street plays, painting, rangolis on the street, and a candle-lit march at sundown. Amidst the continuous stream of argument and voices talking over one another, it emerged that they hoped to mobilise between 5000 and 10,000 people! I had no idea how big this way going to be. So many passionate individuals from youth theatre groups were there, and people were talking about flash mobs, and occupying the Police Commissioner’s office to get permission for the day. I can’t wait to be involved! I’m hoping I might be able to offer to document the day in some form with my camera, or blogging – who knows.

After the meeting, I went back to my original plan for the half-day, and continued onto a supposedly good area to shop called Kammanahalli, where I ended up buying material for four outfits (they’re just all so nice).

Sunday came and I left to meet a fellow volunteer from 2WayDevelopment called Emma, who was stationed with street children’s charity BOSCO. After Thalli, and exchanging stories of our respective placements, we spent the hot afternoon in CubbonPark. It was free – a nice surprise in a country where even looking is a commodity – and full of couples and children playing cricket. The place was stuffed with huge bamboo stalks and lots of massive, spreading trees that I wish I knew the name of. To tick some things off the tourist list, we headed over to the Government-run museum and art gallery within the park, which again was only 4 Rs, with no foreigner’s tax! Though the museum was full of poorly-labelled pottery fragments and weaponry (some shining examples were “brick”, “clay pieces”, and “swords”), the art gallery had plenty of interesting statues (read lots of very busty women in a state of undress) and some modern canvases upstairs.

We discovered a quiet spot next to a lily pond, and sat for a bit in the shade, before following the sound of loud drum beats and music to an event in a stadium nearby. It turns out this was an inspirational event being held to encourage young Bangaloreans to volunteer in their communities. We could glimpse some men dancing and playing drums, but felt a bit out of place with everyone else there wearing the event’s branded t-shirt.

Leaving for MG Road, the main shopping street, we stopped at India’s version of Starbucks – Café Coffee Day. Though ludicrously priced, the slice of chocolate cake I had, with melting sauce and toffee centre, was so delicious I didn’t really care. I’ve been craving cake since I got here! After a quick look at some books further up the road, the afternoon was getting late, so we parted ways and planned to meet up again. Hopefully at 1 Billion Rising!

ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.

ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY

ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

via One Billion Rising.

The Ball is Rolling

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Wow! Things are really starting to pick up now. My day-by-day to-do list has extended into a two week deadline sheet, and I have so many people to contact and liase with I am in danger of needing to make an excel spreadsheet.

I also had my first online donation today, at a fantastic £20! This was however after I realised that the first site I had been using worked in US dollars, and thus came out at around twelve pounds. My tech-savvy brother then pointed me towards another blog site where you can manipulate the html code, allowing me to post my very own paypal buttons onto the page!!! I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but at the moment it makes me feel very accomplished and professional. The “sponsor me” link from this blog remains the same. Here’s the site: donatetoabigail.blogspot.co.uk.

I implemented my cake plan at work too, and by the time I left at lunch there was already £3 exactly in the little collection tin I cobbled together. Pictures will ensue soon. For now, here is one of the collection bucket I made for my cake sale yesterday.

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Making money

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So the last few days have been VERY productive. I managed to get a member of the local Town Council on board with my cause and she’s already set me up with loads of events. Today I made £34.55 at a wedding fair with a stall selling my own (fine) efforts at cake-baking and with a massive orange bucket which I nicked off my Dad. People were far more willing to donate than I ever would have expected, which makes me think I could do more, though I must admit not many people wanted to buy the cakes. Obviously they just weren’t very hungry, and it had nothing to do with the butter cream melting everywhere.

I also gained another offer for sponsorship in voucher form from one of the other stall-holders, and we banded about plenty of new ideas, including face painting children and then holding them to ransom (joke). I’m planning to do a car boot selling cakes, and it’s looking likely, with the rising offers of vouchers, that a raffle may be possible. Maybe also a guess-how-many-sweets-in-the-jar…yum.

Further, I’ve been given the idea to leave cakes in the canteen at work with an honesty box for donations, as a good regular income source, and to try and find a sky-diving voucher on groupon. I’ve been racking my brain for a while over what sort of activity I might be able to do to generate individual sponsorship, and sky-diving was definitely one of them. With a voucher to reduce the cost, it would definitely be worth doing.

I did actually consider selling my eggs – they go for £750 in London! – but apparently nobody wants babies with asthma, so that’s my quick cash fix out the window. Back to the cake-baking 🙂

Hold your breath for the next batch of fundraising news, when I’ll try and remember to take loads of pictures!