Aaghaz-e-Dosti conducted Peace-building Workshop in Gujarat Schools
Aaghaz-e-Dosti conducts Peace-building Workshop in Gujarat Schools
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and The Catalyst – Tc (Pakistan), conducted peace-building workshops in Gujarat Public School and Navrachana Sama School in Baroda/Vadodara (Gujarat, India). The workshops were conducted by team members of Aaghaz-e-Dosti – Devika Mittal and Shruti Arora. It was facilitated by Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere, the Baroda Coordinator of Aaghaz-e-Dosti and Helly Bhatt.
In Gujarat Public School, the workshop was conducted on 11th August. The workshop was titled “Understanding Conflict and Importance of Peace Building”. It was an interactive session involving students from 9th-12th grade.
The workshop discussed the basics of Conflict and Peace-building. It discussed about what involves a conflict, the factors contributing to it focusing specifically on the role of stereotypes, the importance of resolving conflict, the victims of conflict and the beneficiaries of peace.
The students were quite active and conversant. There was a long discussion on the conflicts within the society, on the social evils like gender inequality, casteism and class inequality. The students also initiated a debate on the affirmative action, the pros and cons of reservation, the Land Bill and other issues.
There was also a discussion on Indo-Pak Conflict. The speakers talked about the major issues, the role of stereotypes and misconceptions sustained by lack of communication and miscommunication and the victims of Conflict.
The second part of the discussion was on the importance of peace-building and the approaches of peace-building. The speakers focussed on the indirect approach which talked about creating a culture of peace and critical thinking. This was discussed in the light of Indo-Pak relations and the role of people in fostering Indo-Pak Peace was discussed.
In Navrachana Sama, the workshop was conducted on 12th August. The theme of the workshop was “Understanding Partition and the Indo-Pak Conflicts”. It was an interactive session involving students from classes 9th-12th standard.
The workshop began with giving an introduction about Pakistan and discussing the perceptions about Pakistan in India. The speakers then talked about the history of the conflict, the intricacies involved in the partition, the multiple narratives around the partition and the rhetoric of partition which is still alive in both countries and shapes the perception about the other in both countries.
In the second part of the workshop, there was a discussion on the major issues between India and Pakistan. The Kashmir issue, Siachen Dispute and Sir Creek Dispute were discussed. The situation of soldiers, fishermen and prisoners, the primary victims of the conflict was also discussed.
The session was concluded with a discussion on the role that people can play in conflict-resolution and peace building between India and Pakistan.