On September 21, 2017, the International Relations students of the National Management School observed International Peace Day. The day began with an academic discussion on peace and peace-building, including the role of women as peace-builders.
As part of this discussion, they wrote acrostic poems drawing on what they had read and learnt in class.
Then, they were tasked with picking one women and peace issue and creating an advocacy campaign around it. A hundred ideas came up–from consent to household division of labour to impunity to the final choice, the invisibility of women’s peace work (Anirudh Salaria came up with this). Then they had to identify a core message–that we need to learn more about the work that women do in the area of peace building. Their chosen target audience was the public at large, beginning with their own social circles and then, hopefully, through sharing, a wider, global community. Finally, from among a long list of citizenship tools, they decided to create a poster to be shared on Facebook, which was designed by Rhea Shetty with inputs from all five of them. A short message was drafted by Juhi Waeerkar and Utsav Sachdev to be posted with the image file.
In three hours, the first phase of the campaign was ready to go! The new peace collective has called itself ‘A Jury’ (a name made up of all their names: Anirudh, Juhi, Utsav, Rhea and Yashasvi). They have other plans, which include a blog and using the January Mumbai marathon to take this message forward. More power to their efforts!
And this addition to the poem collection, from Sujay Chore, who took the same class in December 2015!