GRIT@Prajnya: the Why, How and What

At Prajnya, we like to say that we have an unusual talent for creating more work for ourselves. We have an idea, no not even an idea – a thought; and before we know it, its a full-fledged project! Often we grapple with the chicken and egg question: does the work actually exist or are we creating more than we can actually take on and manage?

In the case of the Gender Violence Research and Information Taskforce, or GRIT as we now fondly call it (!), I can confidently say that there are no such doubts. Our work on gender violence originally began as a corollary to the work we hope to do on women in politics and public life – as a way to acknowledge the limitations that violence imposes on women’s daily lives. Our plan was to organise the 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence every year as an awareness raising exercise. But in the way of many other non-profits who’ve no doubt traveled the same route, we soon found out that we couldn’t get away with an annual September to December appearance.

The fact is this: even in a city considered to be one of the safest in India, Chennai, there is a lot of work to be done. In a sense, Chennai offers a different kind of challenge: that of conservatism, unlike say, a Delhi that carries the baggage of being an unsafe city for women.

Our mandate then is three-fold, as is the case with any Prajnya initiative: GRIT will carry out research on gender violence in India and eventually South Asia; we will look to network and facilitate conversations between different groups of people for whom violence is a reality; and finally, we hope to put in place a full-fledged year-round programming calender that will include workshops, seminars, round tables and other public events.

There are of course several obstacles: finding entry points into places where we want to hold these conversations and of course, the funding to support our work.

We intend this blog to become one of many platforms we will create and sustain over the years, a place to document and record narratives of violence and an opportunity to have conversations about how we can deal with this violence .

I cannot promise you that this will be a fun blog to read, but I can say that we do hope to talk about issues that are relevant to every one of us.  Welcome to GRIT @ Prajnya and do write to us if you’d like to join or support our work in anyway!


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