Prem’s Transformation to a Gender Sensitive Youth

Prem Hasda, 18 years of age, belongs to the Adivasi Tola (tribal community) of Rampur Panchayat in Katihar district of Bihar. He was born and brought up in a family where women are
not respected at all. Women in his community and family work on their own or others’ land as well as manage all the domestic chores. He had always seen his father beating his mother for very
small things and his elder brother disrespecting his mother and sisters. Helping female members in the family to perform household chores is considered to be the matter of shame. Prem grew
up with the same set of values of his father, brothers, and other male members in the family and community.

Youth Volunteers from tdh partner organisation Bhoomika Vihar came in contact with him, and invited him for the first meeting of the youth group. He had no idea what the meeting was about
but out of curiosity, he decided to attend it. In the first meeting he didn’t get much of an idea, but he understood that if he attended the meetings, he would surely learn some new things. He
didn’t want to be left behind the other boys in his village, who were part of the youth group. The meeting and interactions with the youth group members and youth volunteers gradually gave
him new insights. During their chats and interactions, his negative attitude towards women were cleared. He began to feel that his mother and sisters were being treated badly even violently.

Regular interactions with youth group members convinced him how the gender-based violence and discrimination is not only harmful for the women, but for the men as well. He decided to take
small steps to bring about a change in himself. He started treating his mother, sisters with respect and helping them in the daily household chores, like cleaning of house, clothes and utensils. He
was mocked by the male members in the family, but he persisted. He started objecting to the behaviour of his father and brothers with the female members. He also spoke to his other male
friends in the community about what he was learning in his group and the need for gender equality. Although changing oneself is challenging Premchand’s determination is taking him on
the right track and his initiatives are geared firstly towards making his family a better place for both male and females where there is respect for female members, and then gradually taking this
to the larger community.

Recognizing his constructive contributions in addressing gender-based discriminations in his locality, he was given an award by the project and his story was printed in a newsletter prepared
by youth.