Gender as a social construct has an important bearing on the physical, emotional and social well-being of an individual. The term gender has often been misconstrued as promotion of women’s interests to the relegation of other genders towards the background. Further, the stereotypical idea of gender, limiting it to the binary of men and women and the challenges they face is a notion that is increasingly being contested.
The 21st century in this regard, is marked by the rapidly changing perspectives towards gender with a reawakened desire to comprehend the hitherto ignored issues pertaining to non-binary people
Abhayam, AIL Centre for Gender Empowerment is an endeavour to promote awareness about gender issues and widen the scope of discourse on gender in society fostering a spirit of inclusivity. Abhayam, which means fearlessness in Sanskrit, is an initiative to empower all genders that are marginalised in the society by promoting the principles of justice, equality and fraternity.
In November of 2020, the idea of having a gender empowerment society struck Nishant Tiwari (4th year). It proved to be a difficult task to have a society that advocated not only for gender equality but also for sexuality education in AIL as well as outside it. He pitched the idea to Dr Sheetal Kapoor and together, they turned this vision into a reality.
The society thus created, aims to undertake various projects to make our social atmosphere a more inclusive one, where everyone lives however they wish to, comfortable in their skin, under this sun– hustling, shining and vibrating with colours. The main objectives of this society are: –
- To promote gender equality and spread awareness through sensitisation programmes.
- To spread awareness about the existing laws and promote their critical evaluation.
- To promote research in gender studies.
- Organise debates, seminars and conferences/workshops on gender-related issues.
- Expanding the base and scope of society by collaborating with similar interest groups across the world.
A first look at Abhayam’s logo will put you in awe and a closer look would help you better understand what the society aims to propagate. The logo is an amalgamation of different milestones. It consists of two triangles, one of which contains the logo of AIL and the second triangle represents the triangle used by Nazi Germany as a symbol of homophobia and oppression to exclude people from the society. The use of the triangle here aims to reclaim that symbol. The triangle now stands for inclusivity, love and strength. The ‘chakra’ (flower) represents the gestation of all powers into one, thereby standing for unity. And the eye in between is the representation of Ardhnareeshwara, the embodiment of Shiv and Shakti into one. Lastly, ‘A’ in a different colour is representative of social marginalisation.
The society is coordinated by Dr. Sheetal Kapoor and co-coordinated by Dr. Amrita Rathi. The student coordinators of the society are: –
- Aafreen Choudhary (5th Year)
- Trisha Nag (5th Year)
- Nishant Tiwari (4th Year)
- Mehula Vats (4th Year)
- Shiekhar Panwar (3rd Year)
- Vibhuti Devgan (2nd Year)
- Simran Rathi (1st Year)
- Akshiti Chauhan (1st Year)
ABHAYAM-Publication In-charge are: –
- Sunidhi Singh (4th Year)
- Vanshika Arora (1st Year)
The BluePencil congratulates the entire team of Abhayam and the college to have built among us a society the requirement for which was long due. We will be looking forward to their contributions and we wish them all the power and love for their future endeavours.