Mithu and I work as field facilitators with NGO Purnata in India on the issue of Trafficking. One 23rd June 2022, we decided to do awareness through SALT method in Akharpur, Para- Minidas, 24 North Pargana, West Bengal.

During the meeting, we encouraged the community members to sit in a circle and asked them what are the good things they have done in their life. Initially, the community members hesitated in sharing. They were laughing that what good could they have  done. This  reminded of the first meeting we had with Rituu when she had asked us the same question. We had struggled as we had never thought of any good things about ourselves, we always find what is wrong with us. When I shared this experience that we had also struggled to find something good in ourselves, the community members opened up and started sharing what they were proud of.

Once a few women started speaking, others also wanted to talk. What surprised us was that some did not speak about themselves but instead they shared good points about others. When we do awareness the traditional way, the community members keep quiet but here there was a lot of buzz.

In usual meetings they come quietly and go back quietly.  But in the SALT meeting they were excited… it was a two-way communication. Earlier we used to speak and they hardly spoke. Now they were speaking and we were listening. Involvement was higher because they were involved, they had many questions. We enjoyed as everyone was engaged.

Everyone felt proud that they analysed the good things in themselves. Result was that relationship has strengthened between women and us- Mithu and Subrata from the Purnata team.

Thanks to Mithu who facilitated the meeting with me and to Souvik for suggesting the title of this blog.

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Comment by Marie Lamboray on August 31, 2022 at 2:08pm

Thank you for sharing, Subrata! Great positive energy!

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on July 20, 2022 at 7:36pm

Thanks Subrata for sharing. I appreciate your progress towards listening to the communities.

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