TODAY -

Let's Make a Difference : Girl Up Khonjel
TEAM Together Everyone Achieves More

Mandakini *

 Girl Up Khonjel
Girl Up Khonjel :: Picture Copyright - Girl Up Volunteer



To commence with, we have often perceived or may have been taught notion on "Be the change you want to see in the world" by MK Gandhi, we often may have overlooked what the statement implies in our definite world. However, revolution only begins when we start not just thinking, but also starts implementing.

From Self Cleanliness drive to educating kids such as "Do not throw garbage" is a small footstep towards what you define "Change" as!

The notion of Change stood still by one of the closed groups in Manipur named "Girl Up Khonjel". It is running-based club under the Girl Up Campaign by United Nations Foundations working towards gender equality and women empowerment.

It was important for the team to give the club a meaningful name. Khonjel essentially means 'Voice' in Manipuri dialect. The view of voice has endured the test of time in its relevance towards uniting the masses.

Girl Up listen so as they speak; the voice they want is TO and FRO flow, a conversational one which would result into impactful conclusions. From standing still during Covid Outbreak with sending essentials to all needy citizens to emotionally working closely with Youth and mental health, indeed marking a "difference".

Therefore, one of the prime reasons towards the initiation of the club was also with an aim to put into action to the eminent need to address and contribute a voice against the issues.

On 7th November, 2021, Girl Up Khonjel turned 1.

As a highlight of the anniversary celebration, "Ahanba Kumon" (Translated in Manipuri dialect as "first anniversary") Girl Up organized a Charity Concert at Kago Turf, Ghari, Imphal West, where the ticket finances would straight away go to sexual assault survivors.

The performing artists for the concert were 5 of the leading names in Manipuri Indie music; namely, Shei-Huum, Life in Limbo, Chand Ningthou, Meewakching, Innocent Eyes, all with 1M+ views on their songs on YouTube which is a massive hit.

Girl Up Khonjel also celebrated the event as an extension of ongoing campaign such as #voice against victim-blaming.

The campaign touched in various parts of Manipur, including the hills and the valley, reaching Thoubal, Chandel and Tengnoupal district of Manipur, alongside Imphal. It made enable to help 36 beneficiaries.

The organisation also managed to run a donation drive under the campaign in collaboration with IRDSO. All of the donations went towards social integration of sexual assault survivors through psychological, educational and livelihood support. The donated items were distributed via collaborating partner to 30 beneficiaries and six beneficiaries were provided with monetary assistance.

Girl Up Khonjel also took various ways to understand and let others recognize more on the matter through an Instagram live with Mala Lisham who has been working since 2002 for the protection of children and minor rights, and is articulate on every ongoing matter.

Going forward with 'Ahanba Kumon' celebration, the day kicked off with Khonjel members arriving on the venue at 7:30am, getting the ground ready for the first plug-in of 'Prize Distribution' for a Speech Competition organized on the theme 'Victim Blaming in Manipur', to hear and to provide a space for youths to speak on the matter, it was conducted online with over 13 participants taking part in the competition.

Proceeding with eye-opening and hugely educational panel discussion made each one to participate and highly motivated. The cause didn't limit to just one sector, it also had pop up stalls of various budding women entrepreneurs.

The Khonjel members celebrated as they turned One but not without leaving a significant mark for a better leap for upcoming New Year and many more to add on!

In collaboration with IRDSO (Integrated Rural Development Service Organisation), a non-political, non-sectarian, non-profit making and non-governmental voluntary organization working for the cause of women; the funds will be used for the social reintegration of sexual assault survivors.

From this campaign Girl Up Khonjel will be able to make a total donation of Rs 103,811 for the survivors.

We hope to see many such remarkable work done by other budding youth groups to make an actual difference!


* Mandakini wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer had BA (Hons) Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi
MA (Sociology) Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Certification in Sociology of Science (IIT, Roorkee, NPTEL)
and can be contacted at manndakinirout(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on November 30 2021.



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