By Zeba Rizvi
While on a project in a school in Chennai, Rizvi noticed that all the cleaning work was done by female students only. A few students in a Pondicherry school thought that women who go out to work are 'dirty', while another group of boys and girls said that eunuchs were scary as they apparently kidnapped children. Students and a sports teacher at a prestigious international school in Chennai believed that games like football are suitable only for boys, and that girls can while away time and need not step in the sun as it may tan their skin too much and dark skin isn't beautiful.
Through the project she is looking to create comics, illustration-based short stories, and stop motion videos that talk about these existing prejudices in the state, pave way to break these prejudices and develop a healthier way of understanding gender, by presenting them with an opportunity of choice.
Initial workshops have already been carried out in a few locations of Tamil Nadu and for the first three months of the project would be dedicated to further desk research where interviews, FGDs and media analysis will be done to get a clearer picture of the existing internalized imbalances. After the desk research the content will be made and be available on social media. She is also looking at ways to make this content (that is age-appropriate) available in government and private schools in the third step of the project.