Held on the 24th and 25th of October, the two-day event saw an array of activities devoted to the cause of raising awareness about mental health issues.
Students of B.A. Honours (Humanities & Social Sciences) celebrated a two-day Mental Health Awareness Week at the Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), University of Delhi.
The first day began with a panel discussion on the topic, ‘Sorting Through Gender Identity, Sex, and Sexual Orientation’. Bhani Rachel Bali, the creator and founder of Kranti Kali, a startup that promotes feminism through art and technology, spoke about online harassment of women. Taksh Sharma, a model, brought light to the transgender perspective through her personal experiences as a trans woman. Rakesh Kumar Singh is an author, activist, and founder of Ride for Gender Freedom, an initiative that aims to sensitise people about gender-based violence, talked about male privilege and the ways in which men can be good allies in feminist movements.
After the panel discussion, a workshop on menstrual hygiene was conducted by the students of CIC belonging to the Menstruation is Not a Taboo (MINT) Project. A quiz contest on mental well-being and psychology took place. Adil Jacob and Siddharth Garg from Jamia Millia Islamia won the competition. The first day of MHW came to a close with the film screening of the Academy award-winning movie, The Danish Girl.
The second day started with Living Stories, a project that initiates conversations between a person who acts as a book and others who come as readers. This edition of the project was solely dedicated to mental health.
This was followed by a panel discussion on the topic, “What’s depressing the millennials?” One of the panelists, Simran Luthra, the founder and curator of Talk Happy Therapy, an initiative which works for mental health awareness, shared her experiences of dealing with people with depression. Subhra Solanki is a guest lecturer at Jamia Millia Islamia, and discussed the problem of rigidity Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Slam poetry competition on the topic, ‘When Love Checks In’ saw 14 participants perform moving pieces of the spoken word that was followed by a special performance by slam maestro and judge, Shibani Das. Riah Rath from CIC won the competition and Aditya Kapur from Motilal Nehru College came second.
In the late afternoon, a cultural extravaganza hosted an array of wonderful performances. Rubhen D’sa, the founder of Taameer, a Delhi-based social community, shared fun stories about his travels. He was followed by Prateek Sachdeva, self-identifying Drag Queen, who entertained the audience with a stunning dance performance. Devang Panday and Apurv Chatterjee, students of DU, serenaded the audience with a medley of hit songs. Zikr, the dramatics society of Cluster Innovation Centre, also performed a short but impactful play, narrating the story of a young gender-nonconforming boy.
In the end, the prize distribution ceremony took place and Mr. Ashu Mishra, Assistant Professor, CIC gave an exhortation speech. The event came to close with the vote of thanks.
Image Credits: Ened D’souza (From the left: Rakesh Singh, Bani Rachel Bali, and Taksh Sharma.)
Image Caption: The first day of Mental Health Awareness Week began with a panel discussion on Gender Sensitisation