September 22, 2022 – Saathi organized TEEJ Talks that share powerful personal stories of transformation against gender biases and discrimination inherent in our cultural and religious practices.

LGBTIQ activist Badri Pun, popular character artist Mithila Sharma, Young feminist Bhawana Raut, and former governor of Madhes Pradesh DR. Rajesh Jha spoke at this 7th edition of the event.

UN CEDAW Committee member Bandana Rana opined that everyone needed to be cautious so that our religion and festival would not inculcate the new generation with toxic masculinity.

Pun summed up his 4 decades of struggle as a trans-man for the recognition of his gender identity and citizenship right, and the series of violence and discrimination he had to endure as a member of sexual and gender minority groups. 

Actress Mithila Sharma said that our cultural practices had good intentions at their establishment but later they were misinterpreted against women and girls.

Young feminist Bhawana Rawat called everyone to raise questions about the established norms without taking them for granted in our journey to equality. She also highlighted the need of engaging men in addressing gender-based violence and discrimination.

Dr. Ahiraj said all the stakeholders need to take equal ownership in the efforts to tackle the social ills prevalent in our society. 

Saathi President Sajani Amatya hoped that the sharing from the distinguished speakers would sensitize a critical mass effective in demystifying harmful traditional practices.

TEEJ Talks is Saathi’s annual event. It generally coincides with the Teej festival. However, with the cases of COVID rising and the Health Ministry’s conjecture about the new wave last month, the program had to be put off for a later date. The last two editions of the Teej Talks was organized virtually amidst the COVID pandemic.