The ‘Mardon Wali Baat’ programme works on college campuses and urban community settings in the Lucknow district of Uttar Pradesh to create youth-led dialogues and actions to question patriarchal notions, norms of masculinity, and gender based violence. It was launched in 2016 with the goal of working on these issues specifically with young men and boys in the context of Lucknow, where violence rooted in asserting the hegemonic position of men is normalised and treated as an every-day phenomenon.
Under Mardon Wali Baat, young people, especially young men, undergo intensive training sessions that prepare them to take up on-ground action to reach out to adolescents and young people in community settings and colleges. Here, they conduct events and enable dialogues to examine and question gender stereotypes, particularly those related to notions of masculinity. This programme also uses digital media to profile and highlight community perceptions and creates on-ground and online dialogues to question and change oppressive norms of masculinity.
The programme has directly reached out to around 2000 young people and adolescents on-ground, and an audience of around 10,000 people online.
In 2016, 13 young men were trained over 7 days in Lucknow by TYPF, with support from The Asia Foundation. The participants in these trainings were equipped with knowledge on power and patriarchy, gender and inequality, and sexual harassment. The trainings served as a safe space for the participants to share personal narratives and examine their ideas of masculinity, sex, sexuality, and violence.
Through social action projects, the participants reached out to more than 500 young people in educational institutions to generate awareness on gender-based violence, women's safety, human rights, and issues of masculinity.
TYPF also created an action resource kit which collated existing resources that address masculinity and violence.