Milestones since September 9, 2007

March 8, 2008 We held the first Prajnya Intercollegiate Quiz on Women in South Asia.

“The “Women In South Asia” quiz is part of Prajnya PSW’s public education work. Five Chennai women’s colleges participated–Ethiraj, MOP Vaishnav, Queen Mary’s, Stella Maris and WCC. M.O.P. Vaishnav’s team won and Stella Maris came in second. Enthusiasm was great among teams and audience.”

Read more here. And here you can see our banner flapping in the wind for the first time.

We also inaugurated The PSW Weblog that day. And you will see in the earliest posts that we could barely believe we were getting to do any of the things we’d dreamt of. As Swarna wrote,

“The moment at which people who were till recently (one month, one year, one hour ago) strangers, work together to string a banner that reads “Prajnya Intercollegiate Quiz” across a driveway, is a moment at which you think: if I touch it, it will not go away.”

April 2008 We compiled our first Annual Report!

May 15, 2008 Prajnya’s first group of summer research interns came on board. We organized a two-day training, and they wrote short papers for us.Take a look at their ‘graduation’ photos here.

July 21, 2008 The first Prajnya Roundtable was held featuring Dr. Linda Racioppi who spoke on her research in Russia and Ireland on women in peace movements. In March 2009, we launched a monthly roundtable series under the rubric “Prajnya Women’s History Roundtables.”

October 2008 We published the first Prajnya research project: Sweta Narayanan’s Women Taking Action: A Survey of Chennai Women’s Organisations. (This has recently been updated.)

October 16, 2008 We received the first instalment of our first research grant, which came from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust. The grant supported three pre-launch research studies, which are available here.

November 13, 2008 We received approval under 80G of the Income Tax Act! This meant all our donors could receive 50% tax deduction on their donations, and their generosity would have some tangible reward.

November 25, 2008 The first Prajnya 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence began. This has been our most visible activity since 2008, and the one that most people first know us by. Read about the highs and lows of the first campaign at the blog dedicated to chronicling each of our campaigns. All materials relating to our campaigns, including our media and other information initiatives are available here.

August 4, 2009 Prajnya’s Education for Peace Initiative had its first programme, a seminar where the three Sir Ratan Tata Trust projects were presented to a small group of educators and educationists. You can see a photo of all those present at The Peace Blog, which we launched that day.

September 28, 2009 The Prajnya Archives were launched, a user-generated repository of visual images that document women’s participation and work in the public sphere.

October 31, 2009 We went to meet the person who featured in our first LifeStories interview.

“We are really excited to be finally doing this. LifeStories is one of our dream projects, and while we still don’t have any funding for it, we are getting started using our personal resources because we cannot wait any more.”

Lead researcher, Uma Vangal, wrote:

“For us, it was long held dream come true to begin this oral history project. And the first one only whetted our appetite. To many more such wonderful memories as we continue with this effort!”

January 2010 The Gender Violence Research and Information Taskforce (GRIT@Prajnya) was set up to create a systematic agenda for research and public education on gender violence. After two years of doing the Prajnya 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence and a series of information initiatives along with it, we really felt the need for a year-long, full-time programme. GRIT blogs here

August 2010 Two Prajnya researchers presented papers at the Madras School of Social Work conference, our first outing as Prajnya researchers!

January 2011 Prajnya’s first Saakshi Fellow arrived in Chennai. Dr. Linda Racioppi will be affiliated with Prajnya as Saakshi Fellow for her project on gender politics in post-disaster contexts.

August 5-7, 2011 Our call for photographs of “Rainmakers” resulted in our first public exhibition.

September 16, 2011 The first GRIT research seminar was held in Chennai on gender violence data collection challenges.

The exercise of writing this post has been awesome. We can’t believe how much we’ve done, and yet, we’ve barely begun! There’s so much left to do!

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About prajnya

Prajnya is a non-profit centre for research, public education and networking, working on issues relating to peace, justice and security. We are based in Chennai, India.

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