Workshop on sexuality and intimacy- Blind Welfare
On August 26,2012, Voice Vision organised for the visually impaired , a day-long session on orientation of the human body, sexuality and intimate relationships. The program was held at Hiranandani College of Nursing (HICON)Powai, Mumbai.
A team of highly experienced medical professionals-gynaecologists, public health physicians-besides activists dealing with women’s and disability rights issues, conducted the sessions that stretched across the day, from 9 am to 6.30 pm.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAM
The first session of the day-‘Knowing one’s body’-conducted in separate rooms for men and women-dealt with anatomy and physiology of the human body. Dr. Percy Bharucha, Trustee & Sr. Faculty EMS, Life Supporters Institute of Health Science, Mumbai conducted the session for the men, along with Dr. Gunjan Gadodia, who facilitated practical understanding of the female anatomical model.
The resource persons for the session conducted for women were: Dr. Anita Soni, practicing gynaecologist, Hiranandani hospital; Dr. Evelet Sequeira , public health consultant and Dr. Rohini Ramamurthy, along with Dr. Pallavi Kamble from Life Supporters Institute of Health Sciences; and Dr. Neha Goyal a dermatologist, who helped with practical understanding of the male anatomy with the help of a life-size male anatomical model.
Some of the key topics covered were: female and male reproductive systems, menstruation, sexual intercourse, masturbation ,pregnancy, contraception , male and female menopause, infertility and impotency. The session broke off for lunch after hands-on demonstration of use of condom on penis models.
The first half of the post-lunch on ‘Sexuality and Relationships’ focused on ‘sexuality: Myths and Misconceptions’. Once again the session was separately carried out for men and women, with Ms. Sarbani Bhattacharya counsellor, Bombay Cambridge school conducting the session for women and Dr. Sameer Pawar, public health specialist, for the men. Some issues touched upon were: myths and beliefs concerning health and relationships, and misconceptions about homosexuality.
The second half of the session that concentrated on “Relationships” was a combined session for men and women, conducted by Ms. Sarbani Bhattacharya and Ms. Nidhi Goyal, a writer and disability rights activist. The session being interactive, informative and discussion-driven, there was extensive audience participation in case study debates on sexuality, sexual orientation, negotiating romantic relationships and dealing with rejections and breakups.
After the tea-break, it was time for the final session of the day-‘Safety and Abuse’-conducted by Dr. Evelet Sequeira. This too was a combined session for men and women, where open floor experience-driven deliberations took place on different types of abuse and violence faced in everyday life; and interactive case-study on child sexual abuse, domestic violence and intimate partner sexual violence.
The prime motive behind staging this event was to drive home the point that that there can be integrated relationships. What one needs is to learn to manage and lead them through ways, and with utmost dignity.
In continuation to the workshop, Voice Vision has started a thread on its website, which will be answered by trained and highly skilled doctors and counsellors. Queries related to sexuality and relationships would be answered by our experts once a week. For Ask the Expert’s section please visit https://voicevision.in/forums/body-health-lifestyle/sexuality-intimacy.
SUSHMEETHA B. BUBNA