Category Archives: Haiyya Camps

How can we organize to tackle cyberbullying?

In a digital era where online platforms are prominent spaces for everyone, cyberbullying and trolling have become a harsh reality. The cases of cyberbullying are rapidly increasing in India. Technological barriers make it more complicated and act as a hindrance in dealing with tackling the issue of cyberbullying. As cyberbullying is difficult to track, many victims feel helpless and alone, and are unable to cope with the situation, especially if the bullying is personal. The cyberbullying can take a person in a stage of depression and anxiety. In many cases, it also results in developing suicidal tendencies in the victims.

On 1st September, we at Haiyya took leadership on this issue by hosting a training camp – ‘Post. Don’t Rost’ in collaboration with Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and 91Springboard. The idea of the camp was to provide training on organizing skills to the participants so that they can take leadership and act on the issue of cyberbullying. Our knowledge partner SFLC shared the different measures that we can use to make ourselves safe and avoid trolling.

Some Key Takeaways:

What is private and what is public online?: In the online world, while we might think there are private spaces, it is only to a certain extent, as essentially, nothing online is private. Shashikanth from SFLC shared that whatever one uploads, shares or searches online, it can be tracked. So it is important to be aware of what one is sharing and what information are they putting online. Are they personal details? Is it necessary to share it on social media? He also shared some measures that someone can use to avoid trolling and bullying online.

  • Secure your all devices like laptop, phone or desktop with random or a complex password and change the password frequently. Do not reuse any password.
  • Enable 2-factor authentication and be careful about privacy protection like do not install app or download file from untrusted source. Always mind your permissions on the app.
  • Use privacy respecting search engines like DuckDuckGo, Startpage etc. and app like signal, Jitsi, to avoid giving your personal details.

Report your complaint by using legal provisions
Generally, people try to solve trolling cases on the table without filling a case. As no real action is taken, this can result in the troller feeling confident to do the same thing again. There are legal provisions that exist, that can be used to punish perpetrators, and we should use them. Anjali Prabhakar, Haiyya’s campaign manager and a lawyer shared that the Information Technology Act 2000 was introduced to deal with these issues. There are remedies under IT Act 2000, Sec 66A, Sec 66C, Sec 66D, Sec 66E, Sec 67, Sec 67A, Sec 67B, Sec 67C and Sec 45 which can criminalize any kind of online harassment and bullying and you can book someone by using these laws.

Identify your people: A campaign cannot always be run alone by a person, one will need capacity to achieve success and a big win. To scale any campaign, identifying your people and the resources in your community is very important. The action depends on the diversity of your community and the resources they have. In order to identify your people and their power, organizing plays a very important role. The same thing applies to a cyberbullying campaign, and during the camp, participants identified their people and their resources. Their target community is young people (as they are most affected), lawyers, teachers, media, police and cyber experts. Resources like helpline no., laws, cyber expertise, time, network of young groups etc. If one can identify their target audience and the resources they have, build collective power and drive change.

Using your power: Identifying your power is one thing but how you will use it depends on your organising skills, your leadership model etc. To function effectively in a team, understanding leadership is key to success. Interdependent leadership model makes any campaign sustainable and can be replicated. When it comes to cyberbullying, the collective power you build by identifying your people can be used to power over on police to file complain and take action against, judiciary to punish the tollers and government to take this issue seriously and make strong laws to fight against the cyberbullying.

By Alok Ranjan
Alok Ranjan is the Grassroots Campaigner working with Haiyya Foundation. He closely works on the issues like gender, environment and health.

Rape Culture: An Unseen Reality

Igniting and sustaining action for change can be rigorous, and we at Haiyya are working towards building larger movements and victories that facilitate space for different actors to come together to change existing societal structures and norms that often limit us. Hence this year we re-launched “Haiyya Camps” a platform for diverse individuals to come together to share their experiences, ideas get trained on organizing and campaigning skills and tools to create tangible action plans on various pressing issues as a precursor to the upcoming 2019 elections that needs to be addressed urgently by citizens to stir a necessary change. It is a package of 5 camps in a year based on issues like environment, rape culture, privacy, etc. These Camps are also designed to provide opportunities to different organisations and individuals to collaborate and work together towards a common cause.

While the planning was going on for the Camp, there was something which was making everyone in our team angry and frustrated – it was the issue of “Rape Culture” and how people have started to normalise it in their lives. It was then that we decided that this is a very important issue that is often neglected, sidelined and no one is ready to talk about it “kyunki boss yeh sab toh chalta rehta hai na!” This thought was something that we wanted to change and make people realise that No, It’s one major issue that is not only affecting us as citizen but as a nation too.

How the day looked for us!

15 people joined us for our first Haiyya Camp on Sunday, 27th May. The camp started with an exercise to set the context. It focused on the issue and how deep rooted “Rape Culture” is in our society and some of the causes contributing to it were media objectifying our women in bollywood songs, advertisements, victim blaming in newspapers, lack of gender sensitization, etc. At the end of the exercise all participants learnt that how knowling and unknowingly despite being active advocates of change they too have been contributing to this growing “Rape Culture’.

The realization lead to a passionate discussion among the participants. Which was then followed by a session of Narrative building, an organizing tool to understand the shared values, emotions for individuals to come together and build relationships to take actions. It reflects why an individual cares about the issue and how he then motivates others to join him. This tool helps in creating urgency. Through this module the participants build their own narratives around the issue and shared their stories, experiences where they have seen or themselves been a part of this problem. It felt as if everyone in someway or other has gone through this terrible situation.

Some interesting ideas that came up

  • Both the sessions created the foundation for all the participants to build action plans. Plans that they as individuals/ groups can immediately take.
  • The group came up with interesting action plans like creating more awareness from the foundation targeting kids, parents, teachers, making sex education a part of the curriculum, creating safe spaces for people to address their grievances etc.
  • Through these ideas, together we build an action plan which focussed on what are the key things that we want to now start doing in our individual capacity, how as an individual we can try and bring a change in this society which doesn’t value it’s women.

The training ended on a beautiful note. All the participants were really moved by the issue. They all felt very motivated and energetic to work on the issue in their respective ways.

On a personal front it was sad to know that the mentality of our country is so narrow that they are too blind to understand the issue but at the same time it felt amazing to see the youth of our country coming up and trying to work on changing the traditional mindset which believes that Galti toh ladki ki hai!  I think people have forgotten that they all are in this world because a woman was powerful enough to take all the pain and give life to them and this thought really hurts me.

This is just a beginning and an important one to bring the necessary change. In the coming months more camps will be conducted on various pressing issues to create young leaders within our community who will challenge the status quo not as individuals but as a collective people power house. Those of you who are interested to participate please reach out to us at

By Anjali Prabhakar

Anjali Prabhakar is the senior campaigner at Haiyya leading the Haiyya Camps. She has been actively working on issues like Rape Culture, Violence against women, Voting rights, etc in the past with Haiyya.