One Year of Swayong
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
Swayong aims to dismantle social injustices through one story at a time. It creates safe, inclusive, and constructive spaces for conversation and growth, and encourages people to interact meaningfully with sensitive topics, breaking down inhibitions about so-called shameful issues. This incredible initiative started as a Facebook page on June 4, 2020. Since then, Swayong has grown into an organization and initiated and engaged in many important projects and campaigns. These include “Your body your choice: Breasts and Bra series”, “Female Frontline Warriors”, “Rage against Rape”, and many more. The campaign like “Sexual Harassment in Public Places” voiced the untold stories of many women about how they have been harassed in this patriarchal society from a very early age. 98 real life stories have been collected and shared by Swayong through various campaigns and collaborations since their inception.
Only a month after inaugurating their official website, www.Swayong.org, the organization celebrated its first anniversary on June 4, 2021. A small event was arranged with the Swayong founders, Swayong Warriors (volunteers), and friends of Swayong in celebration at the National Institute of Advanced Nursing Education and Research- NIANER. The warriors shared their incredible experiences with Swayong. Sinthia Islam, one of the warriors, expressed how much Swayong means to her. She said, “I have been working with Swayong for almost one year now. I lost my family before I started working with Swayong. After that I can say Swayong has been my strength in every step of my life and Swayong is my family.” Sinthia Islam is one of the translators of Swayong team.
Other team members have also expressed their love and respect for the organization. Guests from NIANER and friends of Swayong spoke and wished the organization for a more engaging future. The co-founder of the organization, Mitul Mahmud said, “I look back and think how it has already been a year. And it was unbelievable, the amount of work that we have done. But none of it feels like work. It just feels like something I was meant to be doing.” She also said,
“I want Swayong to stop existing. I want to see a world where we do not need organizations like Swayong. So do not wish a hundred years; wish me five. I want to be done with the problem in five years. That is essentially my vision for Swayong.”
With many insightful words like these, the event was beautifully conducted.
Swayong established a platform where anyone, regardless of their gender can share their stories without shame or fear and created an environment where sexual harassment or misogynistic behaviors are not brushed off as minor issues. Instead, these topics are discussed and called out with utmost urgency. This incredible culture of speaking against patriarchy also fueled Swayong’s strong standing in the rage against rape protest and they raised many much-needed concerns regarding the reformation of the rape law. It is important to remember that Swayong’s campaigns and activities are not only limited to injustice towards women; they work to demolish injustice everywhere in society and help everyone in need. This motto inspired Swayong for helping out elderly citizens through the “Shottore Ekahar '' project.
Swayong has achieved many goals within only a year. And all of the warriors are working relentlessly towards achieving a better tomorrow for every community.