Kanchan’s French encounter
To catalyse the debate on human rights all over the world, a programme called ‘Lab’citoyen’ was undertaken by L’Institut Français in 2013. 112 French speaking students from all over the world (18 to 25 years) were selected on the basis of their essays written in French on the issue of human rights, including death penalty. These winners won a ten-day free stay in France from 6th to 16th July 2013. One of the 3 winners from India, Kanchan Sharma shares her testimony.
For me, an opportunity is like the first ray of the sun. It has the capacity of banishing all the darkness from the horizon. This time, this ray was shown by Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad who announced the launch of an essay writing competition by L’Institut Français under the title “Lab’citoyen 2013” during ‘La Fête de la Francophonie’. The prize for the winners of the participants was no less than a trip to France for ten days.
The global theme of the written presentation was ‘Les droits de l’homme’ meaning human rights and precisely, women’s rights in India. The theme itself inspired me, raising various questions in my mind and I decided to participate. I started preparing with the constant support of Mme. Anne Balaram. The results were declared that I was one amongst the three winners from India and I got the chance to go to France to represent my country at an International Conference amongst 112 participants coming from 70 countries of the world. Meeting them, was in itself, a “wow” experience.
The International Conference at La Maison des Cultures du Monde at the Fondation Alliance Française covered serious topics like the abolition of slavery, the rights of the third sex, the freedom of expression, the abolition of capital punishment and so on. There were intellectual and sensitive discussions, wonderful visits, hot debates, and moving presentations by the experts and the participants.
It was an addition to my perception of life as a human in this global society. The whole experience provided by this visit was très enrichissante. What remains in my conscience at the end of this experience is that one should not stop dreaming. Dreams do come true, but only to those who dare to see them, who work to realise them.