Sprouts of success, yes! But, more earth needs to be dug, more seeds need to be sown.
2017 has been an exciting ride and it would not have been possible without each and everyone who has worked closely with PACT over the course of the last 12 months. PACT owes the giant strides it has taken to YOU, mediation in India owes its growth and development to YOU.
To every Friend of PACT, Ambassadors of CDR and every member of the PACT FAM group, your generous giving and sincere support is deeply cherished.
When we walked into St Xavier’s College, Goa, in December 2016 to host our first negotiation boot camp, we never realized how much of an impact would that experience have on PACT’s activities. It still remains one of my favourite batches – they were mischievous, but equally smart and skilled. Their grasp over the subject improved every passing hour and watching their progress made us believe that we need to invest more time and resources into such programmes and reach out to as many as we can, across the country.
Thus, began the journey of our Mediation Boot Camps. In twelve months, we have conducted 12 boot camps / workshops in 9 cities, engaging with over 1,350 students of law and business. We have worked with around a dozen young and dynamic mediation professionals as co-trainers, with whom we have flown nearly 6,382 nautical miles and spent 180 hours in classrooms and conference halls.
We have worked with around 400 students during Mediation Musings sessions at India’s two most popular mediation competitions – in Goa and Bhopal. As co-hosts, supporters or knowledge partners, we have travelled across the length and breadth of the country, covering approximately 11,880 kilometers to reach out to as many as we can. In doing so, we have been able to appeal to over 2,500 mediation enthusiasts on PACT FAM, an interactive Facebook platform which is just three months old.
These statistics mean little compared to the warm hospitality and genuine love we have been showered. The generous helpings of local cuisine, comfortable accommodation and honest conversations have enriched us.
Our module has undergone changes and modifications, but the core essence has remained constant – change the approach from ‘reacting’ to conflict to ‘responding’ to conflict. But, much before we address or respond to conflict, we must understand how conflict manifests itself in different situations. We were fortunate enough to have worked with students who expressed their true concerns about mediation as a tool of resolving disputes in this country. They spoke of “credibility” as the major deterrent to the progress of mediation and we heeded their cry (Check ALSD-PACT Indian Symposium on Dispute Resolution). We were continuously hounded for internships, lectures and coaching, and we hope to say ‘yes’ to more of these opportunities in the coming year.
And, it wasn’t always textbook conversations. We were fortunate to have some intellectual banter on sensitive topics, while discussing conflict. We reviewed the Padmavati dispute while we were in Banasthali and addressed cross-border conflict in Kashmir. We addressed community conflict in Noida and workplace disputes in Telangana. We discussed conflict arising from demonetisation when in Mumbai and debated animal vigilantism in Gujarat.
PACT owes this year to all such frank and productive conversations, where we conversed, listened to each other’s perspectives and resolved to respond to the most controversial and sensitive matters with maturity and empathy. To dialogue when in dispute in the first step to reaching a common ground. It is our mission to keep the dialogue on, to make sure communication never stops, no matter how tough it gets.
The aim of course is to keep getting better – to never be complacent with what we have managed to create so far. The goal hasn’t changed – to create a market for mediation to thrive in this country. PACT will keep dreaming and wake up to chase those dreams.
#MissionMediation #DialogueInDispute #Choose2Resolve #PACTFAM