This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Natural Course of Evolution

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Mohit Kumar Jolly:

I remember the days when I got through this nightmare called ‘JEE’ and my primary relatives heaved a sigh of relief as they told my parents, “Aapka ek beta to set ho gaya.” I was now busy exploring ‘scope’ (Read: Salary package before Convocation) of various departments of different IITs. The curve was pretty non-linear with respect to time as well as that of department. I was cursing myself how come I darkened the circle for 3 as the bond order of oxygen. Had I circled 2 as the answer, I would have been in a much better (Read: predicted to be financially more secure) situation. But what was done could not be undone! After all, I had insulted the gas which I had been using in large quantities since my birth. I deserved the situation I was in.

I called the son of sister-in-law of niece of my neighbor’s second degree relative. Initially it took me a minute to explain him who I was, and he took another minute to absorb the same. I asked him politely, “Bhaiya job to lag jaati hai na, koi bhi department ho? “. The reply was, “Sofware companies are open for all departments, you shall easily get one.” I, in my own infinite wisdom, replied, “Haan bhaiya main software mein waise bhi bohot strong hu”.

Finally, the counselling day came. I could see guys (girls omitted because of the pathetically low sex ratio which is <<1). I, with my uncle, who boasted to be most aware of seat availability trends (He is actually a PWD office- Public Works Department, so most of his day goes counting seats here and there), went to the counseling. As I entered the auditorium, I could see many sage-looking creatures around whom vagabond disciples like me were wandering around. My uncle: “Do not worry Rishabh, I will guide you.” We found that a professor sitting on the Aerospace desk was free.

My uncle: “Sir ye bataiye, Hindustan Aeronautics ka to business chal nahi raha, kaun kaun si companies aati hai?” Professor A: “There are other national agencies as well which recruit students. I am an entrepreneur- meri khud ki ek company hai.”

Uncle: ” Ye hui na baat. Chirag tale andhera. Hum company dhoond rahe the aur yahan khud company humein dhoond rahi thi”

Prof. A (confused) opened his mouth to say something, but remembered some phrase and smiled pleasantly, at least it seemed that he smiled pleasantly. Uncle (to me): “Work hard, then only Sir will take you in company, got it?” Now was the turn of a civil engineering professor. A tall guy, with spects and seemingly very stern personality was sitting alone.

Seemed no one was interested in talking about civil engineering or may be he was made to sit on the wrong day of counselling. He smiled as we went over to him.

Uncle: ” Hello, I am an officer in PWD (Public Works Department), I am sure Civil Engineers are future of the country and there are enough jobs and opportunities.”

Prof. B: “Yes, you see, Civil engineering is …. (blah blah ).. ” I did not pay much attention to him as my eyes got on to the last year counseling closing and opening ranks sheet of various departments he was holding.

I (to myself): “Civil started at 2502 last year, I am 400 above it, almost 18% of it, why am I wasting my time here? Let me talk to Biotechnology professors”. I walked away from there and came to the desk of bio-engineering. I was confused. I had known that engineering and medical are the two options out of which we had to choose one and worship it as our life path. How can they both come together?

I asked Prof. C about this doubt of mine. He went into some pensive mood for a few moments and then replied, “It is a new arena of interdisciplinary research. Industries in India are yet setting up. Job opportunities are very good, especially if you hold a Masters or PhD.” Uncle barged in saying, “Hello! Actually I work on statistics in PWD, please show me the statistics of job packages for last few years.” Professor C handed over something to me. Uncle did some astronomic calculations, and told me “Here we will get your brother admitted when he gets selected, tu mechanical lele

I filled in mechanical and got it as soon as the results were declared. I have been fed that department does not matter much. The natural course of evolution says that after B. Tech. from IIT comes MBA from IIM. I was happy after learning that mechanical is an evergreen (Read: Immune to effects of recession) field. On the reported day, I came into the institute. There was an Orientation session for freshers, and some tagged seniors, better known as ‘Student Guides’ were allotted to prevent the young cubs from clutches of seniors.

We had a trip to mechanical engineering department in Orientation days. I was trying to be most patient when the professor was trying to explain the operation of a gyroscope. Then our HoD came. He asked all of us our reasons for choosing Mechanical Engineering at this particular IIT. Answers like “I am interested in learning machines and motion”, “My father is an engineer, and he says core of engineering is mechanical engineering” (blah blah) started pouring in. I was lost in thoughts what would I say, and I did not realize that the snake had crawled till me.

HoD: “Yes, you, why did you join Mechanical engineering?” I fumbled for a moment. “Should I say my uncle told me to?” Suddenly something struck me, and I said: “My teacher once told me that jab tak sooraj chand rahega 3 departments ka naam rahega– mechanical, biotech and environment, and I saw the faculty here is the best. So I joined mechanical.”

All were shocked for a moment, but then my HoD patted my back after the session, and said, “This institute needs people like you to grow.”

I (to myself), “Society also thinks that I need this institute for my growth (Read: Growing trees of currency).”

I have been here in this institute for around four years now, and have tried to explore the effects of the forging, students go through to gain admission to this place on their long term plans. Dr. H C Verma, the author of the ‘Concepts of Physics’ (the Bible for any JEE aspirant) says, “JEE has today become a target for students, the goal of life. That is a false target.” This looks to be indeed true- the quench for knowledge among many of us is no longer alive- the candle has lived its life, and it’s time for the wax to deposit around, to form an impermeable clot of the myopic expectations of getting into a position, that would fetch us more dowry.

Is this the way to India 2020? Can the present generation, with this mentality, ever lead the development of the nation and society? Will your girlfriend marry you if are pursuing your studies in civil engineering unless you have an MBA? What is actual brain drain — students emigrating for jobs or herd of students blindly joining the rat race? How can an aptitude test in class 12 or any stage ever decide what is going to be the future course of one’s life?

I hope that this present trend mentioned above is just a mutation in the genes that shall die in due course of time. I am sure that natural course of evolution shall follow and India shall evolve as Dr. Kalam opines. Let us follow our heart, and let our passion be our profession!

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student at IIT- Kanpur.

You must be to comment.
  1. Mayank Kumar

    The questions you raised are very pertinent and most of us would have felt a tinge inside that something is missing, but didn’t had the time to even think over it seriously (rat race et. al. ), rest aside the chances of acting on it.

    I have this hypothesis that it’s the primary and secondary education where things should be rectified, where priorities and importance should be changed. Though, I have lost touch with the current culture in school these days, but frequent inquiries and talks with relatives and relative’s relatives children tells me that the indicator are still not good.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Aditya Mittal

By Krishna Kant Tripathi

By IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below