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Leaking Tanks And The Dance Around

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By A M Radhika:

Kids, there’s a leaky season within the winter season. The entire terrene has manifested into Gossip Girls, the pilot episode of course being the 2006-07 launch of the Big Brotherisms of WikiLeaks offering highly classified information of various countries on its menu with ‘who gave special names to whom’ to go with it. Every piece of land is alerted into now thinking, “Ab mera kya hoga?” (now what will happen to me?) Please refer to The Guardian for an articulate summary if you are not yet enlightened (Where are you, Jupiter?). As far as average mortals are concerned, opinions and reactions are completely divided.

Rushing to conclusions though, is definitely not expected of us. It’s very interesting though how certain ‘couch confessions’ have given us so many things to worry about. Which nuclear weapon is going where paid by whom, change in the ‘friendship’ status quo, individual attacks on accountability, entirety of defense strategies of nations, brutal killings which would never end, torture stories of soldiers, election results, terror attacks and a plethora of bad influences to choose from. All the more notable a factoid is how more than 800 volunteers and 5 people have given a heavy amount of work to the diplomats who have allegedly been casual in their approach (tongue in cheek so to say). There is an astronomic load of damage control to be done. Go figure.

Julian Assagne, known to be founder, spokesperson and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, the whistle blower on International water cooler moments, is now Red Cornered by the Interpol for his alleged Swedish crime apart from being sought by the US for interrogation, separately, claimed to have violated the Espionage Act is divided between the ‘real hero’ and ‘dangerous troublemaker’ tags. Impactful information or redundant/false alarms, whatever it is, you got to agree on one thing. Internet is the big bad wolf here. These probably are the marks of your so called ‘pencil and notebook’ journalism concepts. They are definitely more widespread, more impactful, more ‘voicy’ and may or may not be more blood ridden.

Leaks pertaining to India as of now focus on intelligence information pertaining to impending terror attacks, comments of a bureaucrat regarding military execution being ‘slow & lumbering’ and so forth. On the diplomatic front, a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council is supported, as mirrored in the US President’s speech to the Indian Parliament recently. But we are to keep our eyes and ears open. Apparently more than 3000 cables from India are to be released on WikiLeaks. Actions and changes in status quo shall depend only on the impact that those leaks may create. As of now, Ministry of State for External Affairs was quoted saying, “This is a very sensitive issue. We have good bilateral relations (with the US) and they had already warned us… So, I think it is not the right time to comment on it and we want to continue having good relationship with the US that. So, I think let us wait and work this out.”

What do you think of having a ‘SpookyLeaks’ of our own; have some interesting discussion running around us. A local network for our workplaces where so called ‘whistle-blowing’ can be done anonymously, in every office, educational institution, corporate houses, etc (Yes, SpookyLeaks is the new water cooler). In classrooms for example, who stole whose notebooks or a not-invited-to-my-party list. May be even a tagger, to typecast people we know and like/hate as the ‘’. See some catfights happening. Reality, of course on the other hand, is and will be a disturbing picture.

You must be to comment.
  1. A M Radhika

    The Ministry of State for External Affairs was quoted saying, “This is a very sensitive issue. We have good bilateral relations with the U.S. and they had already warned us. So, I think it is not the right time to comment on it and we want to continue having good relationship with the U.S. So, I think let us wait and work this out”. (Source: The Hindu

  2. Amar Tejaswi

    Nice one… I am game for your SpookyLeaks. Mrs. Clinton has called India a ‘self-appointed front-runner for the UNSC permanent seat’. But even if a few more of such comments appear in those cables, I don’t think we can do much. Our policy has always been ‘wait-and-watch’ because we absolutely have no idea how to react to things and what decision to take. Ahmedinejad commented that the cables were realeased by the US itself, China has called them ridiculous. We have nothing to say. Because we are clueless on what to say.

  3. A M Radhika

    Well, don’t they have a saying that goes, “Better safe…”?
    Moreover, these are international diplomatic relations. It’s not a regular Facebook chat.

  4. A M Radhika

    Thank you for reading, and pondering over it 🙂

  5. A M Radhika

    Whoa my previous comment did not appear. I meant to mention a saying, “Better safe…”. Plus, these are international diplomatic relations. Not regular facebook chats.

  6. Amar Tejaswi

    True that these are not Facebook chats, but the lack of an official statement reflects the lack of policy. Keeping mum once or twice is alright, but keeping mum on a majority of issues? Yet, we want a UNSC permanent seat. Mrs. Clinton was right in saying so.

  7. A M Radhika

    Just for the sake of debate/discussion, what do you think, should consist an official statement? A for? or an Against?

  8. Amar Tejaswi

    Absolutely for the sake of debate/discussion, an official statement should reflect the concerned government’s stand on it.

  9. A M Radhika

    According to WikiLeaks there are as many as 5,087 records amongst the leaked cables that refer to India. Should we (or the govt) not clarify our position after we’ve seen everything relevant?

  10. Amar Tejaswi

    Do you think Ahmadinejad or China has gone through all the cables that refer to them? If I am not wrong, there are a lot more cables that refer to Iran and China than India.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)’.

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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.”

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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.

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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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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