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

Evolution: The Beginning And The End

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Nitum Jain:

Evolution has never had any specific direction or meaning. A human being is born, lives its small lifetime and is finally laid to rest in deaths cradle. Is that it? Why is it necessary? What is the significance of this whole system? Many changes take place in the society in a person’s lifetime. Many discoveries are made; many customs and beliefs are broken or amended. Every person or every generation contributes something to their era and add to the legacy of their successors to be passed forward for further improvement.

That’s how Homo sapiens have lived through the Stone Age and become the 21st century humans that we are today. It was a long time ago since we had stopped being equated with Neanderthals. We have found means to make the impossible possible, a whole tiny world can be held in one’s hand. There is something that has been created to make simple every activity humans are involved in; we have phones, cars, computers and what not.  We have traveled from the discovery of fire, wheel and bronze to Blackberries and Large Hadrons Colliders.

This progress was due to many biological changes that took place in our race and the environment and also because of discoveries of various elements and phenomena provided by the earth, this leading to evolution of technology and a keener sense of what surrounds us which is only increasing in magnitude as the years go by.

Charles Darwin had put forward his ideas about the theory of evolution and natural selection in his book The Origin of Species almost 150 years ago. He emphasized on his theory of the survival of the fittest; the fittest being the one best adapted to its surroundings, thus having the capability to survive while the weaker perishes. Evolution has one basic rule, it is not synonymous with progress, it’s by natural selection that a being is chosen as fitter than its counterpart. Darwin’s ideas are widely spread and were roots of many other theories, many productive while many highly destructive. Adolf Hitler worked up the Holocaust on this very theory, claiming that the blonde blue-eyed Aryans were the ‘the fitter’ ones thus most eligible to live on the German land and massacring the weaker and ‘dirty race’ of the Jews to emphasize his point. The British colonizers carried out a similar but smaller ravaging process on the Native American land; Africa was soon raped as well.

However a pattern in the process of evolution can be identified which could help us to speculate the future, extrapolate the direction of evolutionary change and consider the possibilities opening up for future human evolution and development. This is our only hope in salvaging the continuity of the life we have today in the years to come.

Evolutionary development can be seen from various points of view, concluding different things and theories. In today’s school life on mundane basis, an athlete or a ‘jock’ comes higher than their intellectual classmates or ‘nerd’ in the hierarchy of the student body. An athlete may be physically fitter but at the same time the intellect is more developed in terms of his brain power. This at some point can contradict Darwin’s theory as both can’t be placed under one category thus can’t be proven better than the other overall. What one has, the other doesn’t and the world requires both kinds. So how should one judge?

This is a question that comes from the same bank of Unanswered Questions as the aforementioned ones. Unfortunately Darwin didn’t put such things in his book and thesis; he generally dealt with animals and such. In many places evolution can be easily interpreted and the results of natural selection can easily processed but at the same time there are many exceptions where the nature’s mysteries come into play and no sense could be made out of why one being should be fitter and which particular attributes are better than the other. Humans are the worst in this predicament for humans; with all their diversity they have made themselves comfortable in all kinds of environments yet some rise sky high while others barely exist in the throes.

As mentioned earlier, evolution has no direction, the technology and the society that has developed over the centuries due to the evolutionary changes have made man’s life easier, true, but at the same time it has created more devils in the world like weapons of mass destruction. The comfort our material needs are giving us is definitely very tempting and seems hard to give up but is also very precariously short lived. The acts of terrorism should be least expected from the beings born with the most developed brain within their craniums on the blue planet. Weapons were created in the name defence and Weapons of Mass Destruction were merely an intimidating gesture, both of these statements evidently proven wrong in the numerous wars and skirmishes that sprout like ugly welts on our history.

It’s very unlikely that earth can survive an encore of the World Wars, especially with the bigger and meaner weapons that are coming up everywhere. Yet the worst face of the whole issue is that the makers of such lethal devices are aware of the consequences but are unaffected by these hovering catastrophes. It almost makes one wonder, Are We Insane? Has Every One of Us Become Sadists All Of A Sudden?  The pace at which we are going today, standing on the brink of a Nuclear Armageddon and our destructive minds left to their own devices, any day could be the doomsday for our earth.

The highly-talked-about 9/11. The 26/11. The instability in Afghanistan. The blood trade in Africa. There are so many more examples of humanity on the verge of extinction; of human brain evolution in reverse and of madness of our kin.

There are many people who are aware that we have initiated the countdown to the Apocalypse by performing activities that are destroying our environment and are depleting all that has been provided by the earth. Global warming, pollution, scarcity of oil in the near future, wildlife extinction and holes in the ozone layer and other environmental concerns, however pressing they are, have bored us to death. This is because even though we see and know everything, there are only few who actually do something about it while the rest just acknowledge it as another fact on paper. A handful correcting their ways to accommodate the concern for the environment may be inspiring but it does little to actually be considered as sustainable development. It may certainly prolong the inevitable by a bit but to call off the whole problem requires involvement of all.

What we need is the moral evolution of the humans. Every human is made out of flesh and sinew thus they require the same amount of respect from other members of their specie. In today’s world, people of the same gene pool have little compassion for one another whereas for the future, preferably a Hopeful Future, we require to evolve into humans who put trust in their friends and family and are equally deserving of theirs. We need to retain our basic humanity and raise ourselves as global citizens.

Technology is evolving by the seconds but still our top scientists and human resource cannot figure out substitutes for the matter that is disappearing, they have unveiled cloning but they can’t bring back Dodos. Is our fate going to be similar to the extinct birds when the ozone layer is completely gone, roasting the planet in its wake or when the ice sheets liquefy and Tsunamis swallow us all. Dinosaurs were animals yet weren’t responsible for their end but we, the fitter race, are bringing it upon ourselves. We are fast becoming banes to our own existence.

The whole society that was brought up by mankind, all the customs, the traditions, the heritage and most of all, the history is getting lost. Our identity is fast disappearing along with our environment. Actions are required and that too quickly, the passé seeming terms such as sustainable development, environmental conservation and judicious use of the gifts of nature have to be put to use. The ‘talk’ is over and it’s time to ‘walk’, it’s time to shoulder our responsibilities as the guardians of our planet. Pollution of all kinds is nibbling on our existence day by day; population is not helping matters either. The process is going to be long and tedious but it’s necessary for the generations to come. We can make the earth work till the sun burns out; all it requires is everyone to develop the mindset of the common goal set up for us. To work towards it with all their heart, keeping aside our own personal choices and thinking like we are supposed to…

Like the most evolved beings to walk on this earth.

Image courtesy.

The writer is the Sub-Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz. Write to the author at nitumjain[at]youthkiawaaz[dot]com.

You must be to comment.
  1. bharathi

    well written… 🙂
    cheers!! the article is very exhaustive and to the point, a concise report of millions of years of changes..

    1. NitumJ

      Thank you! 🙂

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Sumbulkhan Khan

By Soumya Tiwari

By Jyoti Singh

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