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Cavaliers Behind The Ultimate World Cup Glory

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By Srikanth Gopalakrishnan:

It all started in 1975 and not many knew what was going on in England when the entire cricket fraternity joined together to play the first world cup. 38 years down the line, this particular tournament is THE pinnacle of all tournaments, I would say!

Different eras, different mindsets, different conditions yet ONE aim… Conquer the cup!!!

1975 saw the dominance of just one team, which swayed all the other teams coming in its way -it’s the Clive LLoyd lead Windies team. The calm with which he lead his team backed by his team members plus the right attitude that was possessed by the Windies team made his job simple. Play with your Strengths; and that’s what they did! Yes, without any doubt, the Windies team were easily the winners of the inaugural edition of the world cup against the Aussie team lead by Ian Chappel. Team India did disappoint, winning just 2 matches out of the whole series.

The second time- around 1979-the Windies were the clear favourites, going in as the defending champs with almost the same team they had in the previous edition, led by the charismatic Clive Lloyd again. This time, the English team did come as a threat to both the finalists of the previous edition and they did end up reaching the final. Geoff Boycott’s men could not pose a challenge to the Windies team and it was the second time in a row Lloyd won the coveted trophy with Viv Richards being the hero. Interestingly there was no Man of the Series being presented this edition.

Then came the 1983 edition with a hope for things to turnaround for all teams barring the Windies team, who looked to make it 3 in a row -this time with the best team ever. As expected, once again they were on a roll, reaching the final without a hitch. The biggest surprise came from the other finalists though!

Many would have expected teams like Australia, England or even Pakistan to reach the final, but it was the Indian Team that silenced everyone. The man behind this extraordinary performance was the captain Kapil Dev. And ultimately Team India defeated the world champs with some majestic performances. For the very first time, the West Indies lost the World cup and now it had opened doors for other teams as well.

The next edition 4 years later, being hosted by the Asian countries, witnessed some of the best cricketing action and this time Team India was the crowd favourites, given the fact that they are playing at the home conditions. At last, the Aussie era of dominance started its formation. It was Allan Border’s team who started the great Aussie onslaught, and England were once again at the receiving end.

Yet these 3 world cups didn’t offer much delight to the fans, there was some substance missing…May be the pace of the game , the overs which were 60 in the previous 2 editions, the boring uniforms, not exciting enough matches; these things added to the boredom. Then came the change much awaited! Coloured clothing came into existence; floodlights were offered to add more grandeur to the upcoming editions of the cricket World cup. Now the defending champs were the clear favourites, adding their home advantage. Once again, this edition threw up a surprise as the underdogs Pakistan were crowned the champs.

The next edition continued the volley of surprises. No one expected the unheard Lankan team to emerge victorious in the most comprehensive manner.

Predictability was one word which was never to be used when it comes to this tournament. But then the Aussies just ruled the world winning game after game and that too in the most convincing manner, destroying all line-ups. Without any surprise, they won the next 3 editions on the trot without any defeat except for one match against Pak. When there is a huge target to be chased, they had their deadly opening combo. When there was a need to steady the ship, they had The Man-the one man show, Michael Bevan- who stood tall in numerous occasions carrying his bat till the finish line. Such was his temperament, his skill to nudge the ball and find gaps. Man, you are awesome! If the situation demanded to run the batting line-up of the opposition, they had their bowling legends, who on any given day, any kind of wicket would pose a threat. Such was the strength the almighty the Aussie team possessed!!

However, the first team to win the cup on home soil, the team which overcame the toughest battles, the team which prevailed in all the crunch situations in the latest edition -TEAM INDIA, it were… Men in blue, Take a bow!!!

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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.

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.

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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, 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.

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