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This Summer, Work For Change, Work With An NGO, Here’s Why

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By Shivani Singh:

You must have seen so many stray puppies and kittens on the roads, in your colony, searching for food in the garbage bins — did you ever stop and think about them? Did you even spend a second of your “busy” time to even think of taking care of them? Most of the people would say that they’re stray — their life is like that, you can’t do anything! But Blue Cross Society and many other NGOs takes this point as a challenge and pledges to change their lives.

Recently, the NGO held a stray puppy and kitten adoption camp — something which they have been doing since years and I got to be a part of this great work of humanity. At first I was apprehensive about the fact that who would adopt such stray animals but after having the entire day with such wonderful creations I got my answer. An animal lover doesn’t look at all these things; he just comes here to find a new BEST FRIEND!

There were so many people who came to adopt, many passers-by also stopped, saw what was happening and decided to contribute to this noble cause. It was great to see such an enthusiastic response and people come and give the strays a proper home. There were many volunteers from the NGO who did everything they could to take care of the animals as if they were their own children, handling them with utmost care, crying when they were leaving after being adopted, carrying them around in their arms, making them sleep in their laps — it was so moving, everything about the atmosphere there- the potential adopters and the volunteers of the NGO- everything made you feel good! I felt that humanity has come to life again amidst all these problems in the world, there is still hope!

Blue Cross Society also makes sure that all animals being adopted are fit so there is a veterinary during the entire camp, there’s also a counselor who would counsel people if they wanted to know how to take care of the animals, there were legal documents being signed and everything was so organized- being an NGO which runs only on donations, they still did everything top-notch. The dogs had been fully vaccinated and this point attracted more people to come and adopt. There were clauses which also allowed the NGO to conduct regular check-ups on the animals after they have been adopted to ensure they are in safe hands!

I was with the animals the entire time — feeding them pedigree, giving them milk, water, taking care of them, handling them, showing them to potential adopters. Everything taught me so much — you could see it in their eyes — how much they longed for love. Anyone who said that animals don’t speak; they should see how they communicate so effectively. As I saw each puppy or kitten being adopted, I used to have tears in my eyes — they had bonded with me in a matter of a few hours! I would not have been able to experience this life changing opportunity if I hadn’t opted to work for an NGO those summer vacations.

I think the youth should now start spending more time working for such social causes or the development sector instead of just working like robots to achieve one set of dreams. They cannot survive alone — they have an entire environment around them and if you leave the surrounding under-developed you cannot make progress yourself. So opt and volunteer for such NGOs and be the Change! Do something for OTHERS rather than yourselves and see the change in yourself. DO GOOD!

You can see the smiles on the faces of those you help — be it under-privileged women, or slums kids or differently-abled kids or animals just like me to see the wag of their tails, or the purr in their meows, or the hee-haws in their smiles. Be the change this summer, opt for an NGO internship instead of chasing just your careers and experience the world! At least see the issues around you and write for them, make the people aware about the cause as well as the NGO. Do the work and make people aware. For example, join Youth Ki Awaaz and write, voice your opinions, share your comments, your experience, and spread awareness. Join such NGOs and make a difference!

The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz. You can read more of her reports here.

You must be to comment.
  1. S Chris Chopp

    Excellent article, a desperate need in India. Is it possible to skip subjecting these creatures to processed Pedigree brand food, instead promote homemade nutritious natural food recipes? No reason for yet another western brand to profit on the backs of a consumer who doesn’t think to ask where or what their beloved dog’s food was sourced from.

    1. YouthKiAwaaz

      Thats a very valid point Chris. In fact, we have seen many families giving their dogs healthy homemade rice, pulses, vegetables, and just look at those royal beings 🙂 Much better than what pedigree could give them. But then, the veterinary plays a major role in this. They are the ones who recommend, and since we are talking about a different species here, people prefer to follow the learned, the vet.

  2. Aditi Thakor

    It is amazing to see the youth working for a cause. I think all educated young people should convert their skills for a cause they believe in. It could be adopting a stray animal or teaching a poor child or anything…

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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.”

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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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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.

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