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Why USA Is Fighting The War In Afghanistan?

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By Akash Pal:

Many years ago when the USSR realised that their interests would be met by conquering the land of extremely sweet potential, Afghanistan, little did they know that it would lead the way to what today is globally connected, extremely well-funded network of terrorism that has gripped fear amongst the masses across borders and continents of the world. When the Unites States realised that the formation of Communist government in Afghanistan could be a great problem to serve their interests as a global power, they looked at an indirect way to bruise the Russians.

They realised that the locals in Afghanistan were against the conquest attempts by the Russians and they were ready to give up their lives to protect the land has been theirs since millennia. The Americans realised that what stopped them was the lack of military equipment. So after many years of lobbying, sourcing connections and understanding the brevity of the situation, the Americans funded the warriors of Afghanistan who called themselves the ‘mujahideen’ which meant ‘strugglers’ or ‘survivors’.

They fought hard and were finally successful in evicting the Russians from their lands. At the same time, a rich and pious Saudi named Osama Bin Laden and the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, Ayman Al Zawahiri recruited people for the war efforts who would form the members of the organisation named Al Qaeda. With their extreme interpretations of the Quran they made a network of assassins who were ready to give up their lives for the cause and were made to believe that the West was the enemy. Now the Americans, dominantly a capitalist nation, cared less about what was happening to other nations as long as their interests were being met. However at this extreme juncture, the American nation was the target of an assault by this outfit that was etched down as one of the darkest times in the history of the great nation.

The Americans made an enemy out of the an investment they had made to solve a global domination issue. Osama was a creation of the USA and now their ally in the war efforts in Afghanistan seemed to have switched loyalties. Washington realised that this would go on to be a threat that would hinder their plans for global domination and attain fealty from smaller dependent nation through control of natural resources of prime importance such as crude oil and lithium. Most of our gadgets today run on batteries made from lithium and surprisingly Afghanistan has one of the largest lithium reserves in the world. The militants, now called the Taliban had established their own government which had toppled a previous government supported by the USA.

Their laws were extreme and made the common man live in a constant tenure of fear and pained silence. Corruption seemed to a smaller issue as terrorism was inadvertently being cultivated and supported in the Afghan lands. They now recruited people from all walks of life and nations regardless of their nationality or their religious beliefs. They were strategically setting up a network that would become so vast that tracking down and eliminating one would give rise to hundreds of alternatives. This seemed as a plague so well circulated, it seemed almost impossible to terminate.

The Americans along with many of their allies decided to attack and demolish the military capabilities of these organisations. Thus, began a war issued by the Bush administration named Operation- Enduring Freedom that went on to become a war with no end. At first, the American people felt proud at the step taken by their leaders. Then the economy crumbled. Jobs were lost and the value of houses dropped so badly that their mortgages were at a higher value than the price of their house in the current market. So if they decided to sell their greatest assets, they would be selling at a very steep loss. Families seemed to be distraught as the incomes dropped and jobs were lost. Fear conquered the common man and the government was bailing out so many corporations from bankruptcy. The banking system was on the verge of shattering down. This meltdown had a global impact and stock markets crashed when people started selling in the fear that their stock would lose their value.

Amongst all this social turmoil and evident economic meltdown, many people lost a lot of their wealth embedded as vital investments in many affected markets. The American population was terrified. If they did not have the guarantee of earning a fixed income, how could they possibly live the American dream. Then came the shockers of war strewn Afghanistan and Iraq. The media was extensively covering the war and terrible consequences of losing American and allied soldiers on foreign lands in the promise to eliminate the destructive network of terrorism. Unfortunately, the people realised that this promise was no longer met when there were terror strikes in the Great Britain and multiple locations in Europe and India.

These attacks were claimed by various terror organisations and threatened the West to repent their appalling treatment to the Muslim community. The world was in strife of terrible mishaps. There were extreme religious tensions and people were losing faith in the war. It seemed as if the Americans and their allies were interested more in the efforts to sustain their reign over the global market. The war no longer held the same value and morality that it seemed to hold not very long ago. The Americans were spending a mind boggling sum of 10 billion dollars of the tax-payers money each month in the war efforts in Afghanistan. This infuriated a lot of people considering that the money could be used to widen the spectrum of jobs available and could help relief the tensions created due to the fall in the economy and stiff dollar values which affected global markets and foreign investments. A lot of people don’t realise this, but Afghanistan is important to the Americans because it is a mineral rich country. It has a lot of liquid gold a.k.a crude oil.

It has a very high reserve of lithium. Most of the gadgets available in today’s markets run on batteries using lithium. Strategically, the location of Afghanistan on the global front is very important for any country aiming for global domination and constant fealty from smaller and weaker nations. Not only do the Americans have an economic advantage, they want to eliminate a problem that was initially promoted by them. The Bush administration led the American economy go down a steep slope that caused shocking tremors not only to the American population but to billions across the globe.

The Chinese may outsmart the West with its illusionary Communist administration, but it is taking very strong steps to outdo America as the most powerful nation. For many years Americans have been proud of their nation and the steps taken by it to bring to Americans the ‘better life’, however times seemed to have changed. The American nation is now openly warning other nations of its interest to take over the oil markets, etc. There is enough turmoil and disruption of peace, the people are worried and have started to judge the decisions of the great nation.

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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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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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