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Interview With Miral Sattar, New Media Entrepreneur, Founder of

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Miral Sattar, the Founder of and is a new media entrepreneur who has worked in the media industry for 10 years who reads a book a week on her Kindle. Her mission is simple — to innovate the publishing industry with technology. Ms. Sattar is a contributor for TIME and teaches entrepreneurial journalism sessions at CUNY from time to time. Ms. Sattar has contributed to Metro and Jane Magazine. Ms. Sattar is a 2000 graduate of Columbia University’s school of Engineering and Applied Science and a graduate from NYU with a M.S. in Digital + Print Media. Working on her new startup, BiblioCrunch, Ms. Sattar was interviewed by Anshul Tewari on her views about the online publishing industry and about

1) How did the idea of come to your mind? Was it about bridging a gap?

I was looking for ways to diversify revenue streams for digital and print media as part of my thesis at NYU. I realized that there was a void in the epublishing space for digital books and bookazines. Currently, it is cumbersome for publishers and authors to publish, distribute, and sell their own stories via ebooks. The existing tools just don’t cut it. It takes several steps to publish and package content into ebooks. There are different formats and different devices. We have taken the ‘write once, publish anywhere’ philosophy to make it easy for people to tell their own stories. At we are bridging the gap between writers and readers. The readers are key in deciding what they want to read.

3) What do you think about the current state of the publishing industry, and how tough has it become for young people with innovative ideas to get published?

Right now the publishing model is broken. Publishers are more likely to invest in celebrity or well-known authors that they think will sell. This results in quality or young, first-time authors being overlooked. In additon, publishing a physical paper book is expensive and it takes a long time for books to get to market and oftentimes publishers don’t invest the marketing dollars in promoting new voices.

4) How does plan to solve these challenges? Tell us a little about the concept of is a free platform that empowers writers and publishers to create and market their own digital books and bookazines. Through our platform anyone can share their stories. We’ve socialized the interaction between bloggers, authors, students, writers, journalists, publishers and created a community where they can connect with each other to write and publish the best possible ebooks. If you need to connect with a designer or editor, you can do that from our online community. We’ve simplified the cumbersome process of publishing an into an easy-to use interface which will convert your book into any format any eReader!

5) Is open for anyone and everyone? How does a writer qualify to get their book on

Anyone with a good story to tell can join If we notice your book getting great reviews, then we’ll feature you.

Also, isn’t just for authors or publishers. It’s for designers, copy editors, book cover designers who are also essential to creating the best ebook possible.

6) What were the initial challenges you faced in setting up How has the response been, which are the most popular sections on the website and which are the most published genres?

The initial challenge was just getting the right team of people to start working with. Once that was settled the response has been great. We’ve already signed on two publishers and only been live in our beta launch for 2 weeks. The most popular sections is the Featured Books sections and our virtual Book Clubs. Right now we have a few new books coming out that focus on business and politics.

7) What are your expansion plans?

We have lots! We’re hoping to incorporate fun social elements into the site and sign on more and more publishers. We’re in talks with a few digital publications to sign them on, too. If Youth Ki Awaaz readers have suggestions we’re open to hearing them and implementing them! Tweet them to us @bibliocrunch!

8) How can readers of Youth Ki Awaaz leverage from the platform? Can you explain the process?

Signing up is easy. Writers can go online and create their profile. Once they’ve validated their account they can start writing by going to the ‘Write’ tab and begin writing their books. Once they’ve written all their chapters they can start publishing and promoting their books. We just came out with a Pakistan flood series here which is easy to share on FB and Twitter and other social media outlets.

Once a writer has their book page they can send it around to friends and family to get reviews.
Members also have their profile pages that they can send around to friends which has all the books they’ve written in one easy place.

We have a special group created for Youth Ki Awaaz:

Members can come together and exchange ideas on that group.

Also, if writers have a book, tweet it to us (@bibliocrunch) and we’ll help you promote your book.

The ebook publishing territory is uncharted. The future of the industry depends on experimentation and new business models. Paper books are slowly dying but there are still stories that need to be told. With the we provide that platform.

You can catch Ms. Sattar on Twitter @bibliocrunch.

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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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