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

My Realizations At A Traffic Signal

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Soumya M:

A few minutes into the drive and I notice it.. It’s going to change. God, I should squeeze through… Please, please.. In a desperate attempt, I raise my accelerator. It was too late.

My Scooty pep made a halting screech. The traffic light turned red. And I was forced to have a 90 second break. So I turned off my engine (I always do) and reprimanded myself for not starting early from home, surely I would have crossed the junction had I started earlier. I glanced over at my neighboring vehicles. People were glancing at their watches – over and over again, some were making calls, couple of guys were adjusting their hair.. hmm.. what a typical day at the junction! The cop meanwhile was bearing the heat of the scorching sun. I couldn’t help but overlook his misery. A cop’s duty at a busy junction.. there aren’t many things that can be worse than this. People stop and go, but he is the one who has to stay there till the end of his duty, which seems like forever.

During all this commotion, I often ended up doing a bit of research myself. Let me sum it up for you.

People are somewhat irate while waiting at a traffic signal. It is always the ‘other person’ who is an idiot. Somehow, I don’t get this logic. Either he/she is too slow and is being an obstruction or he/she is driving so fast that you start mouthing fowl words. Why can it never be you who is wrong? It is widely understood, though not acceptable that it is only the youth who indulges in over speeding. But that is not the case anymore. Young and old alike, everybody is showcasing their ‘cool’ driving techniques at busy junctions and narrow roads, day and night! Clearly, the menace of over speeding is taking a toll on everybody. The thrill of speed is prevalent as long as no one is hurt. But a well known fact is that no matter what the make of your car is, you can’t control it all the time. Isn’t it obvious how accidents happen? The road ‘seems’ to be deserted, our vehicle ‘seems’ to be in our control, but everything changes in a matter of seconds. A recent accident where a former minister’s son passed away in a tragic accident is an example of what happens when you can’t control your vehicle which is going at a very high speed. Traffic or no traffic, we ought to drive at a speed where the vehicle would be in our control, at any given time.

As mentioned earlier, some of my friends and I usually turn off our engines when there is a more than a 20 second halt at the signal. The very intention of this practice is to encourage others to do the same. Shouting in the virtual world that the pollution levels are increasing daily, is not a solution. Even though there will be scores of people who agree with our argument and effective measures to control it, as soon as they step into the real world – there is a very good chance that the discussion they just participated in may fade away from their memories. So it is better that we practice what we preach.

As we are 10- 15 seconds away from freedom, people start honking, as if to wake me up from the small nap I’m having amidst all the smoke and sound of the vehicles around me. This reminds me of another section of people who I’m sure are present all over India. The group of ‘cool honkers’, who take the pain of honking while they ride. Be it a road where there aren’t many people or a road which is jam packed. They remind me of old movies where the arrival of the king was being announced prior to his entry into the scene.

Jokes apart, tell me why do you honk? Is it because:

a) The person in front of you does not wish to move from his place? Maybe his vehicle isn’t running.

b) Even though his vehicle is running he has stopped.

Let me tell you, maybe he is obstructed by another vehicle.

Now you must be saying, neither.. he just didn’t move, then maybe he is growing old. His vision effects his driving. And maybe they can’t afford to appoint a driver. NOW, would you be kind enough to be considerate towards him?

Be it honking, over speeding or badmouthing, it is high time we stopped being irate and respected others who share the road space with us.

You must be to comment.
  1. nidhi

    i share your realization.people become so impatient while driving and riding on the road.they want to reach their destination as soon as possible. They realize the value of time only on the road and to save every second of their life they over speed their vehicle use badmouthing and even break the signal. .

  2. shiva

    soumya its really a good message… !!!!!!!

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Shilpa S

By Taushif Patel


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