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Flaws Of The Reservation System- When Will We Rectify Our Mistakes?

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By Pooja Solanki:

Few questions about our country are mind-wobbling and this one certainly irks you- India being a secular country, why does it have a reservation system based on religion and caste?

The Constitution of India introduced reservations for the weaker sections of society like the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in order to safeguard their rights and provide them with opportunities. With time, 27% reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) was also included. And yet again, there would be a ‘new reservation’ in the system!

The Andhra Pradesh High Court this week quashed the 4.5 percent sub-quota to minorities carved out of 27 percent OBC reservation. The sub-quota was announced by the Centre in December last year for socially and educationally backward classes of citizens belonging to minority communities. They declared the minorities be allotted seats out of the 27% for OBCs and also provide them with jobs in Government offices. The Andhra HC ruled that the sub-quota was based on religious grounds and not on any other consideration which led to its repealing.

The Centre never fails to hurt the sentiments of the common people, especially ours, the youth. Instead of admitting a student in its premier institutes purely on the basis of merit, they are using religious tactics to play dirty politics. The vote back game is on again as the Centre dissatisfied by the court’s verdict, is ready to move to the Supreme Court regarding the issue.

We as Indians are self-proclaimed secularists. But our government doesn’t thinks so. Even after 65 years of independence, we are in the clutches of a religious supremacy. It’s erroneous to say that reservations shouldn’t exist at all, but, at least not the way it’s framed in our Constitution. The economically deprived classes like the Below Poverty Line (BPL) people should be provided with reservations and concession in fees because the jewels among them hardly get a chance and end up being in undesirable professions.

The society has conceived reservation with mixed reactions. Some feel it is for the empowerment of the backward classes while others perceive it in a negative manner. The most affected by this socio-political drama is the youth. Most of us fail to get admission in the premier and esteemed institutes like the IITs and IIMs. The petty reason- We fall short of few marks as the seats were already full! Even the government office has reserved seats for the SCs, STS and OBCs. In all, the Open Category candidates are devoid of chances to study in respected colleges and get lucrative jobs.

A youth is the building block of a nation. Does the reservation system mean keeping out a deserved one and let a not-so-deserved to run our country? The administrative system of our country doesn’t run smoothly because of the inefficient men. Now the question of the hour- Why have a system which doesn’t ensure effectiveness? In the past there had been cases of people agitating about the vexed issue, demonstrating on the streets against the government policies and a youngster even set himself ablaze in order to protest against the system. The sacrifice of that poor man never ever changed anything. Also, there are many who ended their lives because they were not able to make it to the top or at least seek admission or get a good government job.

The lives of the young guns are at a stake. If the reservation is the root of many agonies of us, there are many others which have stemmed our problems. The only question one would raise to the government- are you listening and would like to act in our favour or would still be playing vote bank politics?

[box bg=”#fdf78c” color=”#000″]About the author:

Amateur journalist passionate about breaking the stereotypes and paving way for fresh and new ideas and thoughts which could change the way the Indian Media showcases news! To read her other posts, click here.[/box]

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  1. reader

    just to highlight a point that you seem to not be aware of .. religion and economic poverty in india are intimately linked.most BPL families are from the so called backward castes.either way you claim to be for reservation but your basic grouse is that you could not get through to the college of your choice. this article could have had some semblance of utility if you had specified how, according to you, reservation Should be defined in the constitution.

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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.”

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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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
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