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Be Simple, Be Wise- If You Wish To See A Change

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By Venkatesh:

I don’t know why I am writing or taking up this issue. Already hundreds and thousands of words have been inked on print and e-media, rather meticulously. But the inner voice of my mind is too resistant to mute itself or even lower it. And I feel, why should it, when the socio-politico setup is itself so engaged and enraged with it. Well, there have been so many incidents like this before; happening today and with regard to the present scenario with all probability will not stop in the future.

If you think I am being pessimistic, no I am not. To come straight on the point I am talking about the Delhi gang rape incident and the eventual sudden awakening of the national conscience. The youth of the country was busy protesting, Verma Committee busy with its recommendations (which I find a custom in India, crime followed by protests and then the greetings in the form of recommendations and promises), writers were busy putting their best on the paper to safeguard the female gender questioning the patriarchal and misogynist mindset of the society. Everyone is suddenly awakened. The society at large has realised it’s high time, we protect our mothers, sisters, girlfriends and other’s mothers, sistersbe the change banner

Even if we sit to count the number of protests, recommendations, promises (yes, promises) we ought to be tired midway not just by the numbers but ironically the continuation of such incidents day in and day out in our Incredible India. What is the point of writing on such a topic then, when there is no full stop to such highly heinous crimes? There is a point!

When I heard of the incident, I was not shocked rather I was calm and my blood didn’t boil like many of yours did. But surely did my soul felt disheartened for I am an adult and a man to put it more precisely. Even felt ashamed being one, even though I respect the opposite sex if not more, than no less than anyone else, like many of you do (I presume). But to what use? The message I want to convey is simple: The solution lies within us. Recommendations will come and go, protests will continue, and laws will be at its place as it has been for long. But what ultimately matters and the argument boils down to is your role in the society. Write, read, protest, respect, educate. Everything is fine! But if we seek change, we must look upto what Gandhi puts it as “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. In all these years I have met two types of boys/men: One who is sexist and the other who pretends not to be one. Although you may not be involved in the crime itself, but being a part of the society you always play an important role. We protest, cry over inadequacy of our laws, but the most fundamental change would be changing ourselves.

I am of the strong opinion that the most important cause behind crimes like rape is socialization and the bringing up of the child. How a child is brought up and socialization takes place, is of utmost significance in shaping up of an individual’s character and yes if we are ever to stop rapes, molestation, eve-teasing etc. character has to be the golden rule. So, education again has an important role to play. When Gandhi said those words he meant it, he knew the essence of change in the society lies in the individual itself. The process may be slow and not as easy as it sounds but a day will come when such crimes will come to be known as the rare ones. So instead of pointing fingers at others and giving excuses, let’s change ourselves.

As Rumi says “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” So let’s be simple in our approach and be wise.

You must be to comment.
  1. Radhika BGhose

    Simple and Wise!
    I love the note you started on, and I completely agree that it doesn’t matter how many times people have discussed the same issue or topic.
    We are entitled to the right, to voice our own — about the same matter, and frankly I think Anshul and the YKA team encourage, their interns, writers, and fans to do just that,,that no voice is too small to be heard!
    So congrats on the piece, and I wanted to thank you for your beginnings, as I think it gives others the encouragement, and incentive, to chase away their own apprehensions and write,
    Best wishes for your present and future pieces/ and journey forward
    Radhika

  2. Venkatesh(Venky)

    Thank You for you support. it only encourages me to put my best on the paper.

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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.

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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.

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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 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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