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BJP vs. Congress: A Look At Their Major Successes

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By Deepali Jain:

The incumbent Lok Sabha completes its term next year and this has made all the parties and candidates gear up with their election campaigns and manifestos, while the citizens are trying to weigh all the statistics to reach a rational decision. The public now has access to a large chunk of information, owing to certain laws and the fiercely expanding web of the Indian media. This article is just another effort to tell the readers about few major achievements of the Congress, a political party that has existed since the pre-independence period and also BJP, the leader of the first and the only non-Congress alliance (NDA) that has completed a full term at the Centre.



The much experienced Congress has been in power since 2005 as the UPA leader and many important decisions have been taken under its aegis. The Right to Information Act has made the public authorities accountable to people across diverse villages, towns and cities, increasing transparency and responsiveness manifold. It has worked towards reducing regional imbalance in infrastructure and amenities. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (previously just NREGA) aims at enhancing the livelihood of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work while the Nation Rural Health Mission focuses towards ensuring quality healthcare facilities (including nutrition, hygiene, drinking water) are available in rural areas. Under the Backward Regions Grant Front, financial and professional resources have been provided to hundreds of less developed districts throughout India so as to strengthen the local, grass root level government. To cater to the needs of the urban areas for a good quality life, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission has been implemented, with a purpose of economic and social gradation and providing aid to the urban poor.


On the other hand, BJP as the leader of the NDA has completed only a single tenure as the Union Government (1999-2004) and has successfully defined itself in the history of Indian politics. The National Highways Development Project implemented to upgrade major highways in India includes the Golden Quadrilateral, connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, North-South and East-West corridors comprising national highways, connecting four extreme points of the country etc. In 2000, legislation was passed by the Parliament, creating three new states, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, and Jharkhand, from the existing Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively. After emerging as separate states, these areas have witnessed unprecedented growth in terms of industries, literacy and health. Recognizing that long-term development of the Indian economy depends critically on the development of villages, the Ministry of Agro and Rural Industries was set up with the objectives of improving supply chain management, enhancing skills, upgrading technology, expanding markets and capacity of the small scale industries. Antyodaya Anna Yojana was launched by NDA government in 2000 to provide rice and wheat at extremely low prices to poorest of the poor citizens. The Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan was launched to open new schools in those regions with scarce schooling facilities and to strengthen existing school infrastructure through provision of additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water and maintenance grants.

Though this writing highlights the accomplishments of two major political parties, precisely their alliances, one must not forget that a wave is always a combination of crests and troughs. As a citizen, it is our duty to analyze the current political circumstances of the country and make the correct choice. As the famous saying goes “See not what the country can do for you, look for what you can do for your country” — and we must not forget that voting for a competent leader is something we can do for India, and hope for a better future.

You must be to comment.
  1. Raj

    You are giving these political parties too much credit. The only thing I’d give them credit was for starting the pro-market reforms (Congress) and for continuing it (BJP). The rest is all because of the people of India who worked hard and improved their lot

  2. Anon

    I like the change of someone atleast trying to bring out the goodness of Indian Political parties to the fore as against the incessant rantings of their failures portrayed by the media today. Nicely done; definitely a good informative read.

  3. Aditi Thakker

    Interesting article, I like how the accomplishments have been highlighted. Although UPA came to power in 2004, not 2005.

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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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