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What Does AAP’s Performance Mean To The Country: Here Are 3 Basic Things

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By Gautam S Kumar:

A Government of the people, by the people, from the people will not perish from the Earth” – Abraham Lincoln

The manner in which the AAP ‘swept aside‘ the congress in the Delhi elections in its first ever showing, is testament to the above quote. The AAP or Aam Aadmi Party, managed to secure a stunning 28 out of 70 seats in the Delhi polls, thus narrowly finishing second behind the BJP who led the race with an impressive 32 seats. Numbers aside, what does this mean for the country? Does AAP present to the country, the solutions to all of its issues?


Non-performance will be frowned upon and treated with the harshness it deserves.
Before going into what the AAP victory means for the country, let us take a peek into what the victory means for Congress. It is an un-debatable fact the Congress has made a mess of things this time around. With the government failing to offer any form of protection to its citizens from inflation, and failing (again) miserably time and time again to make women feel safe in their own country, they have cut a very sorry figure. Add to that numerous corruption scams and even more number of unanswered allegations; it almost seemed as if the Congress had given up in trying to keep its throne. That or the party took the citizens for granted and either way, they ended up paying the price with a defeat of humiliating proportions being handed to them at the elections.

What this shows is that India has had enough of unfulfilled promises, and will no longer tolerate the outright ridiculous number of gaffes committed by the Congress in its governance. The current reign has been marred by numerous cases of corruption ( Common Wealth Games, 2G spectrum, Coal Mining Controversy to name a few ) and brutal instances of rape and fuel and food prices hitting the roof. The kind of defeat dealt to the Congress underlines the fact that India has had enough. A government is supposed to protect its citizens, ensure their prosperity and be trust worthy. With the AAP sticking to the simple (yet apparently effective) strategy of giving more emphasis to these aspects in their propaganda, they have showed the Congress what really matters to the citizens of this great country.

The people want to be ruled by someone who is one among them and not by ‘special people‘.
The AAP ensured the people that the party would represent the common man, and the people have responded. With assurances such as no MP or MLA using special security or luxurious government housing, or ensuring that no one with a criminal record would be allowed to contest in the elections, AAP pulled out all the stops to live up to its name. Most MLAs that the country has seen so far have shown no hesitation in indulging in the special status that they receive. The current ratio of 3 cops for a VIP and 1 for 761 citizens is simply incredulous and for the first time promises have been made to rectify this serious issue.

The mere act of an MP or MLA refusing special treatment makes the person more ‘approachable’. People are able to see him/her as one among them , as one who goes through the same troubles as they do, as one whose life is only as secure as theirs, but most importantly, as one who by helping the people is also helping himself/herself to the same extent. A common man’s MLA or MP thus aims to serve the people rather than do the people special favours. This is what I believe contributes most to the AAP’s charm. Who wouldn’t be happy if the guy next door is in a position to serve them?

Idealism and Alternative Politics are a long way from losing their charm.
The AAP party strangely, apart from being the common man’s party is also the idealist’s party. A party that promises a corruption free government. A party that promises the citizens that they will only have to pay half of what they do now for commodities and a party that ensures women of the country the safety they deserve. While this may be one of the most attractive aspects of the party, it also presents us with the most worrying consequence of its victory. Will it be able to live up to the promises? Or more importantly, is it possible to live up to them?

To promise a corruption free country to one where it has been imbibed into the system is itself chewing off more than is humanely possible to be swallowed. Promises of reduced prices and safer streets are all very attractive but due thought has to be given into whether it is possible to implement the same. The problem with an alternative form (or hippie form) of anything at all is that when it comes to being practical, it almost always fails to live up to expectations. Ingenuity has not always been the answer and in a country as diverse as ours, a country with so many different opinions an alternative solution stands every chance of bringing up many new problems. But with all that said, what the AAP’s performance represents is hope. What it shows is that India continues to hope and aspire. That we as a nation believe in ourselves despite the odds being heavily stacked against us, we remain strong and optimistic. And the power of the same can never be written off, the sheer power of hope may in fact, prove to be the answer to all our problems.

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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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