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The Day You Know What Freedom REALLY Tastes Like, You’ll Never Want To Return

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By Swatilekha Chakrabortty:

When I was in my 10th standard, I was told to give the upcoming boards my best shot. Life after that will be simple. I believed. I passed with flying colours. As per the previous claims of life being simple, I thought I could choose humanities. But somehow, my family thought it would be a disgrace not to appear for medical examinations. So again, I was forced to choose science and asked to give it my best shot. I believed.

freedom

When the results were out and my family insisted I should go for medical, I realised the truth. And this time I didn’t belief in anyone but myself and chose law, disappointing a lot of people around. And since then, I have never regretted it. The truth is life can never be simple. The concept of equating simplicity of life with numbers and grades and profession itself is so complicated, that you seldom have time to reflect on your wants. And your own dreams.

When I look around the way young minds are shaped by their schools, parents, neighbours and other social units, I can see so many authors, artists, painters, dancers etc. dying every day. I can see nothing but a race. A chase. And everybody is pushed into it, thrusted upon with the responsibility of fighting a war without even bothering to know they want to fight it or not.

Magazines and newspapers every year come out with statistics of high suicide rates of students. We sit in our comfortable couches, sipping coffee and sparing just one moment of thought over it. But nobody tries to go into the depth of those numbers. Nobody will try and play their own part to prevent this.

Society today has come to a point where people would debate over anything and everything, and spreading the notion of freedom everwhere.But do we really know what freedom means? Do we really understand and belief in freedom?

Freedom is to choose what I want to be. Freedom is to write the poem I always wanted to. Freedom is to paint the picture I always imagined. Freedom is to travel to all those places I have in my list. Freedom is be a dancer if I want to, or an actor if I belief in it.

When I wanted to become a social worker, I was advised to choose a professional course.Why? Because it is secured. But is security just in earning money and nothing more? True it’s a competitive world out there. But what if I want to struggle and make a place there, where I chose in spite of following conventions and choosing an easier path?

So, to all those writers, dancers, artists etc. whose skills are being killed…take your time off and think. Think if you are ready to fight people around who cannot get out of their shell and think different. Think if you are ready for struggling your way through it and making it big. We all have dreams. Dreams that may differ from our parents. But we all have the power to fight for it and make it come true someday. And taste what freedom really is.

You must be to comment.
  1. Alan

    My views exactly!!!!
    I did take decisions to follow my own career path disappointing a lot of people including my parents.
    Nice piece of wiring. Keep going!!!!

    1. Swatilekha Chakraborty

      Am glad you liked it Alan..and I am very happy you have made your own choice without fear.wish you all the best for future.:)

  2. Rahul

    first article and a rocking one indeed (y)

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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 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.

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