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How Mumbai Denied A Place To Live To A Man Who Had Saved Hundreds of Lives!

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By Mayank Jain:

The day is not far when we will burn in hatred against each other and start murdering the people who don’t match our community or if their surnames aren’t as attractive as ours. We would always want to be surrounded with the people who are practically our clones and every different being would be frowned upon for being out of the herd and killed with constant ostracizing. Reminders of their inability to mingle with us because of their different community would be sent every moment and we would revel in pride of our own religion while others imitate the same and the hatred won’t take long to spread all over.

mumbaimuslims

This happened in Mumbai, the cosmopolitan capital of India which is home to our film industry as well as the financial capital, and provides employment and entertainment without discriminating. The city couldn’t be clean for long and an anti-Muslim wave crept in. People who happen to be Muslims have to undergo a period of trials and tribulations when they look for a new house in the city as many apartments are completely ‘intolerant’ to people from this religion and brokers are having a hard time convincing people to let Muslims rent their houses.

The latest case is of Captain Zainul Abidin Javule, master of the cargo vessel that sailed for Dubai from Kuwait with 722 Indians aboard. This happened in September 1990 when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s troops invaded Kuwait and they were stuck there for months. Captain became their savior and rescued the Indians from the fate of starvation and death. But, his legacy has been long forgotten.

He has been looking for a house that he would like in Bandra (West) but can’t get it because brokers have clearly told him that there are a few apartments that are completely out of bounds for Muslim tenants and hence, he should look somewhere else. Whenever he chooses a flat, he encounters the same discrimination.

One can only imagine the angst he would feel when he is being denied housing from his own money just because he is a Muslim, add to it the fact that he has saved hundreds of lives with his bravado in the past but for now, the people in Mumbai aren’t the most congenial in the world.

There have been similar cases in the past as well and it is a real struggle for a Muslim to find a place to live outside neighborhoods that are earmarked for Muslims.

This reeks of racial discrimination of the worst kinds and a new low for the national financial capital that has been long touted as the ‘city of dreams’. Probably, it is the ‘city of a few’ now and the continued hostility of house owners towards their tenants can be easily noticed.

The newspapers carry detailed advertisements for properties which mention the preferred caste, color, sex, work timings and marital status. It’s probably easier to find a spouse than to find a house in such conditions.

Where this will lead us is anybody’s guess. But the question is, how long before we can oppress people for no fault of theirs? How long before the oppressed turns into the oppressor?

As Mahatama Gandhi said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

You must be to comment.
  1. Shraddha

    People need to grow up from these things, this country is as much theirs as ours with everyone having a fundamental right to equality, life, chose profession,place to live etc.!

  2. Manak

    Bombay has long had a history of communal segregation of housing.. Many many areas that do not allow “non-vegetarians” or other communities are are dominated by one community. The 92 riots are further added to this, creating ghettoes in the city.. and i’m sure it’s not just Bombay. The evictions and violence against people from Africa and North East India in Delhi being the latest case in point.. it is really sad and disgusting!

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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.

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 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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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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