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The Dance Of Death: What Has Gone Wrong With The World In The Last 2 Days?

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By Mayank Jain:

Incident 1: Heavily armed Taliban militants took over the Kabul airport and attacked it with grenades fired from a rocket launcher. Only two days back, 42 people were killed in a suicide attack in Paktika province.

Incident 2: Israel launches ‘less lethal’ projectile to warn the inhabitants of Gaza’s small towns that they are about to be attacked by ammunition soon.

Incident 3: A Malaysian Airlines aircraft is shot down by militants mid-air and all of the 295 people on board lose their lives.

These are just some of the international headlines from past two days. It should bring shame to each one of us that we live in a world where propensity to be violent is ever increasing. We have all become inhabitants of a battlefield which is burning on all sides and as if that weren’t enough, governments are indulging in air strikes which take the form of sanctions and socio-economic oppression for those who don’t toe the line.

As I write this piece, the probe has already begun in the second major aircraft disaster of this year by the same airline. No matter what the result is, 295 innocent lives are lost forever. Among those dead were AIDS experts, including a former president of the International AIDS Society as they were heading to a conference in Melbourne, Australia. Irony looks us in the eye when another teenager on board the aircraft had ‘don’t panic’ stamped on his shirt, who had his whole life ahead of him was found lying dead in the marshlands near the city of Donetsk, which is a stronghold of pro-Russian protesters.

This incident of reckless violence has brought to light the real cost of ‘wars’ we fight, which are never limited to the countries fighting it. The 154 Dutch nationals possibly had nothing to do with any of Russia’s aggression into Ukraine but they paid for it with their lives. Aren’t these the dark times which we have all been scared of, even when we read about it in tales?

The wrongs of one government/country are responded with an equally heinous action by its counterpart and those who sit far away and choose not to intervene become perpetrators of this war. Yes, we all have collectively started these wars no matter how much we deny it.

Ukraine has cried foul at the part of Russia and blamed it on the missile system called Buk. It is said to be the weapon of destruction here which fires a 5.7-metre, 55-kg missiles for up to 28km. “MH17 is not an incident or catastrophe, it is a terrorist attack,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted.

Meanwhile, a conversation transcript as released by Ukraine’s security agency, the SBU has brought to light a conversation between Russian security forces and the militants just after the aircraft was shot down and they descriptively discuss the aftermath and loss of lives in the ‘accident’.

While we contemplate on the facts of the incident, a Malaysian Jihadist has blamed lack of access to technology with the militias to ascertain whether an aircraft is of a “friend or a foe”. This argument conveniently ignores the basic reality that killing hundreds by mistake makes no case for killing more people to take over a troubled country out of heedless jingoism instead of helping it recover from the crisis.

How despicable is it that we have countries fighting for dominance over each other and their own populace cries and howls for peace? How unfortunate are the times we live in where almost 300 hundred people lose their lives because of some war mongers who are out to kill and demolish every single iota of humanity that is left in the world.

As we switch channels and conveniently flip the newspaper pages and run away from the wretched reality of the world, the victims of the war will grieve and hope to last another day among the animals we have raised, whom we call ‘humans’.

Why is a human life worth so less? Is it already too late to ask?

To know more about this story and what I think, follow me on Twitter at @mayank1029

You must be to comment.
  1. Anurvi

    The animals we have raised. Whom we call ‘Humans’! This is the sad reality of contemprary times.

  2. Deepika Singhania

    I couldn’t have said it any better!This is exactly what many of us are probably thinking about. The whole Gaza situation takes disturbing to an all new level. So, do the other two incidents that you’ve focused on. But that’s how insensitive the world has become. We read news of rapes, murders, attacks, etc but it seems to matter to a very small percentage of the world’s population. I know people who haven’t even heard about the Gaza or the Kabul incident! They couldn’t be any less indifferent to what’s happening in their neighborhood, international news is a different story altogether. 298 people died on that Malaysian plane, like the first plane incident wasn’t enough! But people couldn’t care less. They’ve either become too immune to hearing shocking and unexplainable incidents everyday or they’re just way too selfish.

    I don’t get it how so many people (Innocent people, that too!) dying doesn’t affect them. I mean, there are little children being killed openly in Gaza and people don’t care because it’s happening in another part of the world. Either that, or they blindly support the side that everyone else is supporting. The whole humanity aspect is eventually disappearing and the worst part is that there’s nothing we can actually do about it at the moment. All they have to do is start thinking and feeling again, and then maybe, just maybe, we can witness a little more of humanity again.

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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.

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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.

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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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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