This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

5 Points From The PM”s Independence Day Speech That Every Indian Must Respond To

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Josceline Mascarenhas:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extempore Independence Day speech at the Red Fort this year touched a chord with many, and drew its share of criticism. Yet, here’s something every Indian will acknowledge: his ambitious words addressed burning needs and issues in India.

Iday speech

He did invite us to participate, so here’s a list every Indian should read: Practical responses each one of us can make to 5 crucial points from the PM’s Independence Day Speech.

1. Digital India:
You will agree, measures like cost-effective long-distance online education for the remote, rural poor can be truly effective only after addressing this crucial point: In addition to online lessons, students still need schools with infrastructure: benches and desks to write on, libraries with books, laboratories to practically access science, computers so they can explore and build.

What Can You Do?

Students need schools with infrastructure to truly benefit from a Digital India
Students need schools with infrastructure to truly benefit from a Digital India

Non-profits like Varthana are working to equip schools that cater to underprivileged India. Places like Sevalaya are taking children off the streets and into class rooms. Run an online search and find a local organization involved in these initiatives. Volunteer to teach, fundraise, and offer financial support. “Private sector job doers” can ask their office HR about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs to connect you with such initiatives; adopt a school.

2. Skill India:
This strategic move will reap rich dividends, making India the largest contributor to the global workforce. It is crucial to exploit every opportunity to achieve this goal. The NSDC, in partnership with the private sector, is currently running programs that can skill 150 million youth and make Indians a key part of the huge IT workforce that will implement Digital India.

What Can You Do?

Pravalika, crowd-funded by lenders like you on Milaap, is getting skilled through NSDC-partner Talent Sprint’s IT vocational course
Pravalika, crowd-funded by lenders like you on Milaap, is getting skilled through NSDC-partner Talent Sprint’s IT vocational course

These programs need to be promoted. Youth, especially from low-income backgrounds, need to be made aware of these programs. So research these programs run by NSDC-partners Talent Sprint, Orion Edutech, LSTT, etc. Help deserving youth access these programs; spread the word through Facebook, tweets, blogs; fundraise for these youth.

3. Financial Inclusion
This tall order needs to be done right to succeed. Will underprivileged Indians overcome poverty with just access to insurance and a bank account? Awareness and sustainable livelihoods will play a huge role in the success of PM Modi’s financial inclusion agenda. Some non-profits across India are working at the grass-roots, educating the poor about finances, skill development.

What Can You Do?

Lalitaben from Chandkheda, Gujarat, is one of the hundreds of rural women who have benefited from training, capital, financial awareness, and insurance support by non-profits like Prayas
Lalitaben from Chandkheda, Gujarat, is one of the hundreds of rural women who have benefited from training, capital, financial awareness, and insurance support by non-profits like Prayas

You can support and spread the word about these non-profits like Prayas and Gramshree in Gujarat, Sreejan in West Bengal, WSDS in the North-East, Mahashakti in Odisha, GMF in Tamil Nadu, Sakhi in Maharashtra, META and MASS in Karnataka. Support their initiatives to provide these people training in livelihood skills, and capital to setup sustainable businesses.

4. Clean India
To keep our country clean, we need more than awareness. We have long been aware that cleanliness extends not just to our roads; it extends to our air, our environment, how the most common Indian goes about meeting his daily needs like food, light, water, and sanitation. So we have regular Indians who took up this challenge, and are driving some inspiring results.

What Can You Do?

Sarita and her family from Velour no longer defecate in the fields and surrounding shrubbery thanks to rural sanitation initiatives by GUARDIAN and support from regular Indians like you
Sarita and her family from Velour no longer defecate in the fields and surrounding shrubbery thanks to rural sanitation initiatives by GUARDIAN and support from regular Indians like you

Join the movement. Encourage your family, friends and private-sector employers to sign up. Don’t know where to start? There’s GUARDIAN in Tamil Nadu promoting rural sanitation by helping people build toilets at home and get clean water connections. Mahashakti, Mera Gao Power, WSDS, and many more promote clean energy through solar grids and lanterns, and energy-efficient cooking stoves. If school children can support these initiatives, so can you.

5. Safe India
With violence against women populating our newspapers and their online sites with a greater frequency than ever before, we certainly need to raise our boys right. That, along with stricter enforcement of the law, should help deter rapes and infanticide over a period of time. But in the immediate future and long term, let’s not forget the women who are oppressed daily. Let’s look at ways to abolish societal evils that contribute to these violent, misogynistic mindsets.

What Can You Do?

Adivevva from Vadral, Karnataka, is among the many former Devadasis rehabilitated through the efforts of MASS and the support of regular Indians who crowdfunded her goat rearing venture
Adivevva from Vadral, Karnataka, is among the many former Devadasis rehabilitated through the efforts of MASS and the support of regular Indians who crowdfunded her goat rearing venture

Support social movements to rehabilitate victims of violence. MASS in Karnataka rehabilitates the Devadasi community through training and crowd-funded capital so they can start their own businesses. WSDS in Mizoram gives a productive option to the large number of women forced out of their homes, victims of the Mizo customary law. These women seek financial support and training. Connect with organizations that help you supply this support.

You see?
Even a regular office-going Indian like you, reading this article off the Internet, can make a difference and help India realize her urgent goals.

India is so vast and her needs so diverse, there are so many approaches that can aggregate into such a tall outcome. So find where you fit in. Are you good with words, do you have a social network of more than 20? Then write in your blogs, use social media to spread awareness to small towns and rural areas. Take a trip with a non-profit, contribute, volunteer, and do more. Embrace the latest trends for getting stuff done: try crowd funding and fundraising online.

The PM asked us to get involved? Let’s accept his invitation, and invest in a better India!

Note: This article was originally published here.

You must be to comment.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Khachuksha Debbarma | Adivasi Awaaz Creator

By raj kosaraju

By BHARATHY JAYAPRAKASH

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below