When Narendra Modi Did Something No Other Indian Politician Has Done Before

By Sachet Koul:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done something no other politician in the history of India has ever done before- hugged Hugh Jackman and made a Star Wars reference in the same night. In Central Park, New York, yesterday, wearing a blue Nehru jacket and a white kurta, PM Modi effectively showed us that demography is not a criteria for his popularity. As the strong crowd of 60,000 global citizens cheered him on, PM Modi started his speech with “How are you doing New York? I hope you are having a good time. Namaste. I am truly delighted to be here in the open Central Park among the youth, and not inside a closed conference room, because you are the future. What you do today, will decide our tomorrow”.

He extensively praised the gathered youth for their efforts in joining hands with the global community to bring about a change. His emphasis on idealism, innovation and ‘can do’ attitude of the youth, and his belief that the 800 million strong youth will together shape the new India has resonated strongly with the feelings of our young nation.

From reciting a Sanskrit shloka to saying may the force be with you, PM Modi is out to win every young heart beating out there.

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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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