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The 5 Most Anticipated Movies That You Need To Start Saving Up For Now!

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By Karthik Shankar:

The last week has seen a slew of trailers released for promising films. And it surely seems like movie buffs are in for a treat!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away, we have memories when Star Wars was associated with good old-fashioned fun and not Hayden Christensen’s punch-able face. The first Star Wars teaser tapped into all our inner geeks with sneak shots of a new lightsaber, the X-Wings and that majestic shot of the Millennium Falcon soaring through the air.

The second trailer, which was released to 4000 screaming fans at a Star Wars convention at Anaheim, California, manages to be even more tantalising. Who’s the villain under the mask? On which planet is this taking place? Also, who is the protagonist? Whether it’s Daisy Ridley or John Boyega, Star Wars will make history by having its first female or black lead. Finally John Williams’s fantastic score is its own character in this piece and I can’t wait to listen to the soundtrack.

That final shot of Chewbacca and Han Solo was specifically crafted to make Star Wars fans scream with joy. It’s going to be a long wait till December.

Batman v Superman

I’m a little torn about this one. There is no doubt that almost anyone on earth would want to watch the two biggest superheroes face off (although Superman would win that showdown in a heartbeat, unless Batman’s suit is made of Kryptonite).

That being said, Man of Steel was an utter mess. It mixed the gritty realism of Nolan’s Batman universe with a superhero who represents optimism and hope (and American imperialism, but that’s a discussion for another day). There was also that awful climax where Superman basically lays waste to New York, and this is a guy who’s supposed to be earth’s saviour.

Still, Ben Affleck seems to be a great fit as Batman and given that this film promises to explore the effect Superman has on the earth’s populace, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It will eventually lead to a Justice League team up and that’s something I badly want to see on the big screen.

Jurassic World

This trailer taps into my childhood fear of what would happen if there was a zoo breakout, except in this case it involves dinosaurs, which is ten times more terrifying. It’s great to get back to the world of Jurassic Park. However, all the creativity seems to have gone into the dinosaur designs rather than the characters. How many more films must we tolerate with a loose cannon male lead and an ice queen female lead? Hopefully the actual film will defy stereotypes, but it more than earns a ‘must watch’ on the basis of those money shots alone.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

This is the first film to acknowledge that Kangana Ranaut is a star post ‘Queen‘, and treats her as one. That’s why she plays two characters. She reprises her role as Tanu, as well as taking on another, that of Kusum, a Haryanvi athlete. That scene where she unleashes a stream of sentences on Manu is a fantastic showcase for Ranaut’s comic chops. I can’t think of many actresses who could pull that off.

This is not a film that was high on my radar but I’m more than up for it, provided it focuses less on Manu’s creepy obsession with his wife’s doppelganger and allows Ranaut to run the show.

Dil Dhadakne Do

Zoya Akhtar is back after her hit ‘Zindagi Milegi Dobara’. ‘Dil Dhadakne Do‘, is one of Bollywood’s rare family dramedies (the type that would likely star Meryl Streep in Hollywood). The star studded cast makes this a must watch. I just wish Akhtar wasn’t so set on her upper-middle class milieu but as in the case of ZNMD, the exotic locales might add zest to a fairly standard story. All the actors here seem on top of their game. Ranveer Singh and Shefali Shah kill the last scene of the trailer. Hopefully, this is one of those rare movies that affords more than one woman a meaty role.

It’s probably time to start saving up for the highly expensive movie tickets. Because hey, say no to piracy!

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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.

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.

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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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