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

Open Letter To PM: Why I Won’t #GiveItUp So Ministers Can Get ‘Free Phone Calls’

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Sanjana Chowdhury:

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Every time we open a newspaper or switch on the TV, we encounter your smiling face asking us to join the #GiveItUp Movement, apparently to “Be a Proud Partner in Nation Building”. What you’re asking us to ‘give up’ is the measly LPG subsidy that we are entitled to. But here is why I won’t.

Image source:
Image source:

Currently, an Indian household is entitled to get twelve 14.2 Kg cylinders of domestic cooking gas per year. At the subsidised rate, each cylinder costs Rs. 417.82 while the market price stands at Rs. 608.50 (for Indane Gas in Delhi). So, for each household the subsidy is Rs. 190.68 per cylinder and amounts to a measly sum of Rs.2,288.16 per year. As of now, each Member of Parliament gets a monthly salary of Rs. 50,000, constituency allowance of Rs. 45,000 and office expence allowance of Rs. 45,000, adding up to Rs.140,000. Surely, the government can spend Rs. 2288 for each household when it can pay each MP a whopping Rs. 1.4 lakh per month.

Each minute of a Parliament session costs us, the tax payers, Rs. 29,000. So while the politicians rage and create a ruckus, passing no legislations of value or even coming close to debating any, the money that’s wasted there is fine, while we must go on to give up the LPG subsidy. Why?

Our tax goes to feed the MPs

The Indian citizen is hard-put to pay his Income Tax, Service Tax, Property Tax, Value Added Tax and what-not, but the rich MPs have enjoyed an overwhelming subsidy of Rs 60 crores at the parliament canteens over the last 5 years alone. The Rangarajan committee has outrageously drawn the urban poverty line at Rs. 47 which, hilariously enough, can only be applicable if one is dining at the parliament canteen.

Evidently, the government believes it more worthwhile to spend Rs 200 crores to build a statue of Sardar Patel rather than provide Minimum Support Price MSP for farmers. While the nation clamours for One Rank One Pension for ex-servicemen, the government wastes money on celebrating Yoga Day, and trying to make a success out of the inefficient UID project.

And really, who are we “building the nation” for?

While the common man is constantly struggling to meet his bills, the government pays hundreds of crores on the Ministers and MPs. They receive amenities to travel in AC First Class by any railway in India on the strength of his ID card when every other Indian must pay Rs. 1203 for similar facilities for a 50 Km ride on the Rajdhani Express. They can travel by air, free of cost, and even get 34 free air journeys along with spouse or relatives but for the Indian citizen the lowest possible airfare is around Rs. 4000 (from Mumbai to Delhi).

The official website of Indian Lok Sabha states that, our MPs are entitled to license-free flats along with furniture worth Rs.60,000 throughout their terms of office. In addition to this, they receive free supply of 4000 Kl of water and 50,000 units of electricity per annum. Besides these facilities, they can have upto 3 telephones without paying installation or rental costs, and are entitled to 150,000 free calls from these telephones.

So all I want to ask is this, do we have to #GiveItUp so that our respected ministers can get free phone calls?

Respectfully, An Indian Citizen

You must be to comment.
  1. Insaan

    Come Join Us in Nation Building…

    “You are aware that LPG is a highly subsidized commodity in India and the subsidy burden was more than Rs. 40,000 crores during 2013-14. The subsidy saved can be used for development activities thereby benefitting all citizens. We call upon all LPG consumers who can afford to pay the market price for their LPG supply to be a part of this nation building exercise by giving up their LPG subsidy. We would like you to join the movement & #GiveItUp for a brighter future and deeply appreciate your gesture.” Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. –Sanjana Chowdhury, your personal preferences in the matter have been noted. Thank you for your participation.

    1. Pradnya Malandkar

      When will there be a ‘give it up’ movement for the well off, so called reserved categories who technically don’t need any reservations?
      I understand that there are many economically weak families out there who genuinely need these facilities, but it pains me to watch undeserving and corrupt people take the benefits instead

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Aditya Jaiswal

By Sahil Razvii

By Kunal Jha

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

Bidisha was selected in’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