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Ready To Vote? Find Out What The Candidates Are Promising As #DelhiStudentsVote

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By Sakshi Jain


After witnessing the intense campaigning and the newly emerging trends of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election this year, the time to make the right choice is just a day away. Many factors influence the choices of students, the most important being the manifestos of the political outfits. However, the idea of knowing the candidates contesting the election is indispensable in the process of making one’s decision. These are the potential political faces of DUSU and the bearers of the responsibility of ensuring the implementation of agendas that convinces us to vote for the respective political outfits.

The major contenders in the race of elections have been Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). However, Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) and All India Students’ Association (AISA) seem to challenge their decade old confidence this year. Student Organisation of India (SOI) would also be participating in the elections along with Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO) etc.

If you’ve missed out on noting the prospective political faces of Delhi University Students’ Union, there’s still a chance to know your prospective leaders.

Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)

The candidates of political outfits have come up with various slogans in the process of campaigning. The trending slogan of ABVP, “Ek baar fir se, ABVP dil se” seems to be greatly inspired by the BJP’S Lok Sabha election’s slogan “Ab ki baar Modi sarkar“. With their mission of a clean sweep in this election, they hail their chances of victory by putting forward the manifesto focussing on student-centric issues of effective implementation of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) unlike others who propose to roll back the system. Other issues include implementation of the room rent control act, bringing in the paying guest regulation act, secure atmosphere for northeast students and Metro card concession for students.

Note the names and ballot numbers of these political faces if ABVP is your choice again:

President – Satender Awana, an M.A. Buddhist Studies student. Ballot No. 1
Vice president – Sunny Dedha, Faculty of Law. Ballot No-1
Secretary – Anjali Rana, from Lakshmibai College. Ballot No. 4
Joint Secretary – Chattarpal Yadav, an MA Buddhist Studies student Ballot No. 4
National Students’ Union of India (NSUI)

In their efforts to make up for lost ground, they have made the issue of rolling back Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) as their priority to target the students’ suffering from an ineffective implementation of this system. Hostel facility, women’s security, facilities for northeast students transport facilities, including feeder buses for Metro are the other key issues that find a mention in the NSUI manifesto.

Note the names and ballot numbers of these political faces if you want to see NSUI resurge:

President – Pradeep Vijayran, a final year LLB student. Ballot No.2
Vice president – Prerna Singh, Ram Lal Anand College. Ballot No.5
Secretary – Amit Sehrawat, Faculty of Law. Ballot No.3
Joint Secretary – Deepak Choudhary from Hansraj college. Ballot No.5

Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS)

They have left no stones unturned to challenge the twin superpowers (ABVP and NSUI) of DUSU even when it came to drafting their manifesto. Unlike others, they have issued a “charter of demands” instead of a manifesto. They released pamphlets of “rights” that students should demand from the university, the state government and the Central government under a campaign called “Sadda Haq“. The other distinct issues discussed by them are of right to free Wi-Fi, women’s security, employment opportunities for youth through job fairs, and launch of a higher education loan scheme.

The names and ballot numbers of these political faces if you resort to a new alternative:

President – Kuldeep Bidhuri, a second year B.A. Prog student from PGDAV College. Ballot No.5
Vice president – Garima Rana, a state level badminton player, student of Hindu College. Ballot No.3
Secretary – Rahul Raj Aryan, a university gold medallist and a national level debater from Hindu College. Ballot No.8
Joint Secretary – Hitanshi Chauhan, national level debater, Satyawati College. Ballot No.7

While no other political outfit seems to have outlined the distinctive proficiency of their candidates, CYSS has delineated its candidates’ prowess in co-curricular activities and academics on their Facebook page.

All India Students’ Association (AISA)

Considered by many as the dark horse this poll season, they claim to overpower the caste-based politics of CYSS, ABVP and NSUI. They have been pro-active in carrying out the referendum on Choice Base Credit System (CBCS) and establishing their support base. Hostel accommodation, women’s security, metro and bus passes for students, infrastructure development in colleges are other issues that find a room in their manifesto.

Note the names of these political faces if you resort to an old rising alternative:

President- Sheetal Bhopal, an M.A. (previous) student of Hindu College. Ballot No. 7
Vice president – Sudhanshu Shekhar, (Hons) student from Sri Aurobindo College. Ballot No. 8
Secretary – Ravi Kumar, an M.A. (Hindi) student from Ramjas College. Ballot No. 9
Joint Secretary – Abhinav Kumar, B.A. (Pol. Science) student from Deshbandhu College. Ballot No. 1

Students’ Federation of India (SFI)

The party has formed an alliance with All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO). It aims at challenging the Choice Base Credit System (CBCS) and addresses other issues of hostel accommodation, infrastructure, opening of new colleges etc.

Here are the names of these political faces if SFI is your choice:

President – Chand Mahal Ruby B.A (Hons) Pol Science from Ramjas College. Ballot No. 3
Vice president – Qasim Masumi, M.A. Social Work. Ballot No. 6
Secretary – Ashraf Ali, B.A. (Hindi), Motilal Nehru Evening College. Ballot No.
Joint Secretary – Ashish Chauhan, B.A. Zakir Husain Evening College. Ballot No. 3

Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO)

INSO is contesting DUSU elections in alliance with Student Organisation of India (SOI).

President – Gaurav, Ballot No. 4
Vice president – Pardeep, Ballot No. 4
Secretary – Shriya Arora, Ballot No. 10
Joint Secretary – Ankur Dhama, Ballot No. 2

Besides these political outfits, Amit Chaudhary, former National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader is contesting for the post of Secretary as an independent candidate after his nomination was cancelled last minute. His victory as an independent candidate would be a first in six years, it was only in 2009 (after 18 years) that an independent candidate won.

The dynamics of the battleground of DUSU election have seen a profound change this year. Your choice will determine the right path for achieving the set goals by the prospective political faces of DUSU.

This is a part of YKA’s focused coverage of the 2015 student union elections in Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. To know more about it, click here.

Tweet your comments, feedback and opinions on the election with #DelhiStudentsVote. We’ll make sure your voice doesn’t go unheard.

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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, 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.

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