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India Is Attacking Its Minorities In Every Way Possible, And It Could Destroy Us

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By Majid Alam:

The people of India have learned through years of co-existence with each other that despite differences in mindset, faith, thought and social strata – on several occasions we have taken a setback on the tenets set up by the framers of Modern India. I have quoted the word ‘faith’ instead of religion, because whichever religion we profess, in that we haven’t forgotten to divide into sects, sub-sects and cults. History shows us that the majority of disputes in the country are related to the term, “propagation of our religion”. Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution include Right to freedom of religion, meaning we have the right to choose whichever religion pleases us. The Fundamental Right also includes rights related to the freedom to practice and propagate religion. But past and the current incidents have shown the level of intolerance in the country and also proved that it is easier to victimize and incite violence on the basis of these distinctions. What is left apart from violence resulting among sects and groups, takes the form of discrimination towards the weaker and underprivileged.

Collage Majid Article

The points that I am mentioning below are potent enough to destroy us. These concerns arise due to the intolerance we have for the ‘minorities’. The word ‘Minority’ should not be misinterpreted; as we have ‘social minorities’ i.e people belonging to depressed classes; ‘religious minorities’, i.e people belonging to the minority religions. ‘Think tanks’ and intellectuals also belong to the minority since their views and ideologies don’t relate to the popular conscience. Women have also been reduced to being minorities within their family and outside. Killing and spreading violence towards minorities can never be justified on any ground and the examples below re-iterate my concern.

The Recent Attack On A Dalit Family

It might not be a good idea to call it an end to tolerance in India, but I would like to define it as an end to humanity, after reading about the death of two minors in Haryana by the dominant caste in the region, the reason being a feud, resulting in a race to show who is dominant and who should remain suppressed.

Merely calling the incident an act of racial discrimination would only add to the countless cases pending in court without any resolution. I see the crime as an insult to Gandhi’s concept of Harijans and to the efforts of the noble man, B.R Ambedkar who remained devoted to the cause of the lower castes.

Barely two days after the incident, a similar incident was reported when a fourteen- year Dalit boy was killed by cops for stealing pigeons. Simply bragging about bringing equality won’t do us any good until we quit our double standards. Seeing the low representation of the depressed classes in premier institutes like IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and notable jobs like in bureaucracies and Corporate business, I believe that discrimination will only lead to a rift within the nation. Also turning our back to social evils will lead us away from our step towards development.

The Dadri Mob Lynching

Bisara village of Dadri, barely a hundred kilometers from Delhi came into the limelight when a mob attacked a house killing Mohammad Akhlaq and injuring his son on the basis of a rumour that they possessed beef. Forensic reports later proved that it was mutton rather than beef in Akhlaq’s fridge. Beef is considered a sacred animal for Hindus and this is now a cause for concern since people get killed on the apprehension that they have killed the sacred animal.

On 2 August, 2014, Shankar Kumar was beaten to death in the Najafgarh area of Delhi while he was transporting dead cows and buffaloes. The news was also reported in the Washington Post on 30 September as “A mob in India just dragged a man from his home and beat him to death — for eating beef”. It is a shame for a country like India, that has been trying to secure Permanent Membership in the Security Council, when at instances it shows it hasn’t matured yet.

Curb On Free Thinking And Speech

The first question that is raised here is whether ‘secular liberals’ and ‘think tanks’ have a free voice in the conservative attitude in India. The recent death of M. M. Kalburgi, an outspoken critic of Hindu idol worship, aged 77, who was mercilessly gunned down at his house, and similar deaths of Govind Pansare, the Communist leader and an activist, Narendra Dabholkar, a critic of religious superstition in 2013 proves the anger against ideological minorities in the country. The banning of books and writers going on exile for expressing their views against popular beliefs is common. The point is not to agitate against them and to not suppress what we think is against the established norms. The intelligent way would be to debate and allow the flow of debate in the country. Unfortunately, the level of our debate has fallen to such a level that we have reduced ourselves to derogatory comments on social networks when things don’t work the way we like. The problem isn’t limited to us. Media house debates have leaders clamouring for attention and the anchor has to yell to silence them.

Gender Discrimination

Unlike other concerns, this issue is not only old, matured and fossilized through ages but is also an issue most debated about, most researched and highlighted in mainstream media. Though gender discrimination has been able to mobilise masses in support of it and amend laws to make it harsher, chances of progress seem vague. The violence meted out towards women include not only rape and domestic violence, but also eve-teasing and harassment at public places. According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), everyday 93 women are being raped in the country. Leaving this aside, we have instances where women are not allowed to get educated and seek employment. Women get tortured for dowry, beaten on a routine, live an underprivileged life. Police often refuse to file an FIR when they complain and even if the case gets registered, the jurisdiction is beyond imagination. Citing the acts and laws related to women’s safety and empowerment here would be futile and would just complicate the issue.

The aim of a multicultural society is tolerance of different cultures, languages, ideologies and valuing them so that the idea of “difference” is preserved. Similarly, what beautifies India is its acceptance towards them and maintaining equal distance from them, so that none is discriminated against. The problem with us is that we try to deal with these differences according to the opinion forced by the majority. But, the majority couldn’t be always be right, sometimes leading to extreme errors, the examples of which are stated above. The continuing intolerance in India has led to many writers returning their Sahitya Akademi awards as a protest and the number is ever increasing. Instead of maintaining neutrality we should criticize what is morally wrong in every possible way.

Unfortunately, India has turned today into a “State of Nature” as has been portrayed by Thomas Hobbes; the Natural Rights of a person is to oppress others and the Natural Liberty of a person is self-preservance and the state is governed by a “Jungle law”. The government and the intellectual should condemn it publicly in their actions so that people are discouraged to do so. Education, which is limited to sums of mathematics and laws of physics should be liberal enough to welcome changes in the curriculum so that our students are taught to be rational. Judiciary has an important role to play, as strict and speedy justice would retrieve lost respect for laws. Above all, the best way is socializing and interaction. I believe that instead of restricting the depressed and forcing the religious minorities to live in ‘ghettos’, they should be empowered to equality and the essence of fear should be made to vanish through positive co-relation.

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  1. Srinivas

    Oh, did you forget to add the Moodabidri killing of a Cow Protection activist

  2. Vid

    There NEVER was co-existence in Indian society. Dalits were put outside the town and more people died in Hindu-muslim riots than freedom-struggle against Britishers. The only change is that we get to know about all these incidents through media in today’s time. Dalits and women are still the worst sufferers and giving them reservation is not a panacea for all the physical and mental torture they go through in their lives. When even after centuries, Hindus could also never unite and caste problem is same. Intercaste marriage is as much a taboo now as it was earlier. So, stop propagating this idea that our ancestors were very great and tolerant. Had they been so sane, India would not have been facing these issues now. These problems will continue coz India is a very heterogeneous society and people are really dim wit. A country which should have never given democracy at the first place.

    1. Srinivas

      The thing with opinion is that its like an asshole, everybody has one, and most of them stink.

  3. B

    The bit on gender discrimination is the biggest piece of lie I have come across.

    According to NCRB Data, there were 2,22,091 arrests related to 498A in 2013 alone. A man is arrested every 3 minutes for dowry – 98% cases are false.

    From 2005 to 2008, as many as 22,000 men have ended their lives in reverse dowry harassment after allegedly being tormented by their wives. In contrast, dowry harassment has driven 6,800 women to suicide.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Harassed-over-dowry-men-demand-fair-play/articleshow/5241108.cms

    Since the media is bigoted and biased, it shows women as dowry victims whereas more than 3 times as many men commit suicide due to harassment from wives. The number of men victims of 498A alone outweigh all crimes against women.

  4. B

    Do you know that the movie 498A: The Wedding Gift was banned by feminists and National Commission of Women (NCW), because they were scared of people learning the truth about your so called oppressed minority. Where is your voice for those tens of thousands of innocent men rotting in Indian jails over false cases of rape, molestation, dowry, domestic violence and assault, how they are tortured in Indian jails, and how their life, career, reputation, family, and future has been ruined.

  5. Jigsaw

    Another third-rate blogger trying to win brownie points by writing in favour of women.

    This is the reality: FAKE CASES OF RAPE ARE NOW AT 78%

    ‘False rape’ cases soar in Delhi as number of acquittals hits 78 per cent
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2656609/False-rape-cases-soar-Capital-number-acquittals-hits-78-cent.html

    Woman sentenced to 3 years Jail for a false rape case. Reason – Property dispute. Accused ended his life.
    http://www.patrika.com/news/woman-made-fake-rape-allegation-sentenced-3-years-jail/1080735

    Cops raid her home to find her husband, apparently accused of a crime, she CRIES rape by Cops! They plead innocence
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/Woman-accuses-3-cops-who-raided-house-of-rape/articleshow/46148533.cms

    This article basically nails the trend. Tougher rape law leading to increase in false cases?
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Tougher-rape-law-leading-to-increase-in-false-cases/articleshow/30807940.cms

    Classic case of rape law misuse: False gangrape
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/a-classic-case-of-misuse-of-rape-laws/article4561657.ece

    Journalist arrested in false gang rape case
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/Journalists-arrested-in-Ghaziabad-gang-rape-case/articleshow/30751752.cms

    Delhi woman misuses rape law, held for extortion
    http://news.oneindia.in/feature/2013/delhi-woman-misuses-rape-law-held-for-extortion-1259736.html

    Men who face false rape charges – BLOG
    http://creative.sulekha.com/men-who-face-false-rape-charges_486653_blog

    Girl faces 7 years Rigorous Imprisonment for false rape allegations
    http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/court-initiates-criminal-trial-against-gangrape-victim/

    Rape filed when husband discovered wife coming out of someone else’s house
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Bombay-High-court-upholds-rape-acquittal/articleshow/23928047.cms

    Punishment for falling in LOVE
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-06/ahmedabad/42763164_1_16-year-old-girl-two-firs-amraiwadi

    Consensual Sex of Four years turned Rape
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-09/gurgaon/42861203_1_ashok-kumar-district-and-sessions-judge-high-court

    Sexual Adventure turned Rape
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Delhi-man-acquitted-of-rape-charges/articleshow/23927246.cms

    Love, Sex and Dhokha…..all given the name of Rape
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-02/mumbai/42614448_1_nude-pictures-woman-former-lover

    Girl Pregnant, Property Dispute among neighbours, RAPE charge is the Solution
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/man-accused-of-raping-neighbour-acquitted-by-court/1134641/

    Father and Daughter both retract from their statements of Rape, refuse to identify accused
    http://news.oneindia.in/new-delhi/girl-resiles-from-statement-3-acquitted-in-gang-rape-case-1301948.html

    A false rape case by a MAID on an 82 year Old employer, Court issues guidelines to placement agencies
    http://www.indiatvnews.com/crime/news/82-year-old-delhi-man-acquitted-of-charge-of-raping-18-year-old–3257.html

    Got pregnanant with consent, but she was raped
    http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/delhi-man-acquitted-of-raping-deaf-and-dumb-woman-848235.html

    Settlement after Rape…or Rape charges for settlement
    http://www.rediff.com/news/report/5-jamia-law-students-acquitted-of-rape-charges/20130805.htm

    She stayed with cousin with her own ‘sweet will’ but it was a rape for the girls father
    http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/delhi-court-acquits-youth-accused-of-raping-15-year-old-cousin-24190.html

    Court acquits man of Rape, wants curb on False cases
    http://www.northindiakaleidoscope.com/court-acquits-man-of-rape-charge-wants-curbs-on-false-cases/

    Rape on a Road Side???
    http://bharatchugh.wordpress.com/tag/rape-case-acquittal/

    Unable to pay debt, father coerces daughter to file a rape case. 13 years. Another accused woman dies during pendency of the case.
    http://law.geekupd8.com/2013/09/Supreme-Court-Acquits-two-from-the-False-Rape-charges-and-also-warns-lower-courts-to-beware-of-False-Rape-cases.html

    Two brothers acquitted. If there would have been three, charges would have been on three, four, five…..
    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/340855/two-brothers-acquitted-gang-rape.html

    Teacher-Student infatuation, baby born out of it, Rape case filed anonymously …acquitted
    http://m.indiatoday.in/story/bombay-high-court-acquits-teacher-of-raping-class-10-student/1/267757.html

    Rape filed to force the boy into marriage
    http://www.kashmirmonitor.in/news-youth-acquitted-of-raping-robbing-lover-54621.aspx

    Acquitted after 11 years of struggle
    http://post.jagran.com/supreme-court-acquits-two-persons-in-11yearold-gang-rape-case-1344437990

    Dispute over property, turned rape by a young empowered woman against an elderly senior citizen
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-28/delhi/40848274_1_false-cases-false-allegation-anita

    They raped but dropped her home. Then her father slapped her. Then she slept. Then police found her. OMG.
    http://www.amarujala.com/news/crime-bureau/two-men-arrested-in-safdarjang-enclave-gangrape-case/

    No words….First elope with boyfriend then charge him with rape.
    http://www.amarujala.com/news/crime-bureau/man-raped-minor-girl-in-hydrabad-hotel/

    Medical examination declares no rape, claim of sedation also false, still FIR registered
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Madurai-woman-claims-she-was-raped-by-boyfriend-3-others/articleshow/28497480.cms

    Rape on pretext of Job, marriage and many other promises
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/Woman-alleges-rape-by-property-dealer/articleshow/28157671.cms?intenttarget=no

    Girl agrees rape complaint was false as boyfriend turns husband
    http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-woman-admits-her-rape-charge-false-as-boyfriend-turns-husband-1858814

    Consensual sex turned rape, Judge says women should sleep before marriage at their own peril
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Premarital-sex-immoral-no-religion-permits-it-Court/articleshow/28424592.cms

    Raped continuously for a year by facebook friend
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/Facebook-friend-rapes-woman-promising-marriage-in-Surat/articleshow/28445845.cms

    Thrown out of Job, files rape case against 8 people
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Multinational-companys-director-accused-of-rape/articleshow/28484810.cms?intenttarget=no

    Rape cases conviction low because of false complaints : Mumbai Commissioner of Police
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Rape-convictions-low-because-of-false-complaints-Police-commissioner-Satya-Pal-Singh/articleshow/25609124.cms

    Don’t always believe rape victims evidence : Supreme Court of India
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Don-t-always-believe-rape-victims-evidence-SC/Article1-1124474.aspx

    CRY RAPE: http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/cry-rape

    False cases behind Delhi’s tag of RAPE CAPITAL: Judge, Delhi Court
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-27/india/40832087_1_maid-false-cases-additional-sessions-judge-virender

    Woman arrested for extortion after filing 11 false rape cases
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/woman-who-filed-11-rape-cases-held-on-charge-of-extorting-an-accused/1141887/1

    90% of rape cases in Kishanganj False: SP
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-01-04/patna/36148093_1_bahadurganj-police-kishanganj-sp-complaint-cases

    74% percent cases consensual sex turned into rape: Pune Police
    http://www.punemirror.in/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=62&contentid=201004282010042800020376672f460c5

    Fake rape victims danger to society: Court
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-17/india/32713694_1_district-court-delhi-court-real-victims

    Be Vigilant against false cases: HC tells trial court judges
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/be-vigilant-against-false-rape-cases-hc-to-trial-judges/article1-1065107.aspx

    Boyfriend, his friends also in false rape trap….O Boyzzz so sorry for you!
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Madurai-woman-claims-she-was-raped-by-boyfriend-3-others/articleshow/28497480.cms

    Consensual relationship, pregnancy, then Rape
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/Doctor-arrested-after-nurse-alleges-rape-over-two-years/articleshow/21152808.cms?intenttarget=no

    BLOOMING THREAT IN AN AGE OF JUDICIAL CONSENT
    http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/The-blooming-threat-in-an-age-of-judicial-consent/2013/07/02/article1662956.ece

    GO GOA and then GO crying rape
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Hyderabad-girl-accuses-friend-of-raping-her/articleshow/20723131.cms

    Rape victims brother is the child’s biological father
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/Rape-victims-real-brother-is-her-childs-biological-father/articleshow/20756347.cms

    Women misuse rape law to force lovers to marry them: Delhi HC
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/women-misuse-rape-law-to-force-lovers-to-marry-them-delhi-high-court/393929-3.html

    ‘Fake’ rape cases reported as Love Turns Sour: Ranchi Police
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-05-18/ranchi/39353985_1_police-station-investigation-police-officer

    When live-in turns sour, man becomes ‘rapist’
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-09/chennai/34341916_1_live-in-relationships-godman-nithyananda

  6. B

    According to an online survey conducted by Save Family Foundation and My Nation Foundation in April 2005 and March 2006, it was shockingly found out that, of 100,000 men who took the survey 98% of them faced severe domestic violence at the hands of their wives and in-laws in the form of verbal, physical, emotional, mental and financial abuse.

    Domestic violence is a men’s issue.

    98% men have faced domestic violence

    http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2012/09/domestic-violence-not-just-a-womens-issue-men-suffer-too/

    A man is assaulted by his wife/girlfriend every 14.6 seconds.

    http://www.chowrangi.pk/domestic-violence-against-men.html

    When husbands are victims of domestic violence

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/man-woman/When-husbands-are-victims-of-domestic-violence/articleshow/26031858.cms

    Why are so many MEN becoming victims of domestic violence?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2518434/Why-MEN-victims-domestic-violence-Its-Britains-remaining-taboos-abuse-men-home-rise.html

    A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/01/30/a-hidden-crime-domestic-violence-against-men-is-a-growing-probl/

    Women More Likely to Commit Domestic Violence, Studies Show

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/19133-women-more-likely-to-commit-domestic-violence-studies-show

    Male domestic abuse victim: men are scared to come forward

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/30303405/male-domestic-abuse-victim-men-are-scared-to-come-forward

  7. B

    Want to talk about the double standards concerning domestic violence?

    https://youtu.be/u3PgH86OyEM

  8. Batman

    Where is women empowerment when mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters suffer because of false cases of domestic violence, rape and dowry on husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons?

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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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