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PM Launches Assam Election Campaign, Announces Recruitment Of NE Youth In Delhi Police

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modi secularYouths from the Northeast have been inducted into the Delhi police during its recent recruitment drive, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a rally held in Assam today which launched the BJP’s election campaign in the state. The announcement made by the PM regarding recruitment of Northeast youths was in the offing as the central government decided last year on the move, geared to protect people from the region from harassment in the capital. The announcement was part of several other measures announced by the PM. Election to Assam’s 126-member Assembly is expected to be held in April-May along with four other states.

The decision to recruit youths from the Northeast in the Delhi police was first mooted by the Bezbaruah committee, formed after the death of Nido Tania from Arunachal Pradesh in the capital, following a severe beating. According to a report, the Bezbaruah committee had recommended that 600 people from the Northeast should be inducted in the Delhi police.

However, the Home Ministry, who oversaw the functioning of the committee, decided to induct 160 youths from the region, 20 each from every state, including ten men and ten women.

The Prime Minister said he had instructed that youth from the Northeast should be recruited in the Delhi Police and the process has already begun. During the recent recruitment in Delhi Police, it was ensured that youth from the North East were given priority and many have been appointed from the region, he said.

Modi also announced that the people of Karbi community living in the plains of Assam and Bodos living in hill areas would be granted tribal status and the process has already started. The Prime Minister announced that the issue of declaring the Bodo-Kacharis living in Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts and the Karbi-Mikirs in the plains as Scheduled Tribes will be soon approved by the Cabinet and then passed in Parliament.

Addressing the rally, organised jointly by BJP and its new ally Bodoland People’s Front for the upcoming Assam Assembly polls, he said BJP will ensure all-round development of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) areas which have been “betrayed” by Congress. Modi said he had talks with BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary on the problems of the area.

The BPF is believed to have a strong presence in Kokrajhar and its neighbouring areas. The party has been in power in Bodoland Territorial Council since its inception in 2003.

In 2006 Assembly polls, the BPF had won 11 seats and joined the Tarun Gogoi-led government as a Congress ally. In 2011 polls, it had won 12 seats and again joined the Gogoi government. However, in 2014, BPF broke off the alliance with the Congress.

Announcing other initiatives, the Prime Minister said a central technical institute located in Kokrajhar would be given the status of a deemed university, the Sealdah-Guwahati Kanchenjunga Express will be extended up to the Barak Valley while the Rupsi Airport in Dhubri will be taken over by the Indian Air Force.

Modi said ever since the NDA government came to power, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) has taken several initiatives and now, at least one Minister of the central government visits the Northeast every month.

The Prime Minister said his government’s aim is to provide electricity to every household 24 hours, every family a house, a toilet and potable water by 2022.

He said the DONER ministry was started by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee but during the UPA rule people of the region had to go to Delhi and they found it very difficult to get their grievances redressed.

“To solve this problem, I have directed the DONER Ministry that its entire secretariat would meet once a month in any North Eastern state where people can come to discuss their problems and the state have been asked to give a detailed account of the funds allotted to them,” he added.

He said his government was committed to the development of the Northeast and was implementing ‘Act East’ policy with emphasis on infrastructure development, particularly road, rail and waterways.

Modi also took several potshots at the ruling Congress government in the state and the UPA regime that was in power for ten years before the NDA took over in 2014.

“Why does Assam have so many problems when the same government is there for 15 years and the state has sent a Prime Minister for ten years. They could not do anything in 15 years and now they want me to solve all their problems within 15 months. Don’t you think it’s unfair to me?” Modi said, attacking the 15-year Congress rule in Assam and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents the state in Rajya Sabha.

With his announcements and tirade against the Congress, the PM has signalled that the political battle in the state was in the top gear now. Although no formal announcements have yet been made, it is being speculated that the Congress will ally with the All India United Democratic Front to keep the BJP out.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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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