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Because You Can’t Build A Country On Ignorance. Architects Come Out And #StandWithJNU

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Image posted by Stand With JNU on Facebook

We, the undersigned, are writing in utmost shock and despair regarding the recent events and developments at your campus. We want to extend our full support to the JNU teachers association and the democratically elected JNU Student Union. We believe there is a difference between the nation, the state and the government of the day, and fully support your constitutional right to air your positions, as different or diverse as they may be, without illegal interference from any particular ruling ideology, party or state machinery.

As those engaged in architecture, we believe that imagination and reason are the highest of human faculties. This gift is what we constantly cultivate and rely on – in academia and in practice – when we question what exists, however natural, fixed and irreplaceable it may seem, and fearlessly posit alternatives. Indeed, there is little difference for us between possessing a moral imagination and being able to imagine such alternate worlds and other ways of being.

The inability therefore to envision life in another’s shoes, to disagree and to counter ideas with more aesthetic or eloquent ones without resorting to character assassination, violence and charges of anti-nationalism, betray to us an alarming lack of imagination, and we strongly condemn this in all its forms.

We condemn this absence of imagination and the physical and epistemic violence it has unleashed on the university community especially teachers and students. We stand with you in support of the university as a marketplace of ideas where all ideas and opinions are passionately argued, ripped apart, defended and critically re-imagined in ever new ways, leading to a more enlightened citizenry. This must be allowed to happen without fear or favor, risk of persecution or charges of sedition. If nothing else, the imagination of our founding fathers demands it, and we are in solidarity with your right to exercise it.

(This statement represents us in our individual capacities and not the institutions we are associated with.)

[su_spoiler title=”Signatories” icon=”arrow”]1 A. Srivathsan, Professor, CEPT University, Ahmedabad 2 Abhishek Biswas, Industrial Designer, Goa 3 Ajas P Fasal, Architect, Trivandrum 4 Akshay Srinivas, Delhi 5 Amit Rastogi, Team Lead, CnT Architects, Bangalore 6 Amit Sarma, Associate Professor, Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Delhi 7 Amrita Dasgupta , Architect, New Delhi 8 Amrita Madan, Professor, New Delhi 9 Aneesh Babu, Architect Dubai, United Arab Emirates 10 Anisha, Architect, Delhi 11 Aparna V, Architect, Kochi, Kerala 12 Arsh , Architect, Delhi 13 Arun Jacob Mathew, Architect 14 Arun.S.R., Architect, Kerala 15 Arusree Mohanty Chhaya, Architect, Sweden 16 Ashish Byakod, Architect, Bangalore 17 Ashwini Kher, Assistant Professor, Gurgaon 18 Avni Mehta, Architecture Student, New Delhi 19 B S Bhooshan, Architect, Principal BSB Architects, Mysore 20 Bhawna Jaimini, Program Assistant, Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj, Gujarat 21 Boney Philip, Project Manager , Dubai 22 Debashree, Architect, Academician, Bangalore 23 Debasish Borah, Project director, Roots Collective, Ladakh, Leh 24 Deeksha, Architect, New Delhi 25 Deepak Kumar, M. Arch (Urban Design)Student, Delhi 26 Deepanshu Arneja, Architect, New Delhi 27 Deepu Ravi, Editor, Trivandrum 28 Divya Chopra, Architect, New Delhi 29 Dr Vibhuti Sachdev, Professor, Delhi 30 G Shankar, Chief, Habitat Technology Group, Thiruvanananthapuram 31 Ganga Dileep C, Architect, Assistant Professor, Trivandrum 32 Gaurav Roychoudhury, Architect, Bangalore 33 Girish Chandran , Lecturer, College of Architecture, Trivandrum 34 Harshavardhan, Architect, Bangalore 35 Immanuel J Nicholas, Architect, Bangalore 36 Indu V, Junior Architect, Kerala 37 Ishan Pal, Architecture Student, Delhi 38 Ismet Khambatta, Director, Ahmedabad 39 Jaisim, Architect, Bangalore 40 Jaweed Darbar, Architect- Engineer, Bangalore 41 Jayaraj Sundaresan, Academic, Bangalore 42 Jinoj M., Assistant Professor, Trivandrum 43 Juhi Malpani, Architect-Town Planner, Delhi 44 Kamlesh Pohekar, Associate Professor, Bangalore 45 Kanchan Gupta, Architect & Planner, Mumbai 46 Kanishka Prasad, Architect, DESIGN Daftar, New Delhi 47 Karan Grover, Principal, Karan Grover & Associates, Baroda 48 Karthik K Shetty , Freelancer, Karnataka 49 Kiranjith CS, Assistant Professor, KMEA College of architecture, Kochi, Kerala 50 Kshitij Dhyani, M.Arch, student, Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai, Delhi 51 Leon Morenas, Associate Professor of Architecture, Delhi 52 Madhav Raman Partner, Anagram Architects, New Delhi 53 Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Principal Architect , Chennai 54 Manasi Co founder, Partner, Bhoomija Creations, Trivandrum 55 Manish Ahuja, Architect, New Delhi 56 Manpreet Juneja, Architect, Delhi 57 Manu Mahajan, Urban Designer, Delhi 58 Maria Katticaran, Architect, Los Angeles 59 Maya Gomez, Architect, Trivandrum 60 Miki Desai, Architect, teacher, writer, Ahmedabad 61 Madhavi Desai Architect, teacher, writer, Ahmedabad 62 Mona Jazi, Architect, Delhi 63 Monica Chaudhary , Architect, New Delhi 64 Mukta Naik, Visiting Faculty, School of Planning and Architecture, Gurgaon 65 Naveen Mahantesh, Principal Architect, Cresarc Architects, Bangalore 66 Neelkanth Chhaya, Architect, Ahmedabad 67 Nipesh Narayanan, Architect, Delhi 68 Niveditaa Gupta, Architect and Photographer, New Delhi 69 Parul Choudhary, Co-Principal PS Collective, Ahmedabad 70 Prabir Haldar, Architect, New Delhi 71 Prahlad G, Architect, Ahmedabad 72 Pramod balakrishnan , Chief architect , Chennai 73 Prem Chandavarkar, Managing Partner, CnT Architects, Bangalore 74 Priyanka Purty, Architect, Jharkhand 75 Prof. Manoj Mathur, HoD, Architecture, SPA New Delhi 76 Prof.Oommen.T , Architect, Trivandrum 77 Prosenjit Banerjee, Architect, New Delhi 78 Radhika Singh , Architect, New Delhi 79 Raja Shyam Sundar, Architect, Chennai 80 Rajshree Rajmohan , Architect & academician, Trivandrum 81 Ratnakiran, Architect, Assistant Professor , Vijayawada 82 Rita John, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Delhi 83 Rojan Thomas Joseph, Architect, Bangalore 84 Ruchika Lall, Architect, Delhi 85 Rupali Gupte, Associate Professor, Founding Trustee, School of Environment and Architecture Mumbai 86 Ruturaj Parikh, Director, Charles Correa Foundation, Goa 87 Ryan Christopher Sequeira, Fellow, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Delhi 88 Sahil Sasidharan, Associate – Academics & Research, IIHS, Bangalore 89 Saiju Mohamed , Architect, Kerala 90 Samruddhi S Chaphale, Architect 91 Sanjana Mathur , Architect, New Delhi 92 Sara Ather, Architect, Delhi 93 Sathyanarayan M, Architect, Kerala 94 Satya Gopalan, Architect, Delhi 95 Saurabh Tewari, Research Scholar, Kanpur 96 Selva Prakash M, Assistant Professor, Tips Global Institute , Chennai 97 Shabeeb Khader, Project Architect, United States 98 Shaji TL, Professor, Trivandrum 99 Sharat Sunder R, Asst. Professor, Thiruvananthapuram 100 Shebin George, Architect, Thiruvananthapuram 101 Shikha Doogar, Partner, R+D Studio, Gurgaon 102 Shitij Dogra, Architect , New delhi 103 Shobana, Assistant Professor, Chennai 104 Shreyasi Pal, Asst. Professor, Bangalore 105 Shridhar Rao, Architect, Gurgaon 106 Shyamkumar P, Architect, Kanhangad 107 Shyne U, HoD, KMEA COA, Cochin 108 Sinu Rao, Architect, JUBAIL,KSA 109 Smriti, Asst. Professor , Delhi 110 Sobia , Consultant urban planner, Bengaluru 111 Sonal Sundararajan, Partner, ADRG, Mumbai 112 Soumini Raja, Asst. Professor, College of Architecture Trivandrum 113 Soumya Shukla , Architect , Delhi 114 Sourabh Phadke, Architect, Himachal Pradesh 115 Sreejith.S, Landscape Architect, Thiruvananthapuram 116 SS Kiran , Urban Transport Planner, Nagpur 117 Subin Umar Rahman, Architect, Trivandrum 118 Surbhi Singhal, Architect, Delhi 119 Swati Janu, Architect, Delhi 120 Tallulah D Silva, Architect 121 Thomas Oommen, Associate Professor, Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Delhi 122 TM Cyriac, Architect , Trivandrum 123 Vaani Dua, Asst. Professor, Delhi 124 Vandini Mehta, Architect, New Delhi 125 Vanicka Arora, Conservation Architect, Gurgaon 126 Vidhu Saxena, Freelance Designer, New Delhi 127 Vishakha Jha, Architect, Urban Development Consultant Mumbai 128 Vrinda Jariwala, Asst. Professor, S.S.A.A., Ansal University, Delhi 129 Zeenat Niazi , Vice President, Development Alternatives, New Delhi[/su_spoiler]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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.

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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.

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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