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10 Stunning Instagram Accounts That Will Add Meaning To Your Life

By Anurag Banerjee:

1) Aatish Nath (@aatishn)

Mumbai-based Aatish Nath is a writer by profession, but one look at his Instagram account tells you that he has quite an eye for detail and the not-so-ordinary. Aatish has the knack of making the mundane look spectacular every once in a while. A photographer-in-hiding, his Instagram account is a delight to follow.

Noon

A photo posted by Aatish (@aatishn) on

2) Asmita Parelkar (@asmitaparelkar)

If you enjoy quietude, Mumbai-based photographer and designer Asmita Parelkar’s account is right up your alley. Her feed is filled with stillness, even her videos emanating a sense of calm and serenity that is almost dreamlike. Often presented without a caption, Asmita’s photographs have the lightness of a feather and the depth of an ocean.

3) Aashish Chandra (@aashishchandra)

A lot of times you look at a photograph by Aashish Chandra, you might find yourself wondering what you like about that photo. Wide open spaces, a parked car, a few benches by the sea, photos filled with emptiness. You might look at them and think that if you were standing exactly where Aashish was, you possibly would not have stopped for a second glimpse. That is the speciality of Aashish’s work – you may never know why you actually like a photograph of his.

4) Karan Vaid (@vaidkaran)

If you are a dog person, you simply cannot not be following Delhi-based Karan Vaid’s Instagram account. His account is more like a journal of his day-to-day life with his wife Mussarat, Muttley, an extremely adorable Labrador and Pasha, a really big German Shepherd who does not quite realize how big he is sometimes. What makes his feed even more enjoyable are his captions, written lucidly and laced with humour.

5) Roshni Bajaj (@roshnibajaj)

There are many Instagrammers out there who use the platform to chronicle their travels around the world and their love for food, but none quite like food and travel writer Roshni Bajaj. Her feed is filled with colour and vibrancy, but the way she photographs food with her cellphone should probably be put down into a cellphone photography manual – no weird angle, no going so close that the food seems unappetizing; keeping it simple and shooting it in adequate light. Make sure you are not on an empty stomach when you are going through Roshni’s feed!

Sunday bread #levain #oliveoil #mustard #olivepaté #agedbalsamic #fleurdesel

A photo posted by roshnibajaj (@roshnibajaj) on

6) Ritesh Uttamchandani (@riteshuttamchandani)

There really isn’t much more that can be written about Mumbai-based photojournalist Ritesh Uttamchandani. For starters, he has got 100K+ followers on Instagram but deserves much more. Ritesh’s understanding of the city is unparalleled by most, having learnt all that he has by roughing it out himself and not through books or spoken word. His photographs are stripped off any sort of complexity and the scene is presented to the view just as it is – unadulterated. Accompanying them are his informative and intelligible captions. A photographer par excellence, a writer of significant merit – if there is just one Mumbai account you need to follow, make sure it is Ritesh’s.

In a swing made by her mother’s saree, a little girl at play, under a bridge in Bombay. #thebombaybook

A photo posted by Ritesh Uttamchandani (@riteshuttamchandani) on

7) Ronny Sen (@ronnysen)

You could give Kolkata-based photographer Ronny Sen a broken camera to use and he will come back and blow your mind with the images he’s made with that same camera. A powerhouse of talent, and in his twenties, already a name to reckon with in Indian photography, Ronny’s account is mysterious, eerie and often times, beautifully abstract. His dry captions often compliment brilliantly the drama that his photographs encapsulate.

Winter is coming IGNCA, Delhi October, 2015

A photo posted by Ronny Sen (@ronnysen) on

8) Gopal M S (@mumbaipaused)

His Instagram handle summarizes quite succinctly what Gopal M S’s account is all about. Even this monstrous city, between its throbbing and pounding and palpitating and scrambling, pauses for a breath every once in a while. And in that pause, you will find the carefully placed lens of Gopal. His photographs aren’t spectacular, they won’t take your breath away; instead, they will help you catch your breath. In a recent interview with Better Photography magazine, Gopal said that trying to earn a living through photography “killed his joy”, and so now, he only photographs to keep himself happy. Much to the delight of his 20K followers!

#MumbaiOnALeash The train had stopped because one of the bogies had gone to pluck a flower.

A photo posted by Mumbai Paused (@mumbaipaused) on

9) Zishaan Akbar Latif (@zishaanakbarlatif)

Zishaan Akbar Latif is a photographer who loves shooting on film and even today carries out a lot of his assignments on film. Yet, he has fallen in love with the cell phone as many of us have, making photographs for the simple joy of it. That he has a beautiful eye is clear with any photograph of his that you see. But if you follow his work over a period of time, you will notice that there is a certain slowness in the way he produces images. He lets his thoughts brew, simmer over a low frame and the finished product is almost always astonishing.

10) Arati Kumar Rao (@aratikumarrao)

Arati Kumar Rao is one of the most compelling environmental photographers of our times. Her documentation of man’s conflict with nature is outstanding; her black and white photographs are breathtaking and her narratives will make you stop and ponder. In any of these lists, Aarti Kumar Rao’s name is usually a no-brainer.

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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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