This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Supriya Ganesh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Open Letter To India’s Men’s Rights Activists, From Someone ‘Tired Of Their Bullshit’

By Supriya Ganesh:

download (1)I usually have rebuttals ready for most Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) at the tip of my tongue. Hence, my speechlessness genuinely surprised me when I came across an official statistic that claimed 53.2% of recent rape cases filed in India (2013-2014) were false. This, along with the public statements issued by two Supreme Court Judges who expressed exasperation at the increasing numbers of wives who used anti-dowry laws as “weapons” to harass their husbands.

It’s not that I hadn’t heard these of accusations against feminism before, as they are the most prominent assertions MRAs present to justify their convictions. I simply hadn’t yet seen anything substantial to back up their declarations. I couldn’t fathom that a movement aimed at taking rights away from a systemically oppressed group of people somehow had a viable, if any, foundation.

After copious research I was able to confirm the obvious – there wasn’t. I write this piece addressing Indian MRAs to reconsider the footing on which they rest their allegations, and to grasp the consequences of obtaining what they ask for.

Before I begin, I must state the obvious (to counter inevitable comments I no doubt will receive) – I am not condoning anyone who files false rape cases or misuses laws to their advantage. I’m only trying to highlight the socio-cultural reality of India where such laws are a much-needed safeguard for women. That being said, (although I’m rather exasperated that it had to be) let’s move on.

The Major Problems With Your ‘False Rape Cases’ Argument:

Around 30% of rape cases decided in Delhi in the year 2013 involved charges against heterosexual couples that engaged in consensual sex, and were made by the daughter’s parents. They alleged the husband or the boyfriend had assaulted their daughter while their ward would attribute her actions to love. A large number of these allegations involved inter-caste and inter-religious marriages.

These were cases filed against consensual sex – evidently they were false. But this doesn’t constitute an attack on men – rather, it represents firstly, the patriarchal notion where parents feel they have ownership over their daughter’s sexuality (no doubt enforced mostly by men, who would say their rights are “under attack” if asked to withdraw their so-called authority); and secondly, the taboo of inter-caste and inter-religious marriage.

Another trend among decided rape cases was of women filing cases against men who had acquired consent by promising marriage, and then breaching such promise. This doesn’t make such claims inherently false as malignant intentions constitutes rape. Consent that was attained by manipulative methods isn’t consent at all.

You Have No Idea How Violating and Humiliating Rape Trials Can Be:

Two-fifths of these rape cases weren’t fully argued as the plaintiff – “either could not be found; stopped attending the trial; turned fully hostile; insisted they had never alleged rape or admitted [to filing a false complaint].” These numbers, especially of disappearances and hostility, cannot be entirely chalked up to false cases as undergoing rape trials are extremely humiliating and draining for the victim.

It’s also impossible to know how many cases were declared false by the plaintiff due to familial or other external pressures – some women admitted facing pressure to withdraw cases or had settled the matter outside the courts. Social stigma dictates that women who have been sexually assaulted are unlikely to be married off, and would “degrade” their families’ social reputations.

It’s further important to note the conviction rate for rape is a mere 23%, leading one to ask why a woman would undergo a draining and humiliating hearing knowing there is such little probability of succeeding in her “aim” to put “innocent men” behind bars.

Regarding Your Misinformed Opposition to Anti-Dowry Laws:

First, a little background: in several socio-cultural contexts, husbands and their families torture new brides for more dowry from their family; their actions often consummate in murder or suicide. While there were laws in place preventing the exchange of dowry, IPC 498a specifically inhibits mistreatment of brides by their new family. However, it doesn’t seem to have been enforced effectively, as cases of violence against Indian brides have risen from 2005 to 2009 by 53.5%, indicating its necessity.

Not only are you willfully ignorant and completely apathetic to these problems facing the women in our country, but your opposition to 498a is thoroughly rooted in sexism: 498a is misused at rates lower than those of other regulations, such as kidnapping and abduction or criminal breach of trust laws. However, there’s no debate about whether other laws should be dissolved. The fact is you single out 498a because it (rightly) attacks sexism by protecting women. It also is extremely indicative of your nonchalant and vastly misconstrued attitude towards domestic abuse as recent studies have shown that 65% of Indian men think women ‘deserve’ to be beaten! Is it this belief of “acceptability” that is driving the MRA movement against section 498a – the right to abuse your wife?

Yes, A Tenth of Cases Filed Are False– But the Women Aren’t to Blame:

Some “false cases” were simply never fully argued in court, as cases filed under dowry deaths tend to be notably long drawn. Over-zealous police officials also tend to jump to conclusions during investigations without analyzing the situation, which results in the filing of false claims. Amendments have been made to the law to ensure that the police first conduct thorough checks.

Statistics also indicate that section 498a is barely used – despite two in every five women admitting to being domestically abused, less than one percent of those women file charges. Of the women who do, only 1% of them are still alive to see their abusers convicted. The conviction rate is also extremely low for crimes filed under this section, which again counters the widespread impression that men are being put in jail in droves due to such legal provisions.

So to the Men’s Rights activists who claim they are “systemically oppressed” due to laws that are now “tipping the scales in favor of women,” and push for the dissolution of these laws– cry me a fucking river.

You are asking to strip billions of women in India of their ability to file a complaint against their rapist, and to escape circumstances that may consummate in murder or drive them to suicide, despite provisions in said laws that criminalize their misuse. Not only are your arguments based on a gross misunderstanding of reality for several women in India, but your demonized caricature of the villainous Indian woman, out to subjugate her husband and her family, is just plain wrong. If you take a moment to even begin to comprehend how fundamentally flawed your movement is, maybe you will realize that the real monster is the man ready to expose women to the vulnerability of sexual assault or dowry death, by depriving her of a legal system that stands in place protect them.

Sincerely,
I’m Getting Really Tired of Your Bullshit

You must be to comment.
  1. Victim of 498a

    If you have already decided that the response would be bullshit, then why do you even bother writing such article. Maybe you should have also advocated for case being filed against the girl and her parents if they claim they gave dowry. Also, if the case if proved false in court, then atleast one year imprisonment without any parole or bail for the complainant.

    Jai Hind

  2. Dean Esmay

    Do Indian MRAs get a right of response to this or does this feminist get to merely throw out hateful and shallow assertions and let that stand?

  3. JB

    Even if your ‘frustration’ of not being able to prove a bit of your theory with real data (filing of cases taken as actual data, wow!! Intelligent) is visible, but still assuming that whatever you are trying to portray is to be ignored, please tell me 1 reason, WHY SHOULD THE LAWS NOT BE GENDER NEUTRAL?
    MRAs ask for Gender Neutral Laws and Punishment of False Cases. Tell me which of these demands you are opposing?

  4. TR

    Poorly researched article full of bigotry. Low conviction means few men are harassed? Low conviction means a lot of accused who were acquitted so a LOT of harassed men. You don’t even know dowry death has a separate law (one which is so draconian that burden of proof is on accused!) called IPC 304B

  5. ML

    You claim a tenth of cases filed are false… yet already mention 30% of cases filed were in fact consensual sex. In which case a minimum of three-tenths of cases filed are false.

    According to your own link – http://www.thehindu.com/data/the-many-shades-of-rape-cases-in-delhi/article6261042.ece – over 40% of cases were dealing with consensual sex, and another 25% (so, not overlapping with the 40%) of cases dealt with “breach of promise to marry” = at least 65% of cases are clearly and obviously not rape.

    I actually came here wanting to give you the benefit of the doubt, but your article has left me less sympathetic to your position than I was before.

    Does this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_ZE1FLywfA – look like a woman afraid of violence from men? To me it looks like a woman so privileged she chases a man to demand he lay down so she can stamp on his head more easily, and he complies = she clearly believes the man is systemically oppressed (hence why she demands he comply with being beaten), and he clearly believes he is systemically oppressed (hence why he complies).

    If one biological sex in India feels entitled to inflict beatings upon the other, then the sex feeling that entitlement appears to be women.

  6. WhoTheHell_Cares

    This article is one big load of blind bigoted BS

  7. Paul Elam

    OK, right, so you actually use a feminist archive for a “source” and women who lie about rape aren’t to blame because reasons.

    No wonder you won’t respond to criticism. You can’t.

  8. Tomas

    Sodomy is illegal in India. Therefore, being raped while male is a crime. Something you omited for some reason.

  9. Sajan

    Bullshit is the response to your article too…enjoy BS

  10. Anon

    “You Have No Idea How Violating and Humiliating Rape Trials Can Be”

    I’m not from India, so I can’t authoritatively speak on the prisons there, but in the vast majority of the world, being arrested and thrown in jail is far more violating and humiliating.

  11. Mrjones

    The official statistics are that 53% of rape cases filed are false. That amounts to a lot of men who are suffering terribly. Why are you offended by men who advocate for this type of injustice to end? Women like you obviously don’t care when injustices happen to men. Why do you expect men to care about injustices that happen to women? Is compassion a one way street in your mind?

  12. Dan

    “Consent that was attained by manipulative methods isn’t consent at all.”

    Lying does not make it Rape. Man lies about his career being an architect but is in reality a Janitor. If a woman decided to sleep with him based on the information at hand and later finds out the truth does not mean she was raped.

    By this standard a Woman who lies to a man saying she is on birth control but is not raped the Man because she lied, even though based on the information he was given he had sex willingly.

    A for your other comments, women do lie about rape both in India and North America. This has been proven many times over, and just recently again in Canada.

    Right now for those women who do make false rape claims that destroy the lives of the men they accuse what is their punishment?

  13. Dennis

    Taking away rights from a systemically oppressed group? Lol. Empty tumblr speak and you and everyone reading knows it. When men are given 60% more time for the same crimes, and 25% as much spent on their healthcare by the government while they die 5 years earlier, you can’t get anymore “systemic” than that. Pretty much all the “systemic oppression” women face is actively opposed by the system.

  14. Saurabh

    The way you are trying to subjugate the voices of people who are trying to fight for the rights of men, that should give readers a fair idea how women are actually subjugating their husbands, any man by misusing these laws.
    If women are not able to use the laws as shield rather than using as weapon, then sorry you dont deserve these laws. We cant have such huge number of men committing suicide too.

  15. Atul Kumar

    It may be self defeating to take extreme positions in such matters. In some cases men misbehave, in some women.

  16. Govind

    The more i am reading stuff written by feminists, more it convinces me that they are nothing more than a bunch of lunatics who have no rational/logic in their arguments. Same goes for this article & it doesn’t deserve a reply to details because people don’t go and reply to every lunatic in mental asylums & Feminism is no less than a mental asylum. Supriya yhanks for reconfirming my observations about feminism.

  17. tehy

    the problem with the feminist argument that ‘oh, it hurts men because gender stereotypes and therefore I AM FIGHTING IT’,
    is that feminists never actually get around to doing that. They just keep saying it over and over as if it makes up for it.

    ‘malignant intentions constitutes rape.’

    what does that even mean? what if I tell you that you are beautiful, we have sex, and then turns out I lied?
    what if you told me i am handsome and strong, and turns out you think i am weak and medium-attractive

    usually feminists at least pretend to fight against this blatant bullshit (keyword PRETEND but at least they do that)
    i guess indian feminists have dropped the act huh?

    ‘But the Women Aren’t to Blame’
    for filing false rape accusations? of course not.

  18. Kunal Kakkar

    Though ur article is senseless
    You have missed three important points,
    1) Why women cry for maintenance if they have the ability to survive on their own,
    2) What about child custody judgements
    3) Why no punishement for those women who file fake cases.
    If 2 out of 5 females face domestic violence then its a shame on women for having low self respect to live at all with their husbands. MRAs keep asking this question when will women become self independent

  19. Aragon

    Some of the claims made in the article and let us analyse the same:

    1. A tenth of cases filed are false !!!
    A: If only 10 % cases filed are false then the conviction rate for all of the cases must be at least 90% but alas that is not even the case. Only 20% of cases where trial is completed resulted in conviction. Now first read that statement carefully, it says 20 % of cases where trail is completed which means it is not all cases filed but only those where trial is completed. So from the document mentioned in the article I draw the following statistics for year 2009:

    2009: Cases filed: 89546 Trials completed: 37323 Convictions : 7380

    This data is coming straight from the mouth of a feminist and it says 7380/89546 cases ended in conviction which is actually only 8.2%. And remember this convictions are only in the lower courts there are still appeals available.

    So using their own data and statistics where only 8.2% cases ended in conviction this loud mouthed feminist still has the audacity to claim that only 10% cases are false. If this is the levelof misrepresentation being made by a person who is vehemently beating their chests and crying injustice then just imagine what is the ground level situation.

    If a careful analysis is made even from the data from the feminists themselves, we would still see gross levels of distortions and misrepresentations made out in each of their claims. I doubt even if Nazis were so cruel and manipulative

  20. Arpit Goel

    And you won’t reply to even a single comment. Was it meant to have a discourse ? It
    surely seems like you do not acknowledge a possible potential existence of a reality different than
    you propose ?

  21. Atit

    doesn’t matter your letter is open or close, fact will remain facts that women are misusing law.

  22. Girl-who-is-not-feminist.

    I pity you. “These were cases filed against consensual sex – evidently they were false. But this doesn’t constitute an attack on men – rather, it represents firstly, the patriarchal notion where parents feel they have ownership over their daughter’s sexuality (no doubt enforced mostly by men, who would say their rights are “under attack” if asked to withdraw their so-called authority); and secondly, the taboo of inter-caste and inter-religious marriage.”
    This is really everything. How conveniently you managed to pass the ball on men and patriarchy.
    And whilst you say you did not find any substantial to back up their declarations, May I ask for yours? When you say things like “no doubt enforced mostly by men” and many more BS that you’ve rambled here.

    PS- If women need rights to safeguard themselves, so do men. That’s equality. Simple.

    you’re one of those feminists who has no idea what feminism is. You cannot say you’re strong and independent and at the same time demand special judicial enfocerment.

  23. Phil McCracken

    Hopefully Indian men simply turn their backs on Indian women. Problem solved.

  24. Partha

    Looks like the author does not know anything that she wrote. The statistics on Delhi rape cases is false as a Hindu article in 2015 clarified this. Their study on rape cases in Delhi showed 40% cases in Delhi were consensual sex and not 30% as claimed here. Coming to consent again the author did not know anything. Recently a Supreme Court lawyer has proved that that there is no sanction to this as a crime in IPC and this is judge (read feminist invented) crime.

    Also authors knowledge about 498a misuse is very less. It is 85% cases that end in acquittal showing the dismal state in punishing these false complainants and encouraging such legal terrorism. The reason 498a misuse if a grave offence is this involves “Law Abiding and Peace Loving” common Indian families and this term them as criminals on mere accusation. The consequences are also very serious on mere accusation. Other laws like murder or abduction mostly involve hardcore criminals and the arrests are not made on mere accusation. We understand that idiots don’t understand that but they needn’t have to pronounce that they’re idiots like this.

    On the point that domestic violence cases are not filed or cases not fought properly the author seems to be ignorant that still men do not have any law to even file such complaints. The day they do we will know how they are affected by such bias.

    In short, this article shows that the author is a moron and the website is a platform used to promote her “Bullshit”. Ignorant, idiots can show the new zenith they can stoop to.

  25. Yet another male victim

    Sigh… when will ‘feminists’ grow a brain

  26. Deepika Bhardwaj

    I have rarely done this but let me do
    this right away – Abuse – because that’s
    the entitlement you think you have as a
    Feminist or a woman or whatever and I
    Am of the same Gender : Supriya I am fucking
    Tired of fucking Feminist rant against MRAs.

    You Fucking have no guts to go challenge DCW
    That released the stat of 53.2% rape cases
    In Delhi false.

    You Fucking have no heart to go meet a
    Family falsely accused, their bahus sitting
    In their hard earned home abusing DV Laws

    You fucking have not spoken to one MRA before
    Writing this so called Open Letter and understand
    What they want

    You fucking have no heart for a young man
    Incarcerated in Jail because of loving a woman

    You fucking don’t want women to take
    Any responsibility of who they are consenting to
    And on what terms even if they are 35 year olds
    Understanding every bit of the meaning of their
    Action and consequences

    You fucking have no sympathy for women who are
    Implicated in these cases sitting thousand miles away
    Settled in their Matrimonial home only to shunt
    Here and there with their husbands being
    Accused of demanding dowry

    You have not read a single judgment where
    Women have turned hostile giving lamest
    Of excuses

    You have fucking read no judgment where
    Truthful testimony by a woman sans material
    Evidence has got conviction within few months

    And you fucking write – cry a fucking river????

    Your tone of the article tells me how exasperated
    And disturbed you are merely because you are a Feminist
    And you have read Feminist researches of historical
    Oppressions of women , just by reading reactions of MRAs
    While you have no clue what most of these
    People have themselves faced in their life.

    Last but not the least – Cry a Fucking River.

    Your own women are betraying your Feminist theories
    Misusing the entitlements and it would give birth to many
    Many many more MRAs. Spoiler Alert – young women are
    Joining the force too because they are finding if difficult to
    Relate to your perennial victimhood narrative!

    Get me a Feminist Tears Mug Someone!!!

  27. Ram Kanumuri

    Oh, So according to the writer men and women are equal but women need protection. Laws should protect women and not men. Kudos to thy equality!

  28. lav

    A load of feminist crap. Poorly researched , prejudiced , opiniated and insenstive misanandric article.

  29. Peter Aremone

    There is something Absolutely EVIL & DERANGED about Feminists like this Supriya Ganesh Character. They have an absolute Nazi-like Inhuman streak of hatred about men & the issues men face.

    This feminist movement is a blot of Human Civilization & an absolute danger to our species – I have not even seen even the worst Patriarchal Misogynist exhibit this level of apathy towards the opposite gender as much as MAINSTREAM Feminists are showing their inhuman side nowadays under 3rd Wave Feminism.

    One only needs to read the wildly popular Feminist S.C.U.M (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto which calls for the eradication of the entire Male gender & for abolishing Heterosexuality.

  30. Victim of 498a and false cases

    It seems a lot of people are now aware of misandry in India. All these draconian laws should be repealed.

  31. Partha Sadhukhan

    YouthKiAwwaz is afraid of publishing our comments. hehe..

  32. Vitesh

    Why don’t you work towards demanding a new country or state for WOMEN !! so that you all can leave peacefully ??

  33. KDS

    So you believe that parents can make misuse of women centric laws? If that is the case then why not punish those parents or the women who slap false charges , Once this clause will comes in effect then False cases will also comes down, Also what about burden of proof of innocence on accused? Don’t we have a legal system that say that let 100 guilty go unpunished but no innocent should be punished
    and if other laws are misused then where are the victims , why not their victims come out and organise even in social media , who is stopping them to fight their battle against the laws which are misused on them . A healthy society can only be made when people have trust on their legal system and not when they are afraid of it , it clearly looks from your perspective that you have no problem w.
    ith khap panchayats or kangaroo courts as long as they favour women

  34. MRABROTHER

    Oh Supriya Supriya!!
    As you are really tried of Bullshit..let me provide u fodder for cow dung!!

    You have written a poorly researched article directed towards MRA’s. Society has changed and though i agree there
    are still cases of dowry harassment , there are far more cases of misusing it.

    You should be vocal of women rights..its ur right but understanding others perspective will make u a better activist or may be a better FEMINIST.

    What’s the need of MRA’s if nothing wrong was being done to them. Why Indore ministry opened a separate cell to take complaints from harassed husbands?

    You want to do real research…Go to the Family court nearest to you and their see how women negotiate for divorce.
    1. Tere Baap ka ghar mere naam per kar
    2. Too mere naam per 1 cr FD mein daal
    3. Agar too bacche se milega to uske liye 25lacs bhar
    4. Too meri aage ki jindagi mein dakhal nahin dega( Mera BF mere aur meri bacchi ke saath rahega )
    and many more…..

    False cases have destroyed families and today courts are known to end relationships and not for mending them.

    Its equal painful for a mother who loose her son in suicide due to false cases as for a mother who sees her daughter get killed due to dowry.

    There’s pain everywhere, but just crying and getting sympathy is what Feminist do.
    As a real feminist fight for betterment of ur clan..educate them..make them work hard for their future.

    And yes coming to false rape cases…..Go ask to the man who spent 7 yrs in jail and then got acquitted as case was false.
    Go ask ? to that judge who gave a punishment of standing “7 hours” in court to women who fled false case.

    U are sick of MRA’s and MRA’s are sick of you……they want to bring change…but u only cry, get up and work for women empowerment.

    Katrina ne Ranbir per , Deepika ne Ranbir per , Kareena ne Shahid per KABHI RAPE DALA KYA?
    unse nahin poocha tumne ki ab chod diya hai to tum rape kyun nahin daalti…….wahan koi poochta nahin tumko.

    #MannMeinAayaPublicityChahiyeToArticleLikhDo

  35. Anmol Khanna

    You’re too foolish to understand ow biased and tinted your view is on this whole issue. Your presumptions
    that all the MRAs are stupid idiots who don’t know their facts and you have to enlighten them about how
    wrong their stand is. You approach states how the ‘patriarchal society’, is to be blamed. Men, are to be blamed.
    But when a woman wrongfully accuses a man of a felony he did not commit, she is not at fault because of
    whatever reason. How (and i quote) are we supposed to stop this “Bullshit” if people like you keep this tinted
    approach towards feminism. I’m all for feminism, but maybe you aren’t.

  36. Manisha

    IT’S A COMPLETELY BIASED ARTICLE SPONSORED BY FOREIGN FUNDED PSEUDO-FEMINISTS NGOS.

  37. sunniman

    Feminist spewing her feminist shit.

  38. Preetam Mukherjee

    report also says that for false 498A cases men are suiciding faaar more than women.. now a days there are lack of adjustment among WOMEN.. yess.. among WOMEN.. they want to protest against each and every thing that parents-in-law say. they think that they have RIGHTs.. but adjustment among BOTH ( yes BOTH) … is the actual accomplishment of a marriage.. it’s true that fake rape cases are there.. but if the case is proved false.. why that “FAKE” girl will not be jailed or HANGED???????? my question to all of you feminists.. & one more thing.. I don’t support dowry or rapes.. but I have seen many women who want to USE their husband as DEBIT card now-a-days.They want “parlour” more than “SANGSAAR” (just a humor) . I have my parents.. & they had to struggle for poverty.. nut they had peace .. We have peace.. but if a girl comes in my life & say that no i will not live with parents.. or I want to have ac in our room.. or I want to SHOP ( even it is completely unnecessary) or I wanna go to parlour every month (unnecessary really though personal opinion) Is these purely necessary from that GIRL???? peace is important for life. 🙂 (p.s. I don’t want to offend any girls but most of them are becoming this type )

  39. Apoorva Verma

    Baseless article ,may be said totally biased.
    From SC to women ministry, women’s commission, government are annoyed by its misuse.
    The law itself proves it’s one of the world’s most vulnerable laws for misuse.
    Misuse is also a crime done with the support of the SYSTEM. It’s the most insane things. It has nothing to do with original crimes, it’s just another crime.
    If the SYSTEM supports crime, it has a very ill effects on the society and indirectly boost up the morale of real criminals.
    Shameful.

  40. Arun Surendran

    Ma’am,with all due respect i would like to assert that rampant misuse of dowry protection provision thrives in the society,Not all men are bad and not
    all women are pious and truthful,the message that this article carries is grossly misleading and at the same time also overlooks ground realities.
    If you launch a probe into this matter,you will probably be shocked at the % of false cases being filed under 498A.This is not to say that all women
    misuse this law but REAL cases are overshadowed by FAKE cases .
    The government should take steps to initiate strict action against those who file fake cases and vindictive damages must be levied on them.
    MRA’s intention is not to outlaw this provision,but it would be to a greater extent,throw light on the rampant misuse of women protection law and the gross negligence that ensues it.
    I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT LAW MUST BE FAIR AND IF “LEGAL TERRORISM” OF THIS KIND IS ALLOWED TO FLOURISH ,THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS CAN BE UNFATHOMABLE.

  41. Arun Surendran

    This seems to be a distorted version of truth,It is high time that self-respecting feminsts acknowledge that there has been a lapse and accept it gracefully.
    Evading it wont help either

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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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