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

An Open Letter To The Makers Of A Highly Sexist New YouTube Series – ‘Life Sahi Hai’

More from Shivangi Singh

By Shivangi Singh:

Dear Makers of ‘Life Sahi Hai’,

I am writing this letter to describe what I went through while watching the two episodes of your latest, so-called “new age” YouTube series based on the lives of four educated, independent, employed young men living in what seems to be a metro city. Ideally, I should not have had any expectations from the makers of as sexist a movie as ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’, but my heart still leaped at the chance of watching a web series created by the same people out of sheer curiosity and with the foolish hope that maybe they were capable of gaining the respect of women viewers as well by at least trying to dish out something less misogynistic. Needless to say, my hopes were crushed and how!

By now, I am sure you would have rolled your eyes, labelled me as a “feminist” and mentally taken a note of ignoring the whole letter. Pay heed, for I am much more than just a feminist. I am your regular Indian girl who has faced rampant sexism and misogyny right from the moment I was born and just like most other Indian girls, I too have fought tooth-and-nail on a daily basis against the shackles of patriarchy that bind our very existence. It is, hence, highly discouraging and even depressing for someone like me, to watch such sheer and blatant objectification of women in what the makers think is ‘humor’ meant for the boys in a ‘comedy show’.

Watching your YouTube series has raised many crucial and pressing questions in my mind. Being bombarded with misogynistic cuss words with sexual innuendos at the rate of three per dialogue was a pretty harsh one to survive. I am sure you felt that it makes the series more “realistic and relate-able” but in my 24 years of life, I have never come across a person who uses as many cuss words in a single sentence. To me, an experienced YouTube viewer, it seemed as if you were trying too hard to make your web series appear ‘cool’ by overusing lingo people resort to in dire circumstances only. I can choose to look beyond the cuss words but what I absolutely will not stand for is the choice you are making by presenting women as objects to be lusted after.

I wonder why the first shots of all the women characters in the show so far (which are: the maid, the boss and the girlfriend) have been their breasts, butt and legs, precisely in that order? Why is it that every time a female character utters any dialogue in your series, you choose to focus the camera on her body instead of her face? What do you have to say about the highly skewed screen time ratio of the women’s breasts, butt and legs combined to that of their faces? Why is it that you do not even care to name your female characters and instead choose to refer them to as “The Maid” and “The Boss”? Why have you failed to develop a strong female character in your web series or are you trying to tell us that men exist in a society where women appear only to provide sexual gratification to men? Why are there almost no dialogues given to your female characters?  Most importantly, why is it that a web series promising wholesome entertainment to men focuses only on certain body parts of women, using them as sex objects, selling vulgar and cheap content under the label of ‘hip and cool’, strongly and shamelessly promoting misogyny and sexism and getting away with it? Is this really what all men are like? Is this what they truly like to watch? Is this the kind of comedy that truly makes them laugh? Is lusting after the maid and staring at her breasts all the time really as relate-able for men in India as is showcased by your web series? Is controlling your uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances towards a woman who works for you really as difficult for men as your show portrays? Is sex really the only solution to “cool down” your female boss? Is this how well-educated, earning young members of our society truly behave? If so, I apologize for getting swayed under the influence of #NotAllMen.

“With great freedom comes great responsibility” and you need to understand this. Media is a mirror of the society. It also shapes what is acceptable and sets the norms. Scientific research suggests that the influence of media on human behavior is very strong. Being a film maker, it is your greatest responsibility and duty to ensure good content in your films, which does not promote an environment that harms the society or isolates and harasses a gender. You may have the convenience of not having Pahlaj Nihalani on your back shouting for cuts or a censor board suggesting your series be banned for vulgarity (even though films like ‘Grand Masti’ proudly strut about on the silver screen) but that does not give you the license to promote sexual harassment by glorifying it in various ways. Patriarchy breeds rape culture and what you are showing in your web series influences the youth. Sexism and misogyny are both directly linked to sexual harassment. Through your YouTube series, you are indirectly but very strongly promoting rape culture by strengthening and re-enforcing the sickening patriarchy in our society.

Through this letter, I do not aim to guilt-trip you but merely critique what went horribly wrong with the first two episodes that made my stomach turn! Trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say that watching such gruesome misogyny on YouTube which is supposed to be a progressive media platform, made me sick and wondering whether this is truly how men in my society are, paved the way for worrisome, sleepless nights – as would happen with any individual (regardless of their gender), who cares even a little about the society they live in and the impact sexist shows like yours are creating on it.

I hope you move on to a better brand of humor and find something other than your female character’s breasts to focus on when trying to create a comic situations. More than anything else, I wish you were empathetic enough to realize the pain and struggle associated with being objectified. As a suggestion from one film lover to another, I would highly recommend that you watch this brilliant, eye-opening YouTube series by YRF called ‘Man’s World’. May be this series will inspire you to become a little sensitive towards the gender you so blatantly project as sex objects for the visual gratification of your male audience.

Here’s hoping you receive my message and stop with the morbid sexism, misogyny and objectification in your YouTube series.

Sincerely,

A traumatized viewer

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  1. Kalyan Saha

    there is something called taste and linking..with all due respect to the point of view of the writer i just want to say if u find it sexist and objectified towards women,plz dnt watch..there is alot of shows.that suits ur personal liking like mans,world or ladies room..etc..but to be very true..this is a show for entertainment,,plz dnt realy drag these serious angles to this.

  2. Shashikant Shukla

    To the extremely traumatized and victimized writer, tum se na ho payega! Since when have we started calling Rape as a culture?People like you–being “Feminist” and I don’t know what do yo call them who are supreme to that–are all stupid things country has been tolerant toward. I don’t want to waste my time explaining each and everything to you, so I’ll go in brief.

    But…wait, are you single? Coz I would never date a girl like you. And most men are like me, they love breast, butts, and legs (oh my….) so much.
    Girls are beauty. Boys have no specific criteria to fall for, could be your figure, money, sweet behavior, achievements or loneliness of a guy. You might have gone through different experiences around you, but that doesn’t sum up for all. Breasts, something my dad might have been fond of earlier or may be still he is, it doesn’t make him rapist. I admire boobs, butts, legs and almost 80% of the men in the world follow the same. They are not running here and there to rape. The series depicts reality. if it provokes you, dirt is in your head.

    You seem immature in your views, possibly because you’re 24, just 24;1/3rd of an avg women’s life. Don’t conclude bullshits and stop looking for opportunity to raise your voice now and then. You should watch web series called ‘Girliyapa’ instead of “Man’s World”. It seems you enjoy looking at men in pain (now don’t infer that I have no idea what women go through). Lot of dialogues have been given to girls in Girliyapa..happy listening to their voices…and it was not Punjabi guy’s Boss in the series. He can get laid even with my boss, only if I had one. Anyways, in scenario, where you find your boss (m/f) fucking with your roommate, nothing in the whole world can calm the situation down for roommates, who are also the employees under him/her ;)….sex does cool you down!

  3. Shivangi Singh

    Mr. Kalyan Saha: Thank you for pointing out that it is a show for “entertainment”. This is precisely the question I was trying to raise in the article. How is objectification of women “entertainment”? Is this truly what an educated, Indian youth should find entertaining? Most importantly, would you ever enjoy watching or find “entertainment” in a show which objectifies men, portrays them as sex objects or gives you close up shots of their genitals when they are talking? No! You would feel offended and disgusted, just like any normal human being would be. Hence, my views on the show.

    “Don’t like it, Don’t watch it” argument is profoundly baseless. It is like saying, oh, you don’t like what is wrong with the society today? Just ignore it and it will go away. Talking about issues, bringing them to light and highlighting what is wrong with shows like these helps us, as a society, move towards finding solutions to challenging problems. Since the show makes portrays women as nothing but sex objects, there is a very strong need to “drag serious angles” into it.

  4. Shivangi Singh

    Mr. Shashikant Shukla: Your comment is so hilariously stupid, I don’t know where to begin responding!
    The fact that in this day and age you are completely unaware of the very commonly used phrase “rape culture” shows that either you have never bothered to watch the news or picked up a newspaper in your entire life or that you waste your time watching shows such as these. You really, really need to know more about the issues/world before you misuse the internet and blurt out nonsensical things like your comment above.

    The second line of your comment shows you have absolutely no idea what “feminist” means. The fact that you used the word “supreme” in the same sentence with feminist is enough to keep me and all other feminists laughing all day long. Kindly put your internet to better use and actually try finding out what a word means before typing it out. Also, again you really, really could use a newspaper or a subscription to one online.

    Thank you for letting me know you would never date me. I am much relieved and thank my lucky stars for saving me from what would have been the worst experience of my life ! Thank you for clearing up that “men like you” would only date a woman based on her physical assets. Probably, this is why “men like you” have the time to waste on the internet, commenting such things on the internet in stead of being on actual dates. You know what they say, “If a man only wants you for your legs, breasts and thighs, send him to KFC!”

    “Dirt is in your head” Says the guy who just mentioned that he only wants a girl for her body and has only graphic thoughts running through his head at all times. Seriously, dude! Think before you type!

    And after all of this you call me “immature”. Heights of ignorance! Wow! You really are stupid.

  5. Karminder Dhody

    Shashikant Shukla: Thanks for putting your ignorance at display. Now we know why pathetic shows like these get labelled under “comedy” and become “famous”. Men like you (who shamelessly put forth that they only want a woman for her breasts and legs) are the kind of audience this show has. Needless to say it is truly cheap as it reflects the level of its audience.

  6. Carpooling Wash

    This is a good article. Someone had to say this! The objectification shown by shows like these must come to an end. This show is sexist so it will be called sexist. No doubt there.
    Actually, people who are writing against this article are the ones who enjoy watching this cheap brand of comedy, they actually like it when women get objectified. Sad!

  7. Savita Singh

    Shashikant: Before telling the writer that you won’t date her you must really ask yourself which girl in this universe would like to date you with such a disrespectful attitude towards women?
    Any girl would be extremely happy to have you or as you put it, “men like you”, not interested in her. There are way too many creeps out there anyway, we don’t need the attention of any more creeps.

  8. Abhishek tiwari

    Dear ‘traumatized viewer’

    I am not writing this comment to oppose you in any sense, I like the fact that you felt something like ‘life sahi hai’ is not delivering a good message to the youth, to the society but you too need to understand that
    ‘Life sahi hai’ was not meant to deliver any social message, it’s a show that’s meant to for entertaining purpose. You don’t have to be so harsh on the makers for it.

    I know girls go through a lot in this country doesn’t mean that you’ll make it a base to criticize some fictional drama. I won’t say that I understand your pain, coz I seriously can’t, but what I feel after reading your letter (and not just the first paragraph in which you’ve openly challenged us to consider you as a feminist I am talking about the complete letter) is that ‘You really are feminist’ . You want that everything in this world should happen for girls and you are not wrong you want equality that is something we can’t fight against but just a show of some genre shouldn’t have provoked you to stand up to your right and fight for all the ‘Girls in the country’.

    When you refer to it as misogynistic and sexist, it’s disappointing. And trust me when I talk about guys, they are perverts, they are cheap, they stare at breasts, legs or whatever a girl shows but that doesn’t mean that they are having any evil intentions. It’s something that attracts them in a good way. A bee gets attracted to a flower doesn’t mean it’ll harm the flower, People get attracted to money doesn’t mean they’ll put it on fire in a similar kind of way guys gets attracted to girls and vice versa and its a good thing I believe, even though it sounds gross.

    Another example of you being feminist is that, to the guys who have replied to your letter, you didn’t seem to take it in a very good way. The only thing you did was to point out mistakes in their comments which apparently you are going to do with me as well. I could go on and on about it, but may be after you get all raged up against me on your next comment. All you need to do is take a chill and just enjoy the show rather than worrying about the youth and learning from everything that comes in front of your eyes.

    PS : I agree on the fact that its not that funny or mind boggling but its still a good time pass.

    Sincerely,

    A random Guy

  9. Shivangi Singh

    Dear ‘random guy’ aka Abhishek Tiwari,

    Thank you for writing a long letter in response. I really like long letters and wonder when they went out of fashion and got replaced by straight-to-the-point comments. I mean, obviously in response to an article, we must write a comment at least that long to get the author’s attention. Why make it short and crisp when you can make it long and pointless?

    You say you are not writing this to oppose me and yet that seems to be the sole purpose of your comment. Point out where I used the phrase “social message”. If you think this is what I am trying to say in this letter then you have missed my point by light years. Hence, in the very beginning of your long letter (oh wait, it was a comment) you proved that you have not understood this piece of writing and yet resorted to comment on it. As far as the “entertainment” point goes, kindly refer to my reply on Kalyan’s comment above. I have the same question for you: If a show showcased men in this light, focusing on specific parts of their bodies in stead of face and only depicting them as sex objects would you ever consider watching it? Absolutely not! You would label it as “gay” and criticize it heavily. Probably blame “feminism”. Hence, you do not get the right to tell me this is “entertainment”.

    You seem to be informed and aware about the problems women face in the country. Yet you seem unaware of the fact that media plays a great role in setting gender norms in out society, as has been proven by sound scientific research. The last paragraph of my letter talks about this. So, what you call “fictional drama” is actually shaping minds and behavior. You, being aware of what women face in this country, really wish for a society which perpetuates more crimes towards women? Do you really want a world which only views women as sex objects? This is what your long letter in the name of comment is saying!

    When did I say I am not a feminist? I am a proud feminist! I think you seem to have confused the definition of feminism because on one hand you talk about how equality is needed and then you say I want everything in this world to be about women. Pray, tell me, how on Earth did you get this insane idea from this letter? Where have I said that everything should be about women? Or is talking about removing objectification of women in a show asking for making it “all about women”? If you think so, please research more on gender issues and broaden your perspective. Also, how is it that you wrote that I want everything to be about women and equality in one sentence? Making anything all about one gender is the opposite of equality. I don’t want it to turn into a show for women, neither do I want it banned. I just want the objectification of women on the show to come to an end.

    You said I should “trust you” that men are “perverts, cheap and they stare at breasts” and then you say I am wrong in calling the show sexist and misogynistic? Have you ever googled “misogyny” and “sexism”? The characteristics of men which you just mentioned are a large part of misogynistic behaviour and sexism. Thank you for proving that I am absolutely right about the show! It truly is sexist and misogynistic, as you just showed me. Also, if men are perverts how can you be sure they do not have evil intentions? Again, google “pervert”.

    I don’t need examples to prove I am a feminist. I am a proud feminist and feminism is all about gender equality which you seem to have confused with “making it all about women”. I have merely responded to the comments coming in on a piece that I wrote. As a writer, it becomes my responsibility to respond to your comments. I am responsible for what I write and hence, I am also responsible for clearing up the doubts of people with opposing views. I am not getting “all raged up” but merely doing my job by replying to the comments. “Take a chill and just enjoy the show” Yeah! You try enjoying a show which objectifies men! Refer to my response on the “entertainment” comment above and the question I raised therein. Try watching a show which shows men only as sex objects and then I will come to you and say, “Just chill and enjoy the show” You will learn how I feel then!

    A “good time pass”! Sure. If your taste is this bad. Re-refer to my response on the “entertainment” comment and the question raised therein. Watch a show which objectifies men and then we will talk on whether or not you felt it was a “good time pass”. Till then, stop the mansplaining!

    Sincerely,
    Not so random author

    1. Abhishek tiwari

      I am not any author, Nor I have any intention in being one. May be I said things which offended you(obviously they did) but my intention wasn’t that, I had no intention to come out in negative way, and it happened just because I am not that good in crafting my words as you’re (and You’re Welcome). My only concern was that a show like this should not be a base to discuss a massive social issue. Gender inequality exists but its just not for one single gender its for both or all.. And I am not here to defend myself in any sort. I totally agree with what you said. May be my line ‘Men are perverts’ came out wrong but that was not what I wanted to say. My point is the more you use the word ‘feminism’ and ‘sexist’ the more weaker you show yourself and it seems like the female gender wants something out of pitty. And trust me Its not that. There is much more to the equation. Since you’ve not walked in my shoes, you don’t know what I have experienced, I have been through, it might be a bit hard for you to understand this :

      I want girls to be as free as men are. No boundations, No judgement on their character, They should be allowed to do anything a man does, there should be no boundaries and everything they deserve should be given or rather they should snatch it from us. But this apparently create hate for the male gender. I can see all the hate you poses against us. You’re a feminist, Good, but that doesn’t mean you’ll start hating the male gender. All Feminists speaks against the male gender. AND may be the definition of a feminist is different but what it really interprets is ‘HATER OF THE MALES’ . and what I personally feel is that gender inequality affects both the genders may be you feel it against you, I feel it against me.

      Just an example : I was earlier working with a big firm, I used to tell the people about it proudly. I, then quit that job and now I am working with a smaller firm, A start-up basically, nobody knows about it, but when people ask me where I am working, I tell them this “I am working at this small firm, Its a start-up by two girls, and it is so awesome to work under them” and the reactions has always been like. “Wow, its so cool”, “Those girls must be ambitious” and many more good things I get to hear and I feel really good about it but when you just raise a social issue based on a timepass web series that is I guess not a fair point.

      Your whole argument is base on the fact that this thing shapes our mind, May be we should stop watching everything then, stop reading everything, if our mind is still a clay which can be molded against us. May be tomorrow you’ll say ban Game of thrones because it gives tips and tricks on killing people burning cities. Its all fictional, nothing of this sort can affect a well educated person. If he is raised well he would use his mind to do things rather than getting affected by these craps. I know my this response is quite contradictory to the previous. But again my only point “An average web series shouldn’t be a base to raise such a big social issue” .

      *This is irrelevant to this issue* (So you can stop reading if you want)

      You said I need to improve my taste, I am the same generation who prefers reading novels like
      ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ , ‘To kill a mocking bird’ or self help books like ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ and other classic stuffs over all that fictional Rom-Com crap which are published in India. Watching movies like ‘The shawshank redemption’ , ‘Steve Jobs’ , ‘Masan’ , ‘Manjhi’ all the classic stuff. I prefer listening ‘poetries’ ,’Ghazal’, ‘Quwallis’ all that stuff.. I know I didn’t had to mention all this but just it feels good every time take those names. So you don’t have to judge me or on the basis of something on which I said is a good time pass..

  10. Karminder Dhody

    Abhishek Tiwari: “Men are cheap, perverts, they stare at breasts” and they don’t have any evil intentions? HAHAHAHA 😀 Funnier still, after writing and understanding this you say it is disappointing that she called the show sexist and misogynistic? Joke of the century! How can you write something so contrasting in just two lines? ROFL

    Shivangi, your response to his comment is simply brilliant! The witty sarcasm was cherry on top of a very well-written response. You are a great writer! Waiting for more articles by you.

  11. Shivangi Singh

    Abhishek Tiwari: Since most of your latest comment is irrelevant, as you rightly pointed out, I would only respond to the relevant part. I didn’t say media “should” influence our minds. I said, it already does influence our minds and behaviour. And while I am not in favour of banning anything, I believe media portrayal which hurts the sensibilities of a community or gender must be discouraged always.

    1. Abhishek tiwari

      Since you can’t understand all the relevant stuff , I suppose you replied to the part for which you could think of some answer. Since you’re a writer I thought you’d be much more sensible about things and you’ll always welcome criticism and advice but it clearly seems that you’re not very much into that. I guess you are a writer because you want to bring a change in people’s mentality or a change in the society if your answer is yes then criticizing and raising a social issue like ‘Gender Equality’ on the basis of a fictional world ain’t gonna help you. Get into the real world, look out for all the problems all the genders face everyday and then write something about it. Don’t just base your speculations on two episodes of a fictional drama. May be you should watch ‘Men-The Forgotten Gender’ and see how much research has been done there and how brilliantly Deepika Bharadwaj has brought it to the world.

      Oh wait !! May be you’ll call it irrelevant as well, since it’ll be totally opposing your thoughts.

  12. Carpooling Carpooling

    Abhishek Tiwari: Boy! You seem to be suffering from attention deficit disorder 😀

  13. Rati Pandey

    Well written piece, Shivangi.
    I,too, felt traumatized after watching this show. I wonder how can they create something so anti-women. It is truly a horrifying show. What is worse is that here a few pathetic people are trying to defend this show. India truly is “No country for women”, sadly.

  14. Jai Prakash Singh

    Yet another brilliant piece by Shivangi! Much power to you girl!
    Hope your message reaches the mentally sick show makers and the even sicker men who are shamelessly trying to defend this show.

  15. Aman Saxena

    Dear Shivangi,

    First of all, sorry from all men out there. This show indeed is sexist and so are maximum shows made for men. I feel bad that women in this country have to go through something like this. I hate that there are men commenting on your article who are trying to defend this show. It is both sad and terrifying.

    I apologize from all men for making this society so unbearably sexist. It seems that human evolution has gone back several steps.

    I applaud you for having the courage to write this letter to the makers of this show. Unfortunately, mansplaining plagues are society and the online community today. No man or woman can write on feminist issues without being ridiculed by the so-called “real men” and even certain women perpetuating sexism and patriarchy. I would request you to not get bothered by such anti-social elements and continue writing on gender issues. More power to you!

    I sincerely hope your message reaches the makers of this show and they have the good sense of discontinuing the objectification of women in their series.

    Sincerely,
    A Good Indian Man
    (Yes, we do exist!)

  16. Virat Saraswati

    This show is cheap, BORING and so not funny. The people who watch it have zero class.
    No, making cheap fun of women does not make men laugh. Harassing the maid by ogling at her in a weird manner is not something decent men do.
    Shivangi, you are absolutely correct about this show being objectifying and sexist.
    But don’t worry. This show is so boring and cheap that it won’t become too popular anyway and that is some good news!

  17. Shivangi Singh

    Dear Aman,

    Thank you so much!
    I really needed to hear that 🙂
    I hope the makers of this show stop the objectification of women ASAP. That is the whole point of writing this.

    Much Love!

  18. Shivangi Singh

    Virat Saraswati: Haha 😀 Thanks for saying that! And yes, I quite agree. It is unbearably boring.

  19. Karminder Dhody

    Aman Saxena: Well said, bro!
    Yes, the good Indian men exist.

  20. Carpooling Wash

    Aman Saxena: Thanks for re-instating our faith in men!
    The cheapsters trying to defend this show must learn something from you.

  21. Rati Pandey

    Aman Saxena,
    Thank you, man! Wish there were more men like you.

    Virat: Haha 😀 I agree, this show won’t be that popular.

  22. Adhitya Ganesan

    Can one of you please be a darling and notify me when the second season arrives

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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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