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“We Will Help You Fly, Dear Students Of Christ University”, A Teacher’s Perspective

By Om Prakash:

We will help you fly, Dear students

My objective here is to mention some of the least publicised positive aspects of our university which I believe will help those who stand for hard work, professionalism and the development of higher education to reflect upon and consolidate their thoughts. Anyhow, the points mentioned below are based on my personal observations.

  1. Christ University has never advertised in any medium for the recruitment of students. Students apply here for admissions based on the experiences and information they receive from the alumni and current students. It is a fact that a considerable proportion of the students in the university’s UG programmes are from the Christ PU college in the same campus and a sizable proportion of students opting for the PG programmes are those who have completed their UG programme in the same campus. Their interest to continue in the campus shows their love and recognition for the system and campus life here.
  2. Christ University is offering scholarships to many students from economically backward classes (I, myself, have recommended deserving candidates in the past) which is rarely found among many other educational institutions. It is important to note that we also have a free midday meal programme for students from economically backward sections of the society. Therefore, it is naïve to say that we are least concerned about the requirements of students.
  3. We never advertise our placement records. But, hope that the numerous students who have been placed through our campus placement cell are the better ones to judge it.
  4. I agree that our programmes are hectic and require extra effort from students to excel in them. At the same time, most of them are aimed at the benefit of students. Moreover, it is not only the students who are made to work hard; faculty members also have to undergo many orientations and attend refresher courses and Quality Improvement Programmes (QIPs) to equip themselves to excel in their professions. If we look at our faculty attrition, some are leaving the campus fearing workload.
  5. When many educational institutions keep a policy to increase the tuition fee annually, Christ University has not increased it since 2013 for Humanities and Social Sciences though we have a huge demand for admissions in this stream (hope this is the same with other streams also; but I am not sure).
  6. As mentioned in some other posts, it is very easy to announce a holiday. But, who will be benefitted? Is it not the duty of any contributing citizen to appreciate the efforts and work the maximum? Many countries have already banned Strikes and Bandhs and resorted to much productive means for grievance redressal. I think, we need to understand the loss of revenue and human resources to the country if we stop working for a day.
  7. Anyhow, I understand the difficulties that some students might have faced to reach the campus in the absence of public transport system. But, anybody interested in contributing towards the growth and development of the society must be ready to bear such struggles for the larger benefit. However, our university has given attendance to those students who could not make it, on days of transport strike, by producing a copy of their bus pass and teachers are ready to personally help them understand the syllabus covered.
  8. Dear students and friends, take a minute and think about the real intentions behind the rules and regulations of our institution. They are made to benefit us. Of course, if any of them is contra to our interests, we have appropriate forums to discuss them. It is our responsibility not to allow vested interests to capitalise on our uncritical reactions. I respect all your views. In fact, as a teacher, I am proud of the way you have articulated your views. I appreciate you all. But, my only concern is the cause for which some of you stood up. Please ask your conscience and think twice before reacting to provocations.
  9. Our university is one of the most reputed institutions in the country today. All of us must take pride in that. It is made possible because of the sincere efforts of many people in the past and present. Today, we are also reaping the benefits of their hard work and fame. It is understandable that how much one has had to struggle to build an institution of eminence like this. It is unfortunate that we seldom get people and their support to build an institution but there will be many to throw stones at them once built.

                                                                                                                                                                              Om Prakash L T

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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.

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Read more about the campaign here.

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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.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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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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