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A Quick Look At DU Election Candidates To Help You Make An Informed Decision


Elections in Delhi University are analogous to Game of Thrones with few major houses (parties), fighting tooth and nail for the Iron Throne (DUSU leadership). Even if stakes are lower, desire to dominate the halls of power and the ambition burning in the eyes of candidates is quite similar. The only difference between GoT and DUSU elections is that the people of the realm get to decide who sits on the throne. This makes the job of voters very crucial as they are giving these candidates a wild card entry into national and regional politics. Amid the chaos and confusion, making an informed choice becomes a herculean task – which is why here is a list to give you a chance to know your candidates better.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)

ABVP is a student organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and has been winning the DUSU elections for the past two years consecutively. ABVP’s has promised to fight for numerous issues in order to make student life easier. Some of their key promises include printed mark sheets for all the students, health cards, and improved infrastructure, fully AC 24×7 reading room in both north and south campus, better implementation of the Room Rent Control Act and WiFi facilities.

The party’s presidential candidate Amit Tanwar, is a graduate from PGDAV and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Hindi from the same college. Priyanka Chhawri, candidate for the post of Vice President, is a student of Laxmi Bai College and has also been assigned the role of ABVP’s National Executive Member. Ankit, a student of Delhi University and an active participant of the various movements and protests conducted by ABVP is their candidate for the post of Secretary, while Vishal Yadav, a graduate from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm College.

These Ballot numbers might be useful, if ABVP is the party you are planning to vote for:

President: Amit Tanwar (Ballot No.1)
Vice President: Priyanka Chabri (Ballot No.4)
Secretary: Ankit Singh Sangwan (Ballot No.2)
Joint Secretary: Vishal Yadav (Ballot No.3)

Source: ABVP/Facebook
Source: ABVP/Facebook

National Student’s Union of India (NSUI)

The student wing of the Indian National Congress, has been losing at the battlefield consecutively for the past two elections. Just like last year, NSUI has promised to provide students with affordable accommodation. They plan to launch a website that provides information about safe, secure and inexpensive Paying Guest facilities around Delhi University campuses so that it will be easier for students to look for staying options. NSUI’s plan of action also includes measures to make DU safe for girls by installing CCTV cameras, deploying women constable outside colleges and setting up committees against sexual harassment in all colleges. This year, the party’s list of candidates include Nikhil Yadav, a student at Faculty of Law for President, Arjun Chaprana for Vice President, Vinita Dhaka for Secretary and Mohit Garid for Joint Secretary. Apart from Nikhil, all three candidates are first year students at Delhi University.

Here’s what you need to remember if you are going to vote for NSUI:

President: Nikhil Yadav (Ballot No.5)
Vice President: Arjun Chaprana (Ballot No.2)
Secretary: Vinita Dhaka (Ballot No.3)
Joint Secretary: Mohit Garid (Ballot No.2)

Source: NSUI/Facebook
Source: NSUI/Facebook

All India Student Association (AISA)

AISA is the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation. In a passionate speech by Kawalpreet Kaur, presidential candidate for AISA, she reiterated AISA’s slogan “Lado padhai karne ko, padho samajh badalne ko” (Fight to study, study to change the society). She also talked about numerous problems faced by the student community at large. AISA plans to solve those problems by fighting for more DTC buses, better infrastructure, active grievance committee and committees on sexual harassment. They also plan to further its movement ‘A room of my own’, to ensure hostels for all the outstation students. AISA is the only party with three women candidates this year – Kawalpreet Kaur, a Faculty of Law student, for President; Amrita Queen, student of MA in History at Sri Venkateswara College, for Vice President; and Ankita Nirmal, student of Ram Lal Anand for Joint Secretary. Amish Anjul Verma, a student of MA in History is the party’s candidate for the post of Secretary.

Here are the ballot numbers which might come handy if you are planning to vote for AISA:

President: Kawalpreet Kaur (Ballot No.3)
Vice President: Amrita Queen (Ballot No.1)
Secretary: Amish Anjul Verma (Ballot No.1)
Joint Secretary: Ankita Nirmal (Ballot No.1)

Posted by Kazim Irfani/Facebook
Posted by Kazim Irfani/Facebook

The election dynamics change every year – and this time there are only three major contenders in the race. The election advisory committee has also decided to give voters an option of NOTA or None of the Above for the first time which can prove to be useful for people who feel disillusioned by student politics.

Featured image source: Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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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