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Modi Is Capable, But Following The Govt. Blindly Can Lead Us Into Darkness

By Sourav Mishra:

Every day I receive many messages about how the Congress did nothing in 60 years and how the current government is the best government. While there is no doubt that Narendra Modi is the only person who can carry the nation on his shoulders, we must not forget all other aspects related to our government. Following our government blindly can only lead us to a dark phase.

Demonetisation of ₹1000 and ₹500 notes has stirred up the entire nation and mostly poor people have been affected by this decision, especially by its implementation and timing.

In this article, I have written on demonetisation and about the political situation in our country.

According to the 2011 Census, India has a population of 53.7% which is below 25 years of age. Demonetisation has temporarily resulted in less demand, decline in manufacturing, lesser growth rate and job creation.

According to this report in The Economic Times in 2012, 93% of Indian workers were part of the unorganised sector. They didn’t have a regular or fixed income and demonetisation has severely affected their life.

The time of demonetisation  is a major issue. With the sowing season of Rabi crops around, lack of cash has caused huge losses to farmers. Daily workers, the ones without bank accounts and medical patients are facing the heat but they don’t have WhatsApp or Facebook to express their grief.

According to the Prime Minister, the government had planned this demonetisation for 10 months. Yet, there is still chaos all around. It is evident when the government changes its policy regarding cash exchange and withdrawal on a regular basis since the announcement.

Boosting a cashless economy after demonetisation helps in achieving its goal. Yet, according to this article in The Indian Express, India has a share of 43% of the total number of dormant bank accounts in the world. India has 190 million dormant bank accounts. Around 272 million people in India are illiterate. Even though the United States of America is in a lot better condition in terms of infrastructure and population, many still use cash. In a country like the USA there are electronic frauds as well. If India goes cashless without proper planning and incorporating sufficient security, the situation can become worse.

Despite all this, the people are still supporting the government. But the truth is that thousands of farmers have committed suicide. According to an RTI response by the Reserve Bank of India to The Indian Express, government banks wrote off a total of  ₹1.14 lakh crores, which is much more than what they had done between 2004 and 2012.

Have a look at some of the UPA government schemes – National e-Governance Plan , Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY), Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana (RGSSBY), Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Schemes by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government – Digital India, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Swacch Bharat are renamed, repackaged and relaunched programmes of the UPA government.

UPA government introduced MNREGA and the Aadhar card. But at that time, the opposition led by BJP opposed both. Even after taking oath as Prime Minister, Modi criticised MNREGA and now he has made Aadhar card compulsory for many government schemes.

According to a report by the Labour Bureau, unemployment rate in India has shot up to a five-year high of 5% in 2015-16, with the figure significantly higher at 8.7 per cent for women as compared to 4.3 per cent for men

BJP opposed 49 % FDI while in opposition, but now they have introduced 100% FDI in many fields. Despite FDI and the Make in India campaign, India showed marginal improvement this year in the ranking of ‘Ease Of Doing Business Index 2016’ released by World Bank.

When in opposition, the BJP targeted and labelled the then PM as the weakest PM over ceasefire violations. There have been ceasefire violations in the last two years as well. One of the achievements of the BJP government is the surgical strike done by the army, which government claimed to be the first of its kind, but several reports and military officers have made it clear that even under the UPA government, the army had taken part in such strikes.

Now, those who say that nothing has been done in the last 60 years should ask a simple question. How many dams, bridges, roads, ATMs, banks, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, trains, airports, satellites, educated people, malls, towns, industries, and PSUs India had in 1947 and what does it have now?

People should not forget all these works done by previous governments. Comparing NDA with UPA makes no sense because UPA has faced consequences of corruption and the loot it did. But it is time to judge and think about the NDA government based on its promises and actions. I am not an expert but if actions by our PM can make us achieve our dreams as a nation, I will be as happy as any Indian.


Image Source: Chip Somodevilla/ 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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