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When Junaid Jamshed Died, So Did A Part Of Pakistan

The well-known singer-turned-cleric of Pakistan, Junaid Jamshed is no more. A dreadful news which has left many speechless after the recent plane crash. PK-116 took off at 3:30 p.m. from Chitral and went missing near Abbottabad soon before the plane crash. He was with his second wife among the rest 40 passengers and 5 crew on the ill-fated plane. He was in Chitral on a preaching tour along his wife.

Jamshed was one of the few public figures who had made a drastic change in his life after attending an Islamic preaching session of a famed cleric – Mulana Tariq Jameel. Mulana saw him in a Pepsi advertorial and decided to convince Jamshed to quit his music career. Mulana is known for his persuasion skills and has previously guided Bollywood star Aamir Khan in Hajj rituals. Jamshed has said on numerous occasions that he chose this life because his previous work was not allowed in Islam. This statement got him a lot of hate on a large scale especially in the music industry of Pakistan.

Though he got full attention from Islamist political parties and circles, his previous colleagues were not in favour of his change. His contribution was sublime in the history of Pakistani music. He gave an esteemed song – “Dil Dil Pakistan” – which actually gave an identity to Pakistan on an international platform. In fact, the song was counted in a BBC poll in 2013 as the third most famous song of the world.

But the divided nation of Pakistan did not have courage to appreciate his contribution. Jamshed’s voice expressed the emotions of a whole generation of people born in the mid-80s and ’90s. He sang romantic as well as national songs, but he was guilty about singing romantic songs after meeting Islamic scholars. He believes that because of his romantic songs, the young generation of Pakistan was straying from the right path, therefore he started preaching Islam and for this he regularly went for sermon tours across the globe.

In the past few years, an extremist Islamic culture is growing in Pakistan vigorously and because of this Pakistani music and film industry has totally collapsed. Moderate values of any society are evanescing in Pakistan.

Jamshed was one of the personalities of Pakistan who had clearly impacted the youth, but his many statements were enough to make a Pakistani youth follow him with their thoughts of moderate Islam. Jamshed, had come under severe criticism from religious segments of society after his controversial views about the wife of Prophet Muhammad. Jamshed issued a public apology after the video shared on social media, leading to an investigation into suspected blasphemy. Soon after that Jamshed left Pakistan and lived in exile for several months.

At the same time, moderate youth of Pakistan stood up against the appeal of extreme religious scholars on applying the blasphemy law on Jamshed. Despite all his controversial statements, the youth of  the ’90s will miss his songs, especially “Dil Dil Pakistan”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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