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Why You Shouldn’t Stop Fighting For What You Think Is Wrong

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One of my male friends asked me one day, “Yaar, all your write-ups are very women-centric. Why are you so obsessed and speak of, and about women whenever you write? Why don’t you write about men too?” I just smiled back.

Some of them frowned and asked with aversion if I were a feminist. I laughed and said that I didn’t know.

Some taunted too, in a very witty way. They said, “I would never want you as my girlfriend.” “God, you’re an activist, how can one survive with a feminist like you?” 

“You don’t need to. I am better off single,” I answered back.

Some shouted and some yelled…Why you become too outrageous whenever someone delivers even a sexist comment in front of you?? Hold your nerves and stop flaunting your activism everywhere.

I kept mum, listening everything.

The majority asked with revulsion, “Holy Christ! When did you become a feminist?” “Even I don’t know,” I said with a smile.

Some complained some chose to break relationships and some hurled abuses. With easy passing day, I was losing my friends, especially the male ones. Everywhere I was identified as a bloody feminist!

The feminist tag was agitating me. The word kept continuously repeating in my ears like obloquy. I was feeling the pinch disguised behind the word.

It wasn’t that I had no better answers for their questions. I had a lot to say, enough things to answer. There were many instances, explanations and many more questions to encounter. But one thing even I couldn’t understand was- Why this particular term- Feminist, was being used for me and even for all of them who dares to speak for women.

Being an women when you stand in support for a women in a patriarchal society like we live in, then from that particular time only people starts making fun of you. They classify you as ‘Feminist’, not to show respect but to make you feel embarrass, to make you feel ashamed of your work. Hell! have nothing to do, no goals, Always shouting for equality, useless demands, throwing craps, baseless arguments, obssession,crying, outraging, protesting, hatred… these feminists are just too much!

And it doesn’t even stops here…..Feminist she is? Must have slept with five/ six boys, must be a divorcee, Who’ ll marry her?, deviated from her career, wasting parents money, polluting our culture and bla bla bla….!

Is’ nt  seems a nightmare ? A few months back everything remains quite normal, didn’t have the sexist, feminist, rightist, leftist tags hovering around . But now suddenly everything got changed. Instead of praises, I  was getting all kind of abuses . I had no idea what was my fault. All of I did before was myself , I asked to myself

And kept on asking…….

 Supporting my cousin when she wanted to free herself from a forced marriage, was wrong. And even raising voice against my relatives asking for dowry too.

  • Asking for the re-marriage of my widow aunt in front of her in- laws was wrong. And  even protesting against my father for betraying my mom too.
  • Crying for my cousin sister who was not allowed to study further was wrong .
  • And even questioning my mom for not reacting over this decision of his brother too.
  • The pen and book which i gifted to my domestic help’s daughter was wrong.And even my step to teach her free of cost too.
  • My demand for an explanation from my parents  planning to marry me earlier than my older brother was wrong.And even my decision to marry a boy of my choice too.


  • The day I asked why women fear of moving in dark-empty roads, of getting raped, abused and attacked while men don’t ,was wrong.And even the day I expressed my chaos on why women only have to leave her house at the time of marriage, not men ,too.
  • The question I asked ,Why only women have to  live a colourless life after getting widow, not men was wrong.
  • And even the question  Why only the modesty of a women gets in danger when a rape incident or MMS scandal takes place, not of men.
  • Yes,every question you asked was wrong, every explanation you demanded was wrong. Your courage, your boldness, your movements ,your actions,reactions, writings, speakings everything was wrong. What if you suffered the most being a women and wants to do something better for them? You have no right to  speak and fight for yourself and for themselves who couldn’t.  If you dare to, have  a different ideology or opinion they would break you, torture you, abuse you, starts terming you as a feminist, leftist, rightist, nationalist or even anti- nationalist.
  • Just because you dared to protest,dared to speak. Today if, these abuses are frightening you, discouraging you ,stopping you from writing and speaking then before surrendering think of those women who couldn’t stand for their rights. For whom you were only the light of hope. Think of those little birds who were willing to fly high but needed your words of encouragement.
  • Let them shit.
  • Let them be the hurdle of your path. It is them who are at fault not you. Let them stop you by throwing these tantrums.You don’t need to stop because this is what they wanted. They wanted to suppress your voice but you keep on flaunting your so called “Feminism”, (as they term it). This is how you can show them that what we are!

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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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