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Comparison on 3 Years in Power

On 16th April 2017, BJP celebrated its 3rd year of historical victory in 2014 Lok Sabha election. Modi led BJP get the simple majority and after 30 year any political party was able to get the simple majority in the lower house of parliament. BJP won due to strong anti-incumbency against UPA government and due to the personal charisma of Mr.Modi

Today when I look back and compare both the BJP led NDA government and Congress led UPA government. I found that NDA is doing better where congress was performing miserably bad and Congress was better where BJP is performing poorly.

Let’s analyse my argument on the different socio-economic parameters. On Economic parameter and corruption BJP is doing better than congress, during the congress inflation was very high and it was close to double digit. Now, it is down to comfortable 4-6% bracket. Balance of Payment (BoP) shows improvement although the much of credit goes to the falling international crude oil price. The delivery of schemes is improving, thanks to use of ICT technology by Modi government. Road construction per Km per day has improved. There has been no case of policy paralysis as was during the last three years of UPA years. So far, no big corruption charges at higher level as against 3G, CWG, Adarsh scam etc. of congress era. Allocation of Coal blocks and 4G spectrum through auctioning which proved to be windfall for government exchequer unlike UPA first come first serve policy where there was a lot of scope of favouritism and corruption. Electricity shortage, coal production all improved during these three years although for coal production the environmental clearance was given at much faster rate whose impact can be analysed only after 10 years from now. BJP gives the hope and optimism to the people which missing during the UPA tenure.

On Social front BJP failed miserably, today’s society looks divided on various lines, particularly, along religious lines, take social media as a proxy, you can clearly predict in many cases the comment user made just by looking the name or precisely, the surname. If the surname is associated with Islam or Christian the comment is mostly against BJP and if the surname is associated with Hinduism the comment is mostly pro BJP. So, there is a case of religious tension in the society which is against the core nature of our country. Government failed miserably in Kashmir, the situation is turning out be of late 80s and 90s. The UPA government scored well on all of these fronts. UPA was able to control both the Kashmir’s matter and was able to maintain the social harmony in the society. In case of rural development, UPA scheme was well directed for ex in MNREGA they try to create job in rural area and boost the local village economy by providing employment unlike DDU-GKY where job is mostly available in cities. On Nationalism, there is no difference left between the State and the government today and both are used as synonyms but in principle both are different. Anything against the government is deemed to be against the state to be declared as anti-national. Due to this type of misinterpretation the people are labelled nationalist or anti nationalist which further creates division in the society and create another level of tension, this kind of division was unseen in previous decade, although BJP is gaining through this and it helps them to create a vote bank. Even on foreign policy front BJP only able to scores less than Congress. During both BJP and Congress governments, relationship with USA improved but during BJP our relationship with our two most important neighbours worsened and reached to a new low. Although Modi tries to find some new ally and succeeded to certain extent but on the most important front relationship with neighbour BJP score poorly in comparison to UPA. The autonomy of educational institution was threatened during the Mrs. Irani stint as a HRD minister whether it was the resignation of IIT-Delhi director or JNU incident. Although BJP was never among the favourites of intelligentsia and liberals but BJP faced criticism from intelligentsia and liberals. During Congress also institutions like Nehru Memorial Museum and library were degraded but IITs, IIMs, JNU remained untouched.

After the comparison of both the governments I believe that the most important factor which has been missing in the Indian politics is the strong opposition. In either of the governments, strong opposition was needed to check their functioning. The third alternative is also required as both the national parties performed on one front and failed on other. Mr. Rahul Gandhi asked BJP “What are you celebrating for”?, there are numerous reasons for BJP to celebrate but there are far more issues for opposition to check the government and expose them in front of people. So my question from Mr. Gandhi why are you sitting idle and waiting for opportunity, rather than trying to create an opportunity?

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

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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