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Five Ways to make this world a better place

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I used to be one of those kids who was hellbent on changing the world for good. I was a true ‘discovery channel’ enthusiast and used to spend hours watching shows about nature, global warming, depleting icecaps, poverty and hunger etc. My contribution at such a young age was using less water, switching off appliances when not in use, not throwing garbage around, I used to do everything I could to make a difference. Then teenage happened and I got convinced on seeing the vast population doing nothing that my efforts aren’t gonna make any difference, so I stopped. I stopped with every small effort I used to do, stopped with saving electricity, not throwing garbage around, I genuinely stopped caring as it wasn’t making a difference. My assumption on my childhood concept of changing the world was that you needed to be an influential figure or a political honcho to make a difference. Slowly but gradually I’ve realised that it’s not the case. You don’t have to be Mahatma Gandhi or Katherine Hayhoe to make a difference. You have to start with yourself first and keep doing it, rest will follow. So here are the top 5 ways through which you can contribute to a better planet as well as a better future for the coming generations.

1) Saving water: This is the only usual topic I’ll be including in this article because I think that pollution and other technical problems are widely debated on but water is something that hasn’t received the amount of attention it should’ve had. Here’s a fun fact for all of you readers. 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are water-stressed. While you’re enjoying your hour long cold shower, millions of people are struggling to acquire enough water to survive. Prediction has been done by various media agencies and scientists, who’ve come to the conclusion that the next world war can be over drinking water, which is suffering through immense depletion. So before you come clean by saying that your efforts of saving water won’t make a difference, remember that you’re contributing towards the third world war by not doing it. How to save water?

It’s pretty easy. There are various small ways in which you can utilise water in smart ways. Using bucket of water instead of shower, atleast thrice a week, will help you save hundreds of liters of water every month. Washing your vehicle with a bucket of water instead of using waterpipe, using water used in rinsing vegetables to water plants, closing tap while brushing, infact, closing any unused running tap anywhere, will help save thousands of liters of water every month. Imagine, if you alone can save hundreds of liters of water every month, how much of it can be saved if everyone starts doing it. That is why it is said that every effort counts.

2) Inculcating patience in ourselves: I guess the one thing we really need to inculcate in all of us is patience. We lack patience in everything. Patience is not only going to help us in accomplishing our goals to make this world a better place, it’ll also help us in developing relationships that connect us. This era of mankind is full of violence, wars, terrorism, there is just so much negativity that the mankind is in a dire need of peace and calmness. Patience will help us achieve ways to tackle all these problems with ease and once everyone develops the quality of patience, there would be a world so good that violence will look like a mirage of yesterday.

What better way to showcase patience than a meme.

 

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow

What even..

WHOEVER LOVES FRIED CHICKEN, SAY OYAAA. OYAAAA. Sorry. 

3) Care: One thing that I feel is missing in the present world is care. People have stopped caring. ‘Nobody cares’​ is like the tagline of the present generation, again something not to be proud of. Caring is not weakness as it is shown, but it’s​ something that requires courage. It takes guts to care for something, to genuinely worry about something. If everyone just starts caring more, the world will take such a wonderful turn that it’ll be heaven on earth. What we need to do is care, care about the depleting ice caps, care about the wastage of water, care about the pollution, care about the violence, care about how we treat people. What if everyone starts caring?

The gigantic change that will take over the world would be splendid. Every problem will be tackled with great ease once everyone will come together to make a real change.

https://youtu.be/eRLJscAlk1M

Here’s a link to the video by Prince ea delivering a strong message related to planet earth.

4) Ending procrastination: Let’s accept it together. Humans are pro at procrastination. We procrastinate on anything and everything we can. This procrastination is certainly visible when we see what people are doing to curb global-warming. Yes, they aren’t doing anything. The global-warming has brought down havoc on planet earth, resulting in increased temperature, unusual season cycle, annihilation threat to polar animals. Considering​ all this destruction, humans should be working towards curbing the effects but all we do is rant about it for a while and then forget it. We need to stop procrastinating and should start doing something about it right now. Do whatever you want to do, to contribute for a better planet but start it the moment you decide to do it. Don’t procrastinate, else your procrastination will result in further devastating effects that won’t reverse themselves.

Here the never is never getting back the lost Beauty of earth.

5) Having hope and faith: Now comes the most difficult way of them all. Clinging on to hope and faith during dark times is one of the most difficult things to do. The dark times this world is facing right now will shake anyone’s faith and hope that the damage can’t​ be undone. You need to have your faith intact that this world will get better and keep on working, and giving your hundred percent to it. You’ll be amazed to see the results of your efforts sooner or later. Just have the faith that your efforts won’t go in vain and similarly, have the hope that you’re going to change the world. Sooner or later your efforts will mix up with the efforts of your fellow humans and will bring such an enormous betterment to this world, that you’ll be amazed at yourself.

We are responsible for this planet that has given us so much. We owe it to mother earth and therefore it’s our duty to give back, and insure the betterment of the planet we reside on. Every effort matters, so start now and help bringing the change.

Btw here’s a blog from two of my very talented fellow bloggers called the psychedelic backstage. Here’s their work titled ‘Aftermath of the mighty boards’.

https://thepsychedelicbackstage.wordpress.com

Do read it and share. Cheers!

 

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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 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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