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Not having good face,I blame upon God, but she thanks….

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Like other girls, I wanted to be stunning at face, but something that changed my prospective.Three years ago, I depressed myself for not having beautiful face. Not to go anywhere, I scare to face people with my bad face. Indulging myself in the school and house chores build me up. Not having beautiful face, I used to be sad. I used to blame upon god for my face. I didn’t want to show my face, not to upset anyone through my look as I considered. This is not by birth. My mindset fell down so negative via an incident  in school. Three years ago, some boys called me ‘A girl with a ugly face’. Not even once , but all the time. I couldn’t say anything except falling the tears. I got victimized of their rubbish call name daily. Gradually, I became negative day by day,But I knew one  thing,  was to be lost in study. Sometimes, I recalled about the painful scene of classroom, where the boys used to call me’ black berry’.  After passing tenth with good marks, I got admission  in a new college for  further studies. I was pretty dedicated for my work. Being Plodding, I got surpassing marks. I had so many friends, but no one could change my negative prospective towards of my look. Everybody appreciated me except my negative thoughts.  A girl named Riddhima, came to me. Riddhima was junior of mine, on keeping fabulous dancing. I heard her name in the school. She won the state level competition. I praised  her dancing. After it,we used to meet daily.

Time changed but my negativity remains dread in the heart, I startled still to go any party. Time to time,my friends and junior Riddhima used to come in my house, as they knew my fear of facing people. On the 14th Feb, she invited me for party.  She insisted me a lot, but as usual I refused to come. Next day, I was going to market, suddenly I realized my hand held. I turned my face to see . I got to know it is Riddhima. ‘Ohh it’s you Riddhima’ I said. ‘Di, today I want to lump you with someone’. ‘But to whom?’ with surprisingly I questioned. ‘Let’s  go di’ holding my hand to show something. We ran. After walking tour, Riddhima stopped me in the corner  of road and said with pointing the small house on the other side ‘See my friend Jasmine. Jasmine had ungainly face, still she was happy. In childhood, someone on rushed on her through acid.  Losing one eyes, Jasmine is still happy to get one eye at least. She pleased to meet people and they too felt plausible to meet her. She had not a big dream, but to make money for completing her family’s needs.’ I was  listening very attentively to Riddhima. She called Jasmine. Jasmine got at where I was. ‘Madhu, meet my friend Jasmine’ said Riddhima. She introduced us. We talked for a while. I had drawn in her positivity. My heart was saying ‘How positive she is, even not getting not eyes. I blamed upon god for not giving me good face, but what about those people, who always be happy not having anything. They  love their life not like me. I felt , Her positivity was ejecting my negativity for face. so, I called Jasmine ‘you are a positive lamp’.  She  replied ‘Ohh, not I am. It’s god, who thought me deserving for this beautiful life. I got everything, a beautiful parents, house, and people’  Her thoughts insisted me to lay off negativity from the heart. Jasmine went off.  I said to Riddhima ‘She is awesome girl by heart and brave too. Today, it’s big day. I determined myself, I will not cast a blame upon god.Yes, Jasmine is right, god has given beautiful life to featured people. Now,I felt pleasant to discard my enemy, negativity. Thank you dear’. Riddhima pleased to listen it, then said ‘I wanted you to change your mindset on your face, Now you changed.’That’s a big change in my life. I was totally overcasted by the negative rays. Jasmine, that girl helped me come out. She had a soft heart with intellectual mind made her different from others, in spite of not having one eyes and good face. I transmuted myself, seeing the condition of jasmine.

 

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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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