This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Amrita Sunita Anand. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Ministers Break Your Bubble, please. Its Toxic For My Country !

Disclaimer – its not about BJP or Congress or any other party
most ministers need to come out of their “bubble” and face the real situation rather than practicing data presentation in a manipulative way or are farmers are just for gaining sympathy votes? why the one who grows does not gain profit and everyone else gets profit?

This is angry post loaded with facts. I connect dots and see patterns to make strategies mostly to formulate solutions for better living, better for India and globally. Sadly, sometimes I see patterns and can only shout it out in hope that it will be heard. This is one such shout out to all the – people and people representatives at State Assemblies & at the Parliament. Call it a open letter that will be “tweeted” to begin with.

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh quoted the farmers struggles in the British time as one of its kind in the world (read more here This was at a gathering at National Farmer Fair in Champaran, Bihar in April 2017. While, the honrable minister was quick to remember the past it seemed that he turned blind eye to the present protests or maybe did not use the past knowledge to reach out to the farmers as Ghandi ji did. As, mentioned in his own speech.

I am not going to write in detail about what has already been recently written i.e. the farmers protests in Madhya Pradesh & Maharastra. What i saw and everyone can see is that the matter became worse and worst.

Firstpost wrote – Maharashtra, MP farmers’ protest: How overconfident BJP failed to see farmers’ discontent, mishandled agitation

“The farmers who are agitating for fair prices for the produce… party leaders openly advocated strong police action against the agitators….on 6 June, there was firing which resulted in death of six farmers…On tuesdayinternet was shut in few districts…”

Dailyo wrote - What incited the farmers' unrest in Madhya Pradesh: Explained in 10 points

“…1) Nine districts in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region are on the boil after police firing killed five farmers during protests in Mandsaur. The farmers are more united in this belt since Indore (sabzi mandi) happens to be the commercial capital of the state. The nine districts are Mandsaur, Neemach, Dhar, Khargaoun, Dewas, Indore, Ratlam, Ujjain and Badwani.

2) The unrest had been simmering for over a year now….”

BBC reported how the farmers died and post death events …Curfew in central India after farmers die in clashes with police

Hopefully, you must have heard of the protest by Tamil Nadu farmers about 40 of them recently protested in Delhi for 40 days. They did all they could to get attention and action. From holding live mouse in their mouth to dead snake.

This not the recent avalanche of farmers protests. They have been protesting for long and suffering for longer. How the one that has been growing for several generations is poorest of poor and the the packages the food rich?

The question is why are our representative still so insensitive and haven’t been able to solve the problem? e-NAM open auction still charge 4% commission from the farmers.

While the country is literally burning with one protest after the other the ministers found time to go to Israel ! “..Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri S.S Ahluwalia, visited Israel on 4-5 June, 2017. Apart from Shri Ahluwalia, 10 MPs representing 9 political parties from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, were part of the delegation…” Read more here. And when was the protesting farmers shot?

I have so far quoted 3 recent farmer protests in the country from 3 different States. Agriculture being the roots of the society. Since April 2017, why were we not able to show and give support to farmers adequately? Or prepare well for reaching out?

Yes, this is write up is more about questions than answers. As, we need to question everyone (in the government & the opposition) when farmers die of bullets, when citizens out on the road with hope die of bullets. The food produced by those dead farmers might be still in circulation.

More important to question when I read that the minister is not in farmers rally yesterday but in a yoga event.

Small action for you and me? Please go local buy from farm, mandi (vegetable or fruits markets) rather than packaged food that comes processed in tins. Lets keep asking questions, be aware of situation till it improves as there is always hope in my heart. Thank You !

For the record, a total of 3,18,528 farmers have committed suicide in the past 21 years across India – which means 1 life in every 41 minutes.

For govt. data on farmers suicide –  click this

Watch – The Web of Farmer Suicides 

Read & Watch – positive story with innovative take

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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