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6th June 1929 keeps a deep significance in Indian history with relation to nation’s freedom struggle. On this day, two brave heart revolutionaries and HSRA leaders Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt came up with the Court Statement related to Assembly Bomb Case. In today’s time this statement is the most relevant analysis of our present condition when a dictate on right to food is in headlines. The excerpt from statement is as follows…

Bhagat Singh was asked in the lower court what he meant by word “Revolution”. In answer to that question, he said) “Revolution” does not necessarily involve sanguinary strife nor is there any place in it for individual vendentta. It is not the cult of the bomb and the pistol. By “Revolution” we mean that the present order of things, which is based on manifest injustice, must change. Producers or labourers in spite of being the most necessary element of society, are robbed by their exploiters of the fruits of their labour and deprived of their elementary rights. The peasant, who grows corn for all, starves with his family, the weaver who supplies the world market with textile fabrics, has not enough to cover his own and his children’s bodies, masons, smiths and carpenters who raise magnificent palaces, live like pariahs in the slums. The capitalists and exploiters, the parasites of society, squander millions on their whims. These terrible inequalities and forced disparity of chances are bound to lead to chaos. This state of affairs cannot last long, and it is obvious, that the present order of society in merry-making is on the brink of a volcano.
The whole edifice of this civilization, if not saved in time, shall crumble. A radical change, therefore, is necessary and it is the duty of those who realize it to reorganize society on the socialistic basis. Unless this thing is done and the exploitation of man by man and of nations by nations is brought to an end, sufferings and carnage with which humanity is threatened today cannot be prevented…Revolution is an inalienable right of mankind. Freedom is an imperishable birth right of all. Labour is the real sustainer of society. The sovereignty of the ultimate destiny of the workers. 

As a citizen I feel presently there’s no other problem bigger than Cow Slaughter Ban or Beef Ban. Every nook and corner has only one issue, how to obstruct slaughtering of Cow (Cattle). An elected Government with clear electoral majority at the helm is trying its best to dictate all of us what to eat and what not to eat merely based on faith and sentiments. It is an attempt to dismantle our Sovereign, Democratic, Socialist, Secular, Republic into a Rabidly Intolerant Fascistic Hindu Rashtra which can be only done by imposing ideals of Manusmriti.

ATTACK ON SPECIFIC CLASS AND CASTE– Ban of Cow slaughter strictly got focus in state of U.P after Yogi Adityanath, a Hindutva hardliner was seated as CM. The closure of illegal abattoir as cited by Yogi Government is just a vague concept because all slaughter houses are being controlled by Municipal Corporation. So point of illegal occupation is a bluff to all. The effect of cow vigilantisms is being felt by lowest strata of society who also belong to low caste. Physical assault on Muslims, cattle transporters by Gau Raksha Dal is a day to day activity. Asia’s biggest leather market in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh with 5 lakh people mostly Muslims, Dalits are under heat of unemployment. One third of Leather tanneries in Kanpur have closed since 2014 with steep employment decline of 50,000 approx. The Dalits of Kolhapur are the worst sufferers, as hides are not allowed to enter market. The Kolhapuri Chhappal Industry in Maharashtra, practically the most successful “Make in India” model was killed. A large scale government sponsored unemployment resulting livelihood crisis prevails. The communal card of BJP- RSS always gets strengthened when the class consciousness is attacked and by ban on cow slaughter, the most vital hardworking class of society is put under stress. This forms the bed of visceral animosity.

INDIAN FARMERS AT RECEIVING END Decision of Modi Government to ban procurement of animals from market place for slaughter will adversely affect India’s poorest farmers and the economy of livestock which saw structural shift in agricultural sector which is worth more than Rs 3 lakh crore. Keeping aside the loss of revenue from export, this decision is a direct onslaught on local economy of livestock. Since decade, lakhs of farmers have consciously switched over from crop to livestock.

The economics of the dairy industry has undergone uncertain turbulence. If the milk producer cannot get rid of an unproductive cow, he/she will have to feed it for the rest of her life. Since the number of unproductive cows will be equal to productive ones, the quantity and cost of feed will double.  This will increase the price of milk too. In fact milk price will increase even more as the demand for feed will double and its price will be pushed up. This will also divert land to fodder production and less of other agricultural commodities will be produced. Their prices will also go up. Cattle transportation has become riskier due to hooliganism of Cow Vigilants or Gau Raksha Dal. Just due to these brutal attack, dairy farmers will suffer loss Rs. 3,000 crore. Every week there is a cattle market gathering in each district of state of U.P. Mostly buffaloes are being sold in each district. After this economic onslaught the whole farmer community (non-minority) came under attack. These attacks are affecting lakhs of people from Dalit and farmer communities. Just for sake religious faith, an elected government is putting lakhs of lives on stake. The imperialistic nexus between market economic fundamentalists and socio religious fundamentalists is on toe to sideline and crush the working class of our nation. It is being done by creating a false binary based on religious sentiments. Everyone is busy calculating how much hurt it feels when a cow is slaughtered but at the same time these people become numb when lives of millions of downtrodden is being badly hurt. A systematic sociopolitical plot against low class (Working Class which also belongs to low caste like Dalits, Mahadalits, Tribals) and low caste people has become Modi governments top priority. This has created a sharp polarization between different strata of society. A misleading communal, divisive narrative through newspapers, debate TV, Twitter, Whatsaap, Facebook, etc is rapidly taking ground which has no connections with reality.

Above examples and conditions very aptly match the concern which was being put by Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt eight decades ago in their court statement. These visionaries of freedom struggle if alive today, would have been in grief by acknowledging such insane conditions for the real sustainer of the society neck dip in peril and mayhem. The system of exploitation of man by man undertaken then by British rulers is now being gracefully carried by Indian rulers. The divide and rule policy is best in use by a religiously fundamentalist government. If thought rationally, every move of development will be proven to be a bogus political gimmick which in reality just has enlarged the difference between rich and poor. This economic terrorism with socio political communal character needs to be defeated by people’s mobilization and movement. A powerful stabilized political alternative to this communal politics is need of the hour. Keeping aside greed for power, the entire political class must unite to save the human race from this poison of hate. The idea of India of our beloved revolutionaries deserves to be safeguarded and enriched by equality and universal brotherhood for all.

Down with Communalism

Down With Indian Fascism

Long Live Revolution

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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.

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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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