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An open Letter To Lenskart’s CEO : Please help Kashmir

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Dear Sir,

At the onset, please accept my warm regards. It gives me immense pride and joy to be part of this great organisation which has had a short but very colourful and exciting history. Writing this letter at this time has an important reason, we have earned approximately  ₹50cr, by selling 3,00,000 eye glasses and sun glasses in June 2017. It is only your passion and determination which has made ‘Lenskart’ the fastest growing eyewear business in India.

Drawing lessons from your zest, I braved a closed national highway and the harsh situation in my native land Kashmir and walked hundreds of miles for a job interview with Lenskart. After qualifying for the job, my dream has taken a practical joyous shape, and I pledge to serve with full fervour this great name.

Today, with a rapidly growing business reaching out to over 1,00,000 customers, taking more than 5000 orders per day in a month via a unique combination of a strong online business and uniquely designed physical offline stores; as well as a first of its kind ‘home eye check-up’ service, Lenskart is revolutionizing the eyewear industry in India. Unfortunately, in  Kashmir, there are no Lenskart stores despite masses facing severe eye problems due to pellets fired at them to control crowds. The pellets and stones are causing havoc and drastically affecting the softest part of human body i.e. the eyes. The option of the online market is limited in Kashmir as courier and internet services often remain disrupted. It is a burning need to have a dedicated Lenskart store opened up in Kashmir, a move which will benefit the company as well as the people.

Our commitment to consumer satisfaction and innovative technologies have given us tremendous support from those who believe in our cause. One-third of our population needs glasses, but due to lack of access to proper facilities, they do not have access to them. So let us make the beautiful valley of Kashmir the part of our success story.

I hope you are aware of the pain and torment caused to the eyes due to pellets and other lethal/non-lethal weapons used in Kashmir. In the recent agitation of 2016, Insha Mushtaq, became a huge symbol when the child hailing from south Kashmir lost both her eyes due to pellet guns. Scores have been blinded leading to a humanitarian crisis. It is the call of humane duty for Lenskart to provide their services in Kashmir. We should participate in easing the human pain in Kashmir and considering our great journey, it does not seem like a big task.

It is said that humanity is above everything whether it be religion, business, caste, colour or creed. It is only humanity which assures universal brotherhood when some nefarious element for petty interests leave no stone unturned to distort this magnanimity. This open letter full of warm regards and high hopes should be treated with humanitarian considerations because I belong to a piece of land, where one can easily feel the humanitarian crises, i.e. Kashmir.

The deadly pellets have maimed young people in Kashmir, blinding hundreds. Victims are being forced to travel to far away cities like Hyderabad and Chennai for eye treatments, due to the lack of advanced facilities in the valley. The poor are worst victims of this carnage as it is proving expensive for them to get treatment outside the valley. I’m a witness to the fact that some unconscionable merchants see this as an opportunity to mint money. I as an employee of this great initiative am hopeful to take this mantle forward in right direction and open a store in Kashmir.

Being a Kashmiri, sometimes it becomes hard to get a good working environment. The incidents which happen with Kashmiris on a daily basis in different organisations of India make lots of us give up. But for me, it is different; I have been working with the organisation for the past seven months and never have I felt any discrimination. From the very first day, my trainers and co-workers, Vinay sir, Tarun sir, Akansha ma’am, Simranjeet Singh, Gagneet Singh, Mr Mohit Arora and also Palvi Singh have been fantastic. These people too see Lenskart not only as a business initiative but as a means to serve the people.

I hope you take my suggestion and help innocent Kashmiris.

God bless us all.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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