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

The Man of the Masses- Devendra Kumar Gupta

Delhi Government’s indiscreet fiasco causes thousands of young girls to surrender their education!

How would have you felt had this been a true news?

No, No I am not at all going to discuss a Fictional story and waste all of our’s time.

This entire sentence that you have read as the opening of this article was about to turn into reality. In today’s time when Prime Minister Mr. Modi is promoting “Beti bachao, Beti padhao” at every possible dimension, Delhi government’s ignorance was going to cost approximately 1100 (eleven hundred) girls, their education.

The only reason why this dreadful fiasco was firstly brought to light and then stopped was Dr. Devendra Kumar Gupta.


In a shocking chain of events in the Sanjay Colony area of South Delhi, due to an absolutely careless move by the Delhi Government more than a thousand young girls were about to drop out of school after six months.

The issue induced out of the relocation of a government high school under which these girls are enrolled as students. The school has been shifted to another building which is 7-8 kms away from the current location at Fatehpur Beri under the facade of reconstructing the building. To reach the new school the only route is via a deserted road that runs through a dense forest. The parents of these students were extremely apprehensive about their daughter’s safety and future, and were trying to convince the state officials otherwise but to no good. To worsen the situation on the same deserted patch a young women was raped in bright day light just a few weeks ago.

Dr. Devendra Kumar Gupta, Founder and President Ladli Foundation, got to know about the situation on one of his visits to the slum and took charge immediately. He left no stone unturned to make sure that the girls did not have to give up on their education and were safe while working towards their future. Along with his dedicated team and the support of the residents he finally won the battle and the school did not get to relocate.

“Talents of an individual can never be concealed behind his age.” Dr. Devendra Kumar Gupta lost his parents and his only source of protection at the tender age of 10. He became the sole bread bearer for his remaining family at an age when children don’t even eat by their own hands; He had the responsibility of his remaining family which consisted of his younger sister and elderly grandmother.  He worked at a medical store as a runner and sold balloons on traffic signals, had to leave school so that his sister can go to school. He had decided very early on life that he was not going to be what his circumstances wanted him to be rather he would be what his parents would be proud of.

He joined Red cross India at 18 and learned first aid professionally, worked for various campaigns and his dedication towards his work made him the youngest Commissioned officer with the Indian Red Cross society in 2000.

Having seen slum life from a very close proximity he knew what he wanted to improve. At a nascent age of 20 he formed his first NGO Josh ek Umang, he rehabilitated more than 1000 boys from the clutches of un-prescribed drugs. At a time when a developing nation like India needed its younger generation the most to achieve what is called a more stable lifestyle for its citizens, this bunch of people was becoming a liability to the their families, society and the country.. This also led to an increase in the rate of criminal activities in the vicinity. What else can one c expect anything from “penniless pockets addicted to drugs”.

Devendra with his group of like minded people initiated “Drives against Drugs”. He got in touch with the Police authorities, approached the pharmacists to refrain from selling the drugs without prescription and filing RTIs resulted positively. It was a huge struggle to achieve the positive outcome, but Devendra and his team’s success was so loud and clear that it garnered massive media attention as well. These young men were not only given a new life but were also enrolled for various Jobs by Devendra.

Devendra’s brain child “Ladli Foundation” is a Non Governmental Organisation which has been working towards the betterment of the status of women & girls in our society. Ladli provides, Computer training, English speaking classes and vocational trainings to a batch of 250 girls every three months in a year.

Multitudes of women have been enrolled for respectful jobs via Ladli Foundation.

Ladli Foundation organizes a “Mass Marriage” ceremony every year, so far more than 600 girls have got happily married. The grooms go through a police verification to make sure that the girls are not being married to a wrong individual. After the wedding every girl is given the basic commodities of up to Rs. 1 lac for a new life. And Devendra has not taken any Governmental aid for this activity.

There are various projects which are being conceptualized under Ladli Foundation and Devendra has no plans to stop before achieving what he has dreamt of.

He has brought to light so many cases of treachery, corruption and wrong doing that enlisting all of them here would be a difficulty.

Starting from his fight against the Gas Dealers in Delhi, the fraud in Delhi Government schools, saving the jobs of the pitthus (luggage carriers) in Amarnath yatra and bringing to the nations knowledge the illegal felling of huge number of trees during the Commonwealth Games, Devendra has brought in positive changes in every vertical of life.

He resumed his education at a later stage and very recently he was conferred upon with a Doctorate by IVP University,Bnagalore for his immense contribution towards the society.

He lost his own Mother at a very young age, but gave wings to so many women’s dreams that today his Mother’s blessings and love reach out to him in form of these women’s words. He did not get a chance to call a place a happy home for a very long time, but today he has given happy homes and families to a large number of people.

Share his story not because its Unique, but because its every Indian’s story!

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.

You must be to comment.

More from Udisha Mishra

Similar Posts

By vigorpopg

By vigorpopg

By Concert Care

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        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.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’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.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below