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

Dear Girls, your mom dad are concerned for you, they aren’t suspect of you

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“Where are you, still?”,

“Mom, I’ll be at home within 30 minutes”,

“OK, come back before your father comes home.”

And she couldn’t come even after 1 hour, because she was stuck up in a meeting. This time, her dad called him, and she was frightened. How would she answer him? She was already running late by about an hour. And by the time she reaches home, it would be about 2 hours late than the time she promised.

“Where are you? It’s been 8.30 PM”,

“I was really stuck up papa, will be definitely back by 9.00 PM”,

And her dad hung up the phone without uttering a single word.

She was scared, tensed and unsure of how she would face her dad. She had been out of home for about 4 hours now as she had went to an event along with her male friend. She had promised her mom that she would come back by 7.30 PM.

Before sending her, her mom had reminded her several times, “You need to come back by 7.30 anyhow. I talked to your dad and he has allowed a relaxation of only 30 minutes post 7 pm. You know his concern about you, so please don’t disappoint him.”

“Yeah mom, I know this. And I too don’t want to breach the relaxation. As soon as the event gets over, I’ll be back at home.”

And for another uncountable times, she wasn’t back home on time. It wasn’t as if she deliberately breached the relaxation, but just that her meeting continued a little longer than expected.  

So finally, she was heading home now, nervous, scared and frightened. She didn’t know if her father would be angry.

“What questions would he ask? How would I reply?”, she kept thinking while driving her vehicle.

“But no, the reason is genuine, he’ll understand. He loves me more than anybody else and is concerned only about me. So yeah he’ll understand my genuineness.”

With a whole world of thoughts in her mind, tension in her head and scared eyes, she entered her home. Her dad was sitting in the drawing room and was watching some news on TV as she greeted him.

“Papa, sorry late ho gayi, actually event thoda lamba chala”,

Her father didn’t react. He ignored as if he didn’t listen anything. That frightened her even more.

“Really sorry, papa, aage se aisa nahi hoga”,

“Go to your room, change your clothes and have your dinner”, he said only this to her.

Later that night, she woke up at about 12 pm to bring water bottle from the kitchen, when she saw the lights of her mom dad’s room ON. They were conversing about something.

“You shouldn’t put so much restrictions on her. She could be genuine, event could have been delayed genuinely”,

“I have nothing to suspect about her genuineness. I know she is right in her saying. But you know what, I am worried about her surroundings and the world we are living in.”

His father continued,

“I am worried about her. She was with a male friend of her about whom we really don’t know much. We don’t know his intentions, about his family, the event in which they went, the ambience of that café, and whether that boy was genuine enough or not.”

“See, we know our daughter is matured enough and smart enough to deal with this problems, but you never know who all could trap her.”

I know, many of the girls don’t like their parents to put some restrictions on them regarding time or place etc., but mom-dad do it out of their concern for you, not because they are suspecting you.

Our parents always cover us by an extra layer of protection, that is very hard to break. We may be good friends with somebody, but our parents don’t trust them till they meet them in personally or know them well.

And even if they know them, they find it hard to trust them so excessively that they can allow their sweet daughter to be with him at so late in the night.

Yeah, I too think that daughters shouldn’t be restricted so much that they can’t even be outside home after 8 PM. Sometimes time isn’t so in your control that you can be at a desired place at a desired time always. Relaxation must be given to the restrictions if the children (and not only daughter!) has given some reasons that seem genuine.

Another thing, that I highly disagree with Indian parents is their mentality that these restrictions are there for a girl only till she gets married. After she is married, it is her husband’s discretion to set the restrictions for the girl. Really? She would be even more restricted once she gets married. Let her enjoy her life before marriage – so that she can cherish that moments.

I wouldn’t say that girls should be allowed to do whatever they want. I also wouldn’t say that mom and dad should put some huge restrictions.

But there should be something that can be beneficial on both sides. A girl should be allowed to enjoy but with some advice (and not order), from her mom and dad. Since mom and dad are the best evaluators of somebody, if their instinct asks the girl to remain distant from a boy, it shouldn’t be neglected.

At the same time, the girls should understand that their parents aren’t becoming a barrier. Their concern towards her is becoming a barrier – WHICH IS REMOVABLE BY MUTUAL CONVERSATION AND TRUST.    

 

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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.

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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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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.

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