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I am a student from the very well known university Jamia Millia Islamia. I have been staying in the old hostel of the university which is commonly known as “Hall of Girls’ Residence-old”. Like every other girls’hostel, we also have to follow certain rules and regulations, for example, the curfew timings at our hostel are 8PM, which I find is too early because we are adults now and we know what is right and what is wrong for us.

Now, I am coming to the point I want to make here. I want to let everyone know what unfair and unofficial activities are being supported by our new provost “S.Azra Khursheed” at the hostel premises. Recently, there was an article on the homely feeling provided by the new provost at the hostel on 10th of June 2017 in Delhi Times. Let me tell you, that was all fake. The reality is what I am stating now. The following is the reality about the new provost –

  1. The provost is very rude to the students. Her behavior is inappropriate and disgusting. She always gives hateful and misogynistic comments against the girls. Not only girls, her behavior with the workers is not good at all.
  2. She has occupied the hostel land illegally. There is a lawn behind the AAA hostel which she has occupied. We are not allowed to go there. Before she was living in the hostel, we had the access to that lawn. Also, the AAA hostel does not have any common room, but there was no issue because the hostel lobby used to solve the purpose. But the very day Azra Khursheed
    became the provost, the main door of AAA was closed on her order. And the area which was a common room for the girls, was named as committee hall. This area is locked since that day and all the couches, tables, coolers and one AC , is closed. It has been three months that the girls are using the back door as the entrance to the hostel. The way to the back door is shabby and filthy. The girls are not even allowed to enter the committee hall. The furniture which the girls used every day for many years is now locked for stupid reasons. It feels very humiliating to use the back door. It is very clearly seen that the hostel lobby is illegally occupied by the provost. Also, The AAA hostel doesn’t have any ventilation except that front door. Since the door is closed, there is suffocation in the hostel. Even if the lobby area has to be used as committee hall, what is the issue if the front door is opened? She does not have an answer to this question.
  3.  Every day she comes up with a new rule that obviously is not student friendly and there is no consideration given to any student. Her common dialogue is that either you follow this rule or vacate the hostel. Our most of the time is wasted in doing the things according to the rules proposed by her.
  4. Officially there is no guest rooms because already the hostel is short of rooms and every year, there are many girls who are left without hostel. But the provost is giving rooms to the outsiders on guest basis unofficially and there is no record of the money which they are earning from the guests. So, where is the money going?
  5. In the history of the Hall of girls’Residence, this is the first time that the provost is living inside the hostel campus. Provost is not available whenever we need to talk to her. Even if she is there in the hostel, she asks girls to take appointment and then come to her at the office timing. So, why is she staying in the hostel?
  6.  All the facilities have degraded in the hostel and the number of residents has also increased, so there should be some relaxation in fee. But there is no such relaxation.
  7. At the time of Ramadan, an iftar party was organized by provost in which there were around 50-60 guests who were invited by the provost. They were served special food and dessert and the girls were served the normal dinner. Again, the question is the party was organized for whom?

All I want to say is that we need a provost who reorganize all the old rules which are not student friendly. We can’t make this point in front of anyone because we have the fear of expulsion from the hostel. That’s the reason that we are raising our voice using “YOUTH KI AWAAZ” platform.

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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.

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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 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.”

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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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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