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The Mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled

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Introduction:
The saying “The mind is not vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled” means a lot to the present situation of education. Students should not be forced to acquire knowledge as filling something into an empty vessel. Education should be like a fire that is lit upon something that grows eventually to sustain. It is totally different that when a student is forced to acquire knowledge rather than tempted to acquire knowledge by his own interest and curiosity.

Content:
Students nowadays lead a stress filled life. They get fed up due to overloaded homework, lots of books, project, etc. So it is extremely important to make them understand that “education is a part of life”. They should bring about their hidden talents by inculcating the thoughts and good deed within themselves. It is not possible to fill minds with answers as it wouldn’t remain stable in the student’s mind.

So education should bring about an individual’s talent and make him prosper in his life. He should understand that education should only be gained by understanding and not by mugging. Interest is the fire referred to here. When interest is grown into someone’s mind it will lead him to develop his interest which while insist him to research and question on topics that he comes across. This will make him a well trained professional in his field rather than just well-educated one. Interest should be kindled by knowledge.

Education without interest is just waste. Learning is different from studying. Learning gains you a long lasting memory with exact definition and understanding but studying is just a way of filling answers into minds without understanding it. There is a saying.

“If you can’t explain it to a 5 years old child then you yourself aren’t thorough about the topic”

So education should be in such way that it helps you as well as your surroundings. Such education can be gained only through interest.

Conclusion:
There is no use in just storing something in a vessel rather than sharing and making use of it. Same is education. There is no use in just gaining the education. When it is shared and taught it attains its peak usage like the spreading fire when it is lit in one place and not like the stored content in the vessel.

Our mind isn’t a mere receiver of the thoughts, which gathers them all without any practical use or without any calculation of its own,  but rather works on a complex process it works out each and every information or thought it gets, calculates and reaches a conclusion.
And when it comes to the fact of mind not being a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled, undoubtedly it’s cent per cent true.
The statement itself has numerous meaning, however, all point to the fire, the ardent thirst, the quest for the ultimate goal of life – “Knowledge”.
Our mind isn’t to be filled with knowledge- with facts and other’s idea but we have to find the knowledge on our own. 
In words of a philosopher – ‘True knowledge isn’t gained  but made.”
Our mind is not a vessel that we copy someone knowledgeable  to get some of their ideas, their thinking and views. We need to realize that we ought to ignite our own mentality, our own intellect. 

The mind isn’t a bottle to be filled with ideas gathered from the exterior world, but a piece of wood that has potentials of its own. It only needs a bit of kindling to set it in flames, to set it on a quest for truth and knowledge.

Many great thinkers of the bygone era have had similar quotes. Socrates, William Butler Yeats, and Plutarch included among them.

When we give a little more thought to the saying, it’s amazing how very deep a meaning it offers. 
Consider this single instance- suppose Galileo didn’t kindle his curiosity, suppose he filled his head with the wrong ideas. I don’t need to tell you any further.

So my friends as bearers of young blood, instead of cramming our heads with other’s ideas, let’s set our mind on fires, let’s be original each one of us setting on quests of wisdom.

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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.

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.

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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.

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 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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