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We do understand about ‘female issues’ – YES WE EXIST

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Hi Veronica (and all other girls reading this!),

Yesterday, while browsing on YouTube, I came across several videos that highlighted female issues. From menstruation to physical intimacies, love relationships to sexual discrimination, girls education to female independence, there are uncountable issues that need to be addressed.

Every video that I watch, every article that I read, and every person that I talk to these days, reminds me of how unsafe and unsecured our girls are feeling.

But amidst this, something hurts me, surprises me and makes me sad – EVERY MALE IS TAGGED AS A CULPRIT. Every pupil of this branch called MANISM is tagged as a rapist, a pervert, a greedy husband, a heart-breaker, a cheater, and an insensitive person.

This coerces me today to write to you something – something that I hope you can realise. And with you, something that every girl can realise – No, not all males are same. No, not everybody is insensitive. No, not males are rapists.

I often read about menstruation in various articles. I know how painful would it be to bear the unbearable stomach ache without telling it to anybody. Being so watchful about changing sitting and sleeping postures isn’t an easy task. But I feel sad how every male is accused of being unsensitive towards this pain. Believe me, I understand that this is just a normal process that every female undergoes. And yeah, I may not tell you but silently, I do small things that may reduce your pain – or at least you can smile a little bit amidst that pain too! Those chocolate toffees that I brought you that day wasn’t brought because the reason I gave you, “shopkeeper gave me these in lieu of change”, it’s because I read on internet that chocolate reduces stomach pain. Sorry Sorry! I didn’t know chocolates were different from toffees, but you got to give me a credit for trying it.

That day, when Nirbhaya died, I too felt ashamed of being a male. I know rapes have been increasing at an alarming rate in India, and that girls are not secured anywhere. But tagging every boy “a probable rapist” because of this isn’t a solution.

The other day, I saw Aranya Johar’s video where she described how every man thinks of a female body just as a sex operating machine. No, this isn’t the case with everybody. No, your breasts aren’t just something to be sucked, they do an important process – feeding a newly born child for whom mother milk isn’t a pleasure, it is a necessity. Your vagina isn’t just meant to be fucked, it is a part of the body.

You may be with me all day, all night, but you’ll still feel secure with me. I am not a beast who would always be waiting for that single opportunity to tear off your clothes, and make you my prey. No, just because I ‘checked’ a passing girl, doesn’t mean my sexual feelings are aroused and now that girl has no other choice but to be my ‘dinner on bed’.

Oh yeah, another day, when I read an article that described marriage as hymen breaking process – it hurt me. No, not every male has such a narrow thinking.

Physical intimacy is a natural feeling that can come to anybody – and this shouldn’t be the exclusive criteria for assessing the character of a girl.

“All boys break heart of a girl some or other day” – No, not every boy tags a girl as a toy. To some of us, the girls are the most beautiful creatures with whom we want to spend the rest of our lives. Not every male makes a girl cry, some of them cry with girls because they are feeling the same pain a girl is feeling.

I know your life after marriage is still the same, and you would love your identity remaining unchanged. I would also love your identity in the similar way and would care least if you change your surname or not.

In today’s tech world, I too can understand that changing surnames is confined merely to changing surnames on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media for that manner. Your documents would remain same, my love for you would remain same hence that shouldn’t be something which creates a difference between me and you.

No, a girl shouldn’t study just because a boy needs dowry from her parents for marrying her. Dowry is the root cause of many evils that arise after marriage, and believe me, I understand this. That day, when my cousin sister was hospitalised when my in-laws burnt her because of dowry, I cried, and fumed in anger, because that showed the male impotence. That day, I made a firm decision – Even if I have to go against my family someday, I won’t hesitate; I wouldn’t even marry, but I won’t accept dowry at any case.

Males understand that giving birth to a boy child or a girl child is beyond females’ efforts. I want neither a girl child nor a boy child, I just want a child that can complete my family – and I don’t want to define a gender for that sweet gift. If she is a girl child, she’ll be my princess. If he is a boy child, again he’ll be my prince. But loving you is beyond all this – and I will keep loving you .

As an father, not all males consider their daughters a burden. We are living in the 21st century where everybody has realised the importance of career. I know a female’s career is utmost important to her – I wouldn’t want to hamper a female’s career at any cost be it my wife/ daughter/ sister/ girlfriend.

At last, I would like to say you – Understand that not every boy is the same, boys that understand and feel a girl’s feelings do still exist. Entire world isn’t still the most unsafe place to live for you girls – you can still feel secure being with us.


Hardik (and all other boys that felt what I am feeling!)


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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.

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.

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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)’.

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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, 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.

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