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What has the Modi government done for the common man in India?

First of all, I would like to make it clear here that I am not a supporter of any political party. I am just a common man who sees the good in good and bad in bad. If the government does something good, I will praise it, otherwise I will criticise it.

Let’s come to the point.

What does a common man want?

  1. A simple, tension-free life.
  2. Good education for his children.
  3. Some bank balance.
  4. Good roads.
  5. On-time trains.
  6. Safety.
  7. Clean surroundings.

There are many more requirements but let’s limit it to 7 points only for now.

What have we got till now from our government?

Have we got good roads?

NO.

The roads are still full of holes. Oh sorry. There are some roads in holes. This was also the case during previous governments.

What new has this government done? I will tell you later. Let’s come to next question.

Have we got on-time trains?

NO.

I have experienced trains running as late as 20 hours last week. Today also, some trains are more than 10 hours late. I do not need to mention the names of the trains. All of you might have experienced it. This was also the case during previous governments.

What new has this government done? I will tell you later. Let’s come to next question.

Have we got good education in Government schools?

NO.

The teachers in government schools do not teach at all and the private schools have sky as their limit of fee. Nothing was done to improve the quality of education. Nothing was done to make the teachers of the government schools teach. No steps have been taken to make sure that the teachers do their duty honestly. This was also the case during previous governments.

What new has this government done? I will tell you later. Let’s come to next question.

What about bank balance? Have they improved?

NO.

We are all familiar with the demonetisation move of the government. What benefit did it give us ? We all were made to stand under the hot sun in long queues. And we got no benefit. We all are aware of the increasing cost of commodities. But the salaries are not increasing at the same pace. This was also the case during previous governments.

What new has this government done? I will tell you later. Let’s come to next question.

Is safety ensured?

NO.

Rapes and murders are still common these days. Let’s not talk about murders now. But, What about rape?

Are there any strict measures taken to prevent rape?

Why is there no strict punishment for rape?

Why not stone the rapist to death?

Why not let the victim decide what to do with the rapist?

Only sending the rapists to jail won’t do any good. This doesn’t create fear in the minds of people. Only strict punishments would do. No action has been taken in 3 years to implement strict laws against rape. This was also the case during previous governments.

What new has this government done? I will tell you later. Let’s come to next question.

Is our surroundings clean?

NO.

You may argue that it is our responsibility to keep our surroundings clean? But is it also our responsibility to put the dustbins in public? Our Prime Minister has very cleverly shifted his responsibility on us.

What can we do here? At most, we can accumulate the waste from our home in dustbin. But, what after the dustbin gets full and no municipality vehicle comes ? We are forced to throw them in open and that will never bring cleanliness. Only clicking photos by holding a broom in one hand isn’t gonna clean the place.

Modiji has shown his photo of cleaning the area using the broom but where did he put that dust after collecting it? No one knows. This was also the case during previous governments.

What new has this government done? I will tell you later. Let’s come to next question.


What has he done for the common man? Is it nothing?

No. It isn’t nothing. He has done a lot. Let’s see.

  • Interest rates on fixed deposits lowered to 6% from 7.8%.
  • Interest rates on savings account lowered.
  • Loan rates have increased.
  • Transaction from ATM also has got charges now.
  • Inflation has increased.
  • Petrol and Diesel prices are still increasing.
  • Demonetisation has killed people.
  • Salaries of MPs and MLAs have increased drastically.
  • Farmers have committed suicide.

As a common man, I would like to say something. We do need bullet trains but that is not our priority. We must first be able to satisfy our basic needs then aspire for advanced ones. You cannot run if you cannot walk. We do not want statues worth Rs. 36000 crore. We want proper roads. We pay taxes but we do not get anything in return. Our taxes have been used to increase the salary of MLAs and MPs. We want safety of our women. We want strict laws for rape. We want balance in our bank account and not a transaction charge for every penny we withdraw. We want clean India and not just a speech on cleaning India.

My small suggestion to my PM.

In the “Mann Ki Baat”, you keep saying and people keep listening. Have you ever bothered to know what people want? The government is not meant to impose its decisions on the people. Rather, it is meant to listen to peoples’ demands. I know that all the demands cannot be fulfilled. But, the ones that I have mentioned are common to all. You just stood there and declared demonetisation. Do you have any idea how much troubled common citizens were after this move? You were not there standing under the scorching heat of the sun. So you have no idea about our sufferings.  Yet everyone accepted this move with open heart with a hope that corruption will now be eliminated. But nothing happened. We are more sad now than we were happy in 2014 after the victory of BJP. You don’t live in this country. So you are not connected to the people. I know that you do not tour foreign countries. You go there to discuss on some important foreign policies. But, what about inner policy? Common men have elected you. And we don’t care about foreign policies. Spend a few days on the ground of your country. You will come to know about the reality. We don’t want to listen to your “Mann Ki Baat”. We want our “Mann Ki Baat” to be listened by someone.

 

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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.

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.

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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
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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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