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

From outsider in engineering to outsider in Writing

Hello people! My name is Chirag Khatri. I was born in a middle class family in the city of Ujjain. Having born in a middle class family in a mediocre town is like killing your dreams in the combined aura of mediocrity and poverty. Hence, I also followed the same track as chosen by major section of society and that was IIT JEE.  After giving 2 years of my life for IIT-JEE, I got admission in BITS Pilani.

In BITS, I received MSc physics, a five-year integrated course. The specialty about this course is that on the basis of GPA of your first year, you are likely to get a branch in Engineering.Hence, all the people in the MSc had only one dream that they might get their branch changed into Computer Science so that in 5th year they can get good hefty lacs of packages in placement. I also participated in that rat race and tried to get myself into Computer Science branch. My first year was pretty much same as my preparation years of JEE. Then also I was a robot, and now also I am a robot, trying to do all such things which were considered as the elite things decided by our so called society and their typical magnanimous manuscripts. I was doing all these things, not because I wanted to do but society wanted me to do, because these seemed as the pretty obvious choices.

But preparation for branch change turned out pretty worse for me. People at BITs were a little bit different, as in they used to study less and get more marks than me. So it happened that after slogging myself for first year, I was still not able to get myself enrolled in Computer Science. This was a turning point of my life. I began to introspect that I had put in more efforts then these people still I was not able to get the thing that I wanted. After pretty much self-introspection, I got an answer from the bottom of my heart that these people who got their branch changed did the thing that they are very good at and they should continue to pursue it. Then, I got to know that I need to find something in which I am very good. Something that I’d like to do and after that work will no more be work. It will just be an enjoyment, a fun process. So, in simple words,I wanted to find out my passion.

I tried a lot of things in my second year which I thought are the things I want to pursue in my life. I was interested in politics. Hence, I contested elections in my second year. Though I lost the election, I got to know that I was not made for politics.  Then, I co-founded a Startup but that Startup was a beautiful failure. After the end of second year, I had tried a lot of things and I felt that I was not able to get what I wanted. I was completely feeling lost and hopeless. By that time, I pretty much messed up with my grades as well.

After the end of second year, I met a girl. She liked literature very much. I wrote quite a few poems for her. I had this habit of writing before 11th class, but in my 11th, 12thand 1st year, I almost lost my touch and methodology of writing.  In this moment, it hit me that my pen is calling me and this is my golden opportunity to take up writing a bit seriously and I decided not to turn down this opportunity.

Whenever I use to recite my poems in front of people, they used to clap and appreciate my work. In my mind, I was well aware that I like writing and I slowly began appreciating the fact that I was born to write.  After the end of semester, that girl was not there in my life but in the span of these 6 months, I wrote for her deliberately and I got to learn lot of things, about myself, writing and everything.There were a lot of people who told me that I should probably write a book.By that time, I was too much engrossed in my writing and therefore I decided to take this leap of faith and committed one year of my life in writing a book. After the end of one year, I completed my first book named “Kuch Kisse – BITS Pilani Canteen Se”. I sent my book to almost six publishers out of which four publishers agreed to publish my book.

The name of my book “Kuch Kisse – BITS Pilani Canteen Se” is pretty much self-explanatory. The storyline of this book originates with 5 people who meet at the college canteen to have fun and gossip initially, but with the passage of time, they start to discuss about events and tantrums centered around life, love, society and philosophy, trying hardly to question, discuss and unveil the dark secrets of our so called society and in the end they start to contemplate the seriousness of life. If you are able to read my book and appreciate the seriousness and the hypocrisy present in our society, then I think my purpose of writing this book would be successful. In the end, I just want to say that in life, often times we try to decide to choose the type of life that we prefer to live, but in the end it so happens that life already has something pre-decided for us. The most important decision that you will ever take is to hopefully accept what life has pre-decided for you, to listen to your gut feeling andmove ahead towards the path of prosperity.


Yours forever,

Chirag Khatri

You must be to comment.

More from Chirag Khatri

Similar Posts

By puja pal

By Criti Mahajan

By Ananya Bhuyan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Read more about her campaign. 

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.

Read more about the campaign here.

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.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below