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

8 Environmental Red Flags That The Mainstream Media Ignored In 2017

More from Shakti Avasthy

Media is not merely the fourth pillar of democracy but also a watchdog towards the working of State, however politicization of media, sensationalization of news due to TRP race, numerous elections leading to media involved continuously in election mode leads to neglect of some core issues which are important for public purposes, information dissemination, discussion & debate. To be honest, I do not think 2017 was the best year for mankind. But there were certain instances throughout the year, that showed us that whatever Donald Trump may proclaim, climate change is here, and it’s staring us in the face. Below, I list eight of the biggest news tidbits that the media forgot to mention and highlight throughout the year, that every woke reader must be aware about.

1. Coal Mine Collapse

At the very beginning of 2017, in December 2016, 23 workers got trapped under debris at the Lalmatia open-cast coal mine in Jharkhand’s Godda district. The media reported it for a while and then forgot it as soon as the new year came in. The techniques employed by mining sector and related security provisions need a wider debate as repeated accidents put a question mark on India’s development trajectory.

2. Oil spill near Chennai

Then, in January 2017, two vessels collided off the Kamarajar Port at Ennore near Chennai resulting in an oil spill at sea. The issue was severe as the amount of damage to oceanic ecosystem was huge, time lapses by local authorities to clear off the sludge were deemed to be worth criticizing and debate on safety precautions by ships was needed.

3. Climate Engineering Solutions

Moreover, in February, the Maharashtra government decided to conduct cloud seeding experiment in next three year to tackle the problem of frequent droughts in Vidarbha region. The plan is ambitious and the result will be worth analysing in future.

4. Ganges And Yamuna Granted The Same Legal Rights As Human Entities

Thereafter, in March, the Uttarakhand HC division bench declared the Ganga and Yamuna living entities, bestowing on them same legal rights as a person. This move needed wider debate as the order at the outset looked ambiguous but if the Rights are extended the move could have greater positive results.

5. Loss Of Mangrove Vegetation

Additionally, in July, a study conducted by School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, reveals that from 1986 to 2012, 124.418 sq. km. mangrove forest cover has been lost. India has largest mangrove reserve in the world, and are a biodiversity heritage giving social, economic and environmental benefits to all stakeholders including humans, birds, fishes, etc. The issue needs highlight and public debate.

6. The Earth Overshoot Day Just Came Closer

Also, in 2017, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 2, the earliest date since ecological overshoot began in the early 1970s which fell on August 9 in 2016. Earth overshoot day is the date when humanity annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate over the entire year. The public discourse must turn towards such signals which depict the need to focus on reducing anthropogenic global warming.

7. An Island Disappeared!

Likewise, Parali 1 island (part of Bangaram atoll), one of biodiversity-rich uninhabited islands part of Lakshadweep has disappeared, due to coastal erosion and another four such islands in Lakshadweep sea are shrinking fast. Coastal erosion is both man-made and natural. However, the current pace of erosion is unprecedented and the illegal developmental activities are fastening the processes of erosion.

8. Death By Pesticide

Further, in October, the NHRC issued notices to the Centre as well as the Maharashtra government, for the death of farmers and after inhaling poisonous pesticide in the Yavatmal district. The issue of pesticide poisoning is serious health impediment to farmers sowing and spraying pesticides and also to humans consuming such food items. Till recent years though, Indian fertilizer usage was on alarming levels, Indian pesticide usage was one of the lowest in the world. However, with growing food demands and low productivity, the pesticide usage has shot up needing a policy intervention.

You must be to comment.

More from Shakti Avasthy

Similar Posts

By Charkha features

By Ecochirp Foundation

By Amritansh pratap

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 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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below