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Bryan Adams –The Evergreen Inspirational Rock Star

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“Standin’ on your mama’s porch
You told me that you’d wait forever
Oh, and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

Oh, yeah
Back in the summer of sixty-nine”

I was a 14-year-old when my classmate now a famous rock star himself gifted me a cassette – “Bryan Adams – Collection Of Hits”

I asked him “How silly, who is Bryan Adams?” as I hummed “Jumma Chumma De De”. I turned on the tape recorder, and plugged in the cassette. Wait what am I listening to? Who is this man?

Back when I listened to “Summer of 69”, my one sided love affair with Bryan Adams began. The song was from the album Reckless (1984) and was written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, who’ve had a long song-writing partnership. The song turned out to be a mega hit in the music industry. Bryan Adams collaborated with Vallance in 1977. Vallance was a drummer for the band, Prism. The duo soon began to write a lot of songs together to churn out a lot of hits.

Bryan Adams was born in Ontario, on November 5, 1959. While growing up, he grew his hair, stood up against the teachers at his strict British military school, only to be expelled and that propelled him to swing into classic rock. His parents’ divorce only jostled him to his world of music. A charismatic guy his passion for classic rock was so burning scary that he chose to ignore the advances of the amorous girls during his teens. In an interview, Adams said “In high school, I was too far into my music to even pay attention to girls […]I’d run after the occasional girl, but music and rock n’ roll bands were far more interesting to me.”

At 15, he quit studies and followed his true calling – music.

According to this website, Bryan Adams went to see a pop band called Sweeney Tod. At the end of the show, he met the band’s manager  and proclaimed himself to be four times better than the band’s singer. The band decided to let him audition and took him as their front man. However, he soon left the band, the following year to pursue song writing. He said, “I knew then that if I was serious about a career in music, I had to be a writer.”

His career started in the 70s, during the 80s, he climbed a little higher in the ladder of success. But during the 90s, we got mega hits from him. Adams knew if he had to see the sunshine, he had to weather the storm. According to Chicago Tribunes,“There’s a simple reason Adams has been able to weather the times. While many of his ’80s peers offered style over substance, Adams offered neither. Songs like “Cuts like a Knife,” “Somebody,” “One Night Love Affair” and “Summer of ’69” may be banal compendiums of sentimental cliches and half-familiar riffs […]. As the soundtrack to so many formative experiences, Adams’ songs are like renewable resources, good for any occasion or, for that matter, any decade.”

During his concert in Pune, Times Of India quotes “As the lights went out and the amphitheater pulsed with reds, blues and greens, Adams pitched with his everlasting love song ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started,’ an energetic number with mesmerizing interludes, laden with eclectic guitar notes, then shook the audience. As multiple hues of lights jostled in the dark, Adams got louder. And so did the cheering crowd.‘ Summer of 69‘, with its intoxicating guitar riffs, energetic drum beats and of course, a voice that knew no limitation, then transported the audiences to the nostalgic era of the 60s.”

He won a Grammy award for the song “(Everything I do) I do it for you“. A few other hits by Bryan Adams include – “Here I am“, “Have you ever really loved a woman?“, “It’s only love“, “Run to you “among many others.

His character was subjected to scrutiny when he apparently got his personal assistant pregnant. Antonia Harrison, the woman he was dating at the time, refused to see him even though he tried to get in touch with her. However, he never made it clear to her if he did father the child.

To conclude the essay, I say in Adams words “If your music is great, you will have fans, not because you have spent time chatting on social media”. Always in his casuals, Adams deserves a lot of respect. He even knows his fans well. I love the music of Bryan Adams, and look at him as an inspiration. I feel that he is a child forged and hardened by suffering and pain, and has now accomplished what many privileged adults cannot. I believe that every artist needs to be that child. And if you want to follow your dreams, you should be that child just like Bryan Adams – the evergreen inspirational rock star.

 

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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.”

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.

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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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