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

FAQ: How Does Having ‘Followers’ On Youth Ki Awaaz Help?

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Since launching direct publishing on Youth Ki Awaaz, our focus has been to enable a larger community to tell stories on issues that matter. And while that heralded us in a new direction, we didn’t stop at that. Youth Ki Awaaz has fast become home to some of the best, most powerful writing on critical issues, especially in India. We recognised the importance of YKA users building their own communities and keeping up with what matters.

Hence, about a year ago, we silently added the ‘Follow’ feature across Youth Ki Awaaz user profiles with one aim: To help you amplify your stories and build a community of those who want to keep up with your writing.

Why Another Follow Feature?

Your stories can have a tremendous impact. They can have an even bigger impact if a community rallies behind them. Social media is cluttered with news and information flooding our timelines – with little or no focus on stories that actually need attention. Platforms like Facebook have often been criticised for algorithms that encourage the spread of fake news and burying quality writing on important issues. The ‘Follow’ feature cuts through that, and that is what makes it a meaningful add-on to the platform.

How Does The Follow Feature On YKA Work?

Just like any other follow feature, YKA’s follow feature helps you ‘subscribe’ to your favourite YKA users by hitting the ‘follow’ button on their profiles. Once you follow someone, their latest posts start showing up in your ‘Newsfeed‘ on YKA, and they also start receiving a weekly email digest with your latest posts from the previous week.

How Does Having Followers On Youth Ki Awaaz Help?

Apart from building your own community of readers, having a following on Youth Ki Awaaz helps you:

1. Build credibility: The more your followers, the more your readers know that you have an audience. It also acts as an incentive for people to follow you more.

2. Reach a wider audience: Your followers are much like your ‘first responders’ and the most likely to relate to and share your stories. They receive weekly updates and you’re always a part of their newsfeed – which makes sure your audience keeps growing.

3. It’s like having your own email list: Email is not dead. In fact, it’s the most personal and powerful form of social media. With the weekly emails reaching your followers, you make sure you’re reaching out and speaking to them in the most personal way possible.

So how do you build a good following on Youth Ki Awaaz?

1. Post regularly: While writing is a great habit to have, it’s even better when you do it regularly. Posting at least once a week, or a few times a month helps your followers hear from you more regularly. The more they hear from you, the more they amplify your stories.

2. Share your YKA profile on social media: Head to your profile on Youth Ki Awaaz and share it on your Facebook and Twitter. Encourage your friends to follow you on YKA and keep up with what you have to say on issues that matter.

3. Follow others: Read what others are writing and follow your favourite users on YKA. Every time you follow a user you encourage them to follow you back – hence building a mutual community and keeping up with each other’s work.

4. Seek feedback from your community: Ask your readers to let you know their feedback in the comments section. Take their constructive feedback seriously and interact with them by replying to them. The more active you are, the more your chances of building a strong community on YKA.

5. Most importantly, give people a reason to follow you: One of the biggest reasons YKA users follow others on the platform is the quality of their storytelling. This doesn’t mean you have to write beautifully or in the best way possible. It means you should always stay authentic and let your own voice come out in your posts.

Since the launch of the feature, we learned some very critical lessons about what it means for YKA users to follow each other. We hope you find it as meaningful.

Keep writing!

 

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  1. tanwi

    Thanks

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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.

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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
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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