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In 2017, These 35 Writers Broke The Silence With Their Stories On YKA

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We could not have asked for a more exciting 2017! From thousands of people publishing their stories on the platform, to these stories leading to real-world impact, YKA’s users have been at the center of it all!

As we gear up for a better 2018, here are the users that brought forward some of the most powerful stories and experiences on YKA in 2017. These extraordinary people just like you continue using the platform to speak up on things that matter:

1. Abha Khetarpal

The PM gave people with disability a new ‘label’, but who will pay attention to what they really need?

2. Syed S Tauheed

Revisiting cinema that shares more than just a story.

3. Savio Daimary

In a country obsessed with cricket, Savio reveals the harsh reality faced by national-level athletes.

4. Prerna Sharma

Women in India are still trapped by period stigma, Prerna tells us how much worse it is for girls from small towns.

5. Raju Murmu

Was Mangal Pandey the first man to revolt against British only to overshadow a tribal leader’s struggle?

6. Bijaya Biswal

The ‘shocking’ truth in a country that pretends Indian women don’t have any sexual urges.

7. Tanmoy Bhaduri

One of YKA’s most active users brings us a reality we see every day but never really acknowledge.

8. Deepak Bhaskar

In Bihar, arranged marriage is another grilling interview that will judge you for everything – from your cooking skills to your salary.

9. Nafees Ahmad

The importance of fighting an oppressive caste structure that goes against the foundation of Islam.

10. Rajeev Choudhary

It isn’t just one community, religion, or caste. It’s an angered mob that refuses to listen to any reasoning and only calms down with blood on its hands.

11. Tanya Jha

A fresh perspective at ‘Ram’ – a name used to absolve the sins of the dead, and as a convenient excuse to kill.

12. Umesh Kumar Ray

A quick tour of the quirky toilet museum and how the world takes a dump!

13. Simran Keshwani

In a year that’s been full of online hate, a powerful example of how to engage with trolls in a rational and logical manner.

14. Isha Chitnis

A shameful reminder of how sexual harassment is normalised, but also a powerful example of what it means to speak up.

15. Preeti Parivartan

A sharp commentary on how we’re fine with item numbers, and making Sunny Leone a top-rated adult film actor, but not a human being.

16. Josh Talks

Inspiring stories of Indian changemakers who are bringing a positive change to thousands of lives.

17. Kumar Deepak

While those in power are ignoring climate change, Kumar brings us the reality of how it’s affecting our lives every day.

18. Harish Iyer

The stigma around divorce forces many to remain trapped in bad marriages. Harish spells out just how both men and women are stereotyped after divorce.

19. Annu Singh

When those who sexually harass women read about the rise in rapes and sexual violence in the country, what do they think?

20. Tina S

In the much debated Kangana-Hrithik media debacle, a voice of reason that stands out from the rest.

21. Nandini Mazumder

A strong narrative on drug addiction and how it can affect anyone. Adding gender-based stigma to it only makes things worse.

22. The Egoist Poststructuralist

An honest account of how even the LGBTQ+ community is not immune to discrimination.

23. P. Radhakrishnan

In a 5-part series, an in-depth analysis of the Sachar Committee report on the economic, social and political status of Muslims in India.

24. Suchetana Sinha

The dangers of questioning religion at a time when it could get you killed.

25. Harbans Singh Sidhu

Providing a gripping first hand account of the day that triggered the 2002 Gujarat riots.

26. Agents of Ishq

Breaking the age-old stigma around women’s sexuality in a tell-all survey!

27. Delhi University Queer Collective

Throughout Pride Month, this power user brought to us touching stories of coming out and what it means in the times of Section 377.

28. Saksham Mishra

Breathing in life to YKA’s sports section with unique stories and reportage.

29. Rachana Priyadarshini

Reminding everyone that it’s 2017, and there’s no place for body shaming.

30. Shakti Avasthy

In light of the violence that broke out following Baba Ram Rahim’s arrest, an important analysis of the hold self-styled people of God have in the country.

31. Nilutpal Timsina

On the ridiculous need of the media to chase breaking news and passing unrequired verdicts.

32. Surabhi Pandey

A reminder of how speaking up against sexual violence can lead to real change.

33. Urmila Chanam

The combination of stigma and discrimination around HIV/AIDS, creates a dangerous opinion (or fear) in one segment of society which ends up affecting the survival of others.

34. Prashant Pratyush

An important look at century-old superstitions that still hold a dangerous power on a massive number of Indians.

35. Sumantra Mukherjee

While the media ran after Baba Ram Rahim’s arrest and Padmavati, Sumantra revealed the plight of farmers across India who are still being ignored by the government.

We are extremely grateful to have you as part of our community. And in 2018, we hope to see you publish even more powerful stories on the Youth Ki Awaaz platform!

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  1. ManicklalC

    Why my writingnot publish here
    Please revert me

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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.

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.

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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, 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.

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