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‘Being responsible’ for a Better Delhi

Delhi, with a population of over 27 million people, is considered the second most populated city in the world after Tokyo. Delhi being the capital of India has marked itself in the world with some great achievements in recent times. Mention may be made of GMR Group-Led Delhi International Airport Ltd. which announced that Indira Gandhi International Airport ( IGIA ) had become the world’s second best airport in the largest airport category with a passenger capacity of over 40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) as per Airport Council International (ACI) ASQ rankings. Also, during the recent years, India has become the country with most number of women pilots in the world. Delhi ranked 44th among world’s 50 ‘future ready’ cities. Among the Indian states, Delhi Police is among the top effective and best police service in which Tamil Nadu tops the list.

With such positive achievements, there are also many negative aspects of the city. Delhi is considered as one of the most polluted cities in the world during recent years as per World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics. When it comes to traffic accidents or tragedies, Delhi tops the list in the country with the most number of road accidents which account for at least 5 deaths daily. Many other crimes have also increased over the years like robbery, murder, discrimination, mob justice and most importantly crime against women in various forms like rape, murder and so on. Multiple reasons could be given for the mishaps.

Firstly, it is the rules and regulations that many residents of Delhi have neglected. Starting from traffic rules, most of the people seems to disobey the traffic system or rules signified upon the roads and in many parking areas. Signboards writing No Pressure Horn, Drive Slow, School Ahead, No Parking and many others seems to be of no use in the city as almost every people never cared about it. Many other rules and laws are also denied like dominating by men, the rights or reserves for women which is kept by the Government or Constitution for the safety and empowerment of women in terms of jobs and travelling in buses or trains. Discrimination and racism against people from other countries and also from our own country especially from North-Eastern states still takes place at a high rate, even after the announcement of certain rules or law and penalties for denial of law by the Central Government and State Government on account of discrimination.

Secondly, it is the morality of citizens including dirty-politics and many other organisations or institutions ( governmental or non-governmental ) that is also responsible for certain negative achievements of the city. For example, certain medicines or drugs are not sold at pharmacies or chemists shops without prescriptions from doctors on account of misused of the drugs that led to social problems. But still tobacco products, weeds, wines or beers are selling widely and openly in the city and even advertised as if it was made for people’s good. Also many people worshipped goddesses at home and temples with a mindset of giving respect to women and kept women in a high status at the socitey. But still many women are tortured and harrassed in the city and nowadays, even animals safety are more valued than safety of women among the society.

Sometimes it feels like Mob Justice is must needed for instant judgement in cases like that of Nirbhaya’s case , so that the culprits or rapists could have been punished immediately on the spot. However Mob Justice also becomes cruel in cases like that of Ankit Saxena’s in which he was stabbed to death by his girlfriend’s family for being a Hindu and having relationship with the girl ( a Muslim ). Even police or laws cannot solve such crimes without public support. Public should always be alert to help someone in danger or critical situation.

An important solution, we can consider for the arising problems is ‘ being responsible’. If responsibility is considered as a must do or mandatory duty for all of us, it will surely be the first step towards making a better Delhi. For example, if a person driving a vehicle considers following traffic rules and having a safe journey is his or her responsibility instead of taking oppurtunities to drove over denying the rules, the percentage of road accidents will drop down. Also while driving if people considers giving priority to the emergency services such as ambulances or fire services as their responsibility to save others instead of overtaking or blocking them, then thousands of life can be save by minimising time constraints. If an auto driver or a bus driver or any other passenger considers women’s safety as their own responsibility instead of misbehaving or taking physical advantage on women, the crimes on women inside passenger services can be stop at once. If a poor person, a person living in slum area or roadside person considers cleanliness of the city as their own responsibility when they get free foods from certain ceremonies or occasions  instead of throwing the food wastes and plates used here and there, it would be one part of making the city a clean one and also will be of showing gratitude to the food servers or the society. These are few examples of how being responsible is a major step towards bringing up Delhi to a whole new level.

It is not only the responsibility of Government or any other individual, it should be a collective one, we can’t just rely on the government. One should think it is the betterment for us where we live in, it is our property and we should maintain it. Countries like Japan, Singapore, Korea considers responsibility as their first choice for success and Tokyo, the capital of Japan, which was the most dangerous place to live after the Hiroshima & Nagashaki incident ( 1945 ), is now declared the safest city in the world to live. If a city of a small country like Japan could make it happened, why can’t we ?

 

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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)’.

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        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.”

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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.

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        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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