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Needles Of Clock Shouldn’t Decide A Girl’s Character

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“Hi, there is an event which will be organised on coming Friday. Are you interested?”

“Yeah, if it is about public speaking, why not? Give me an insight of the event.”

“Yes, it is an open mic competition. It will be organised at Mr. Beans Café. Timings are 6 pm to 9 pm. Shall I register both of us?”

“Wait! 6 pm to 9 pm on Friday?”

“Yeah, what happened?”

“Hardik, are you crazy? Papa comes back home around 7 pm. I have to be at home before 7 pm anyhow.”

“What? You are sounding weird. How can the event that starts at 6 pm can get over by 7 pm?”

“Yeah, OK leave it. You get yourself registered. I’m not interested.”

“This is weirdness at its peak. I mean who puts a time restriction for their daughter? Request your father and tell him of event’s importance.”

“No Hardik, in any case, he would give me a maximum of 30 minutes more. 9 pm would be too much for even asking permission.”

“So aren’t you allowed to be outside home late at night?”

“Yeah, 7 pm is the maximum time in any case. Sometimes, I take a relaxation of 30 minutes, but that too happens seldom.”

“But why has your father imposed this restriction?”

“He thinks that I shouldn’t roam around (especially with male friends) after 7 PM since it is a threat to my integrity.”

“Integrity? Seriously? Are roads so unsafe? Isn’t it craziness?”

“Craziness? Hardik you are tagging it craziness because you don’t have a daughter. You can’t realise the worries of a father about his daughter. Dude, get married and have a daughter. And maybe 20 years down the lane, we’ll again discuss this.”

Maybe she is right. Maybe her father is also genuinely worried. Maybe the roads are too unsafe. Maybe time restriction really plays an important role in deciding character.

But, wait, I saw her brother yesterday, partying with his friends late night in a club. There were a few male friends and 2-3 female friends. He was enjoying without having any worries about “late night” or “character assessment”.

I was curious, surprised and confused. I thought maybe the boy lied to his parents about partying, else he should also have been at home after 7 PM. I called her again.

“Hey, don’t take it otherwise, but I think your brother cheated your parents yesterday.”

“Why? What happened?”

“He was partying with his friends late night in a club.”

“Yeah, we know this.”

Alas! My confusion, surprise and curiosity were all mixed on her reply.

“But you told me that your father doesn’t allow to stay outside home after 7 PM.”

“Idiot, that rule applies only to me, not to my brother. He can roam around till as much time he wants.”

Yes, the needles of a clock have nothing to do when a boy stays outside the home late at night. Only the character of a girl depends on time – if she is outside home late at night, she is a characterless girl or there is a threat to her integrity.

Why do we always assess the character of a girl by when she gets home? Why are girls always expected to come back home before it gets dark?

And the parents, who put all these restrictions on their daughters, are the same parents who don’t have any issue if their son roams around late with his friends.

And the worst part – people aren’t concerned about why the girl is out late. They are ready to assess her character even if she is coming from a business meeting or an important career event.

Time is evolving and with it, event durations are also changing. You can neither finish any meeting exactly by 6 PM nor start any party exactly by 7 PM.

As long as you trust your daughter/sister/wife/female friend, and believe that she wouldn’t break this trust or cheat you, needles of the clock hanging in your bedroom shouldn’t be the deciding factor if her character is good or bad.

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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.

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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.

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        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.

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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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