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Virat Kohli’s Fearless Approach Is The Key To India’s Success

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August 18, 2008. I remember a 20-something person opening the innings for India in a One Day International against Sri Lanka at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. He looked fresh and naïve, quite similar to a first-year college student. His stance was natural as he stood there, wide-eyed, to face his first delivery in international cricket. His stay at the crease was quite ordinary as he could only score a dozen runs before being trapped by Nuwan Kulasekara. The disappointment on his face was screaming aloud as he silently made his way back to the dugout.

Almost a decade after making his One Day International debut, Virat Kohli has transformed the art of batsmanship. Talk of purple patches and only one name would come to your mind – Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper is going through a phase where he’s eating hundreds for breakfast. Scoring a hundred appears to be a cakewalk while Virat’s batting.

It’s quite astounding to see that even the most venerated laws of average have been overthrown by Virat. It certainly won’t be hyperbole to say that he has gone beyond expectations consistently. The fact is that he’s become infallible and a monstrous average of 186 in the recently concluded ODI series, where he ended up notching 558 runs in six matches, is enough to substantiate the claim. The way he bats and scores runs makes batting look effortlessly simple.

The 29-year-old ended up scoring as many as three breathtaking centuries in the recently concluded six-match ODI series against South Africa. The pace and the consistency at which the modern master is churning out hundreds is commendable. With 35 centuries in the limited overs format under his belt already, he’s scaling new heights which have left the entire cricketing fraternity in awe.

He’s the undisputed master of run chases. Twenty-one of his 35 centuries in coloured clothing have come while chasing. Further, 19 out of those 21 centuries while chasing have resulted in an Indian victory.

Even during his early days, he used to show glimpses of his masterclass. One of his classiest innings came at Hobart when the Indian side faced the Lankans in a must-win clash. Needing 321 from 40 overs at a rate of a fraction over eight to secure a bonus point, Kohli anchored the innings and scored a belligerent 133 not out off just 86 deliveries to give the Indians an unlikely victory.

The two basic qualities that form the heart and soul of Virat Kohli’s batting are his confidence and game awareness. The confidence with which he approaches every single game makes him a tough and sturdy character who loves steering the side out of precarious situations, at times almost single-handedly.

He might appear a bit uncomfortable at first, but once he gets going, nothing can break his concentration. Be it the regular fall of wickets at the other end or even the constant failure of the top order. He takes ownership of the decisions made by him and tries to back them with actions to get the job done and dusted regardless of criticism.

His commitment is also what sets him apart from the rest. His ability to execute his strokes with surgical precision makes him an able stroke maker. A stylish flick through mid-wicket, a booming cover drive through extra-cover, and a fierce cut stroke are some of his trademark strokes. Also, he’s a livewire on the cricket field and is often seen taking some spectacular catches. Even the TV screens can’t hide the bubble of energy surrounding the Delhi lad as he goes about marshalling his troops, often leading by example. He’s expressive and prepared for any given situation. Throw a challenge at him and he will grab it with both his hands. Ask him to walk on water and he’d say, “Right mate, just tell me how many steps I need to walk.” At times, he can be seen screaming at his partner while batting, particularly Rohit Sharma.

Being the captain of the Indian side is not the easiest job to undertake, but Virat seems to have learned a lot about captaincy at a considerably young age. The first-ever bilateral series win on South African soil is just a teaser of what Virat Kohli can achieve in the years to come if he continues to lead his troops fearlessly. With the Indians registering their maiden series victory on the South African soil, Virat would now have his eyes on unfurling the national flag on other foreign soils this year.

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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 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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