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Sandhya was to leave office, (8.30 PM) it was already late. She left office in a hurry, it was slightly raining outside. After waiting for some time she decided to move on & enjoy the drizzle.

She was very happy today because she was waiting for this day and was working hard since joining the company. Today she got her first promotion as a Manager plus hefty hike. She was very energetic & motivated to do something unique and establish herself in the corporate ladder & contribute maximum to the growth of the company. Sandhya was just 26 years living with her mother.

When she started her way back home her mind started wandering in the past & body started shivering due to the rain which had no sign of stopping, so she continued her travel back to home rewinding all the events from her childhood days to till date, being a single child to a widow mother, their struggle and all the hard times the duo faced, her part time job to support her mother & to arrange fees for studies, people who supported them& forced her to pursue higher studies, her selfless teachers & close friends who helped when her mother went through a cardiac arrest, and the good times of getting scholarship from university after getting into the merit, topping the merit in finals, the convocation & celebration with friends. Her eyes were getting moist & tears were disappearing with shower.

Now she had travelled half distance to her home, she was very eager to reach home as early as possible & have a tight hug with mother and give her a good news. In the afternoon Sandhya had purchased a new sari for her mother. And planned a dinner lying her not to cook as they will be attending a function at colleague’s house.

The rain stopped but due to the cold wind she was feeling like frozen. Her patience was going to be tested now, she continued her travel with old memories again reminding herself, the days of joining this company, strict but supportive boss, the learning phase in the corporate world & those late night workings to submit the reports, those long & tiring meetings, those frustrating & heated conversations with colleagues, handling different kind of peoples & achieving the targets, those long distance travels & parting with mother, remaining top performer again, and the judgement day, greetings from colleagues & bosses, celebration in the team, and her lovely mother wearing a sari that she purchased looking at her daughters success from backdrop asking her to come home early, making her eyes wet again.

Looking at flashing lights coming towards her she suddenly braked her scooter on the road side for no use. Everything had crushed within a fraction of seconds, scooter and Sandhya thrown like a doll. Sandhya had gone into a deep sleep, she received another promotion to the heaven, and her dreams were shattered, her hard work failed her, her fate failed her, an old mother waiting for her daughter lost her future, someone had lost their best friend, colleague & company had lost bright employee, finally a family lost its presence. Sandhya was quite but her body was asking someone to please drop her into her mother’s lap, stained Sari with mud & Sandhya’s blood lying on road was asking someone to gift her to Sandhya’s mother as her last reminder.

The flashing objects were the two cars speeding on the roads, both cars were occupied by drunk young boys, who were racing in wild celebration after winning local elections.

Who was to blame for this tragic end of an innocent Sandhya’s life? The government, road rules, traffic Police, drunk drivers, parents, family, friends, teachers or whole society?

Who? Ask yourself, It is us, we all form part of this system & society. We choose people to rule us, we break the rules, and we bribe the authorities to escape. Instead we should always try to be a good citizen rather remaining mere spectator we should set an example to others.

Think this can happen to any one of us. Please follow traffic rules & make road a better & safe place to travel.

Please read below questions & answer yourself to check how you are doing and how you can change.

  • Do you believe that the Road safety is important?
  • Do you feel unsafe while crossing or walking on the road?
  • Do you follow traffic rules while driving?
  • Do you believe that the process of getting driving licenses is full proof?
  • Do you wear helmet while driving a two wheeler?
  • Do you & your co-passengers always fasten seat belt while travelling in a car?
  • Do you agree that the quality of road is good in your locality?
  • Are you confident of getting immediate help in case of emergency on the road /highways?
  • Do you drink & drive?
  • Do you use mobile phones while driving?

Safe Driving..!
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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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