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Chapter-1 PARIS



“They are bitter but they are true You can keep them inside but somehow they’ll find a way to shine You say they are eating you alive maybe it’s because you keeping them hide When u let them go they’ll set u free maybe it will be easy when u see what impact they will have When u let go the words u keep”


I like playing with the words, I like the fact that when you begin you don’t know with what you will end up with. I like how something written on a piece of paper can be a masterpiece or a piece of paper that’s been thrown out to the trash basket. Sometimes not knowing is good.

I started writing poetry about a month or two ago when I watched Puma Do You series there was a group of people sharing their written poetry, saying it passiontly. It was deep, deep to understand. That’s when I started writing ,at first I was writing trash but when I connected the words with my feelings somehow the end result came was something that I never thought that I could write. Anyone can write that’s what I think as anyone have thoughts and feelings, I think all u need to do is to connect some unknown person to words then is when the magic starts(I don’t believe in magic though but in miracles,I think miracle is just like magics not that I’ve come to see any but I’ve heard about it from people, well it must be something)

Talking about thoughts how weird they can be right? Hard to handle and impossible to manage. Our brain is full of it,they come and go wheather we like it or not and sometimes they don’t go. They just stay,they move with you whenever you move, wherever you go,you can’t ignore it nor can you throw them away somewhere,a place where they won’t come back,they just sticks with you. Our mind is full of feelings and thoughts just like a box full of chocolates however a box full of chocolates can make anyone happier but a box full of thoughts and feelings don’t. And somehow people start labeling the persons who suffer from such thoughts and feelings they call it depression, sometimes anxiety or even worse they call them mental. What they don’t know is that it’s not a disease. If something is cannot be described then it doesn’t mean you have to put your label to it so that it could be easy to explain to others. And it’s also not important that everything needs to be described.

Theyare just feelings that anyone can feel and the persons who feels them are not different then us who don’t but I guess we’ll be lying to ourselves if we say we don’t get these kind of thoughts because I believe in some way or another we all get them,whether someone admits it or not.

By the way my name is Paris and I’m 18 years old. You might me wondering why my name is named after a city however no my name is not named after a city I named my own self. Because I liked it though I never been to Paris but I like the way it sounds and I would like to visit someday.

So who am I? Well I’m just a normal person like you, yes just like you I have two eyes,one face,two legs and a brain and a one heart see I’m just like you….wait a second but..see there’s a but in every story so what makes me different is that I think different,by the way just so you know I don’t have any labels like the above mentioned as no one has labelled me yet except myself. You might say why would I label my own self, i did so that I could know that I’m different, different from the crowd because I choose not to be like everybody else. Wanna know what I label myself well I just call that “just labelled myself” because I don’t know what should I call myself I mean I say to myself that I don’t want to be same like rest of the world but I still have to figure it out at what point I want myself to be different than rest of you. There are many things I have like for the fact I don’t judge even when I want to but I just don’t, I’m caring,a lot of caring and I might be the most caring and loving person you’ll ever meet but see here’s the weird part I still don’t have any friend and honestly I don’t know why. So yea being nice sucks.

But at some point I think ..maybe there might be a same person just as me I mean come on a world cannot be full of mean and loveless people, I’m sure there are some pretty nice folks out there.

So you see that makes me different and also not different from rest of the world that’s why I’m searching.. not on Google of course but inside and outside to know what makes me different. Just so you know my book is not titled as ‘trying to find myself’ in case you’re wondering. So yea that’s pretty much of me, unfiltered, undecorated,truly me and myself.

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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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