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4 Things Every Child Needs From Their Parents

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Raising a child is a very delicate matter and most parents don’t realise that it is an art to be learned. Following the society repeating the erroneous cycle of the negligent behaviour of their own parents doesn’t bestow any grace. Wrong parenting strangles a child, reduces them to a prisoner and makes parents slave of their guilt.

Like any other place, Kashmir is no exception and that’s we see that the relationship between parents and children is becoming strained every day. One should really dive deep to understand this delicate task of parenting and where most people slip up. As Oscar Wilde once said,

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”

All babies grow up loving their parents, looking up to them, seeing that bright light in them. As they grow up, the love turns into judgement and then judgement creates distance. Suddenly, there is a new scene where the father is a distinct unapproachable figure, while the mother shows her love just by overfeeding the child. The child is too far from the parents, trying to carve a niche for themselves away from their parents. There are various things that need to be understood for the growing fractures between the parents and the child.

Firstly, parents have to understand that there should be free communication between parents and the children, non-judgemental and consistent communication. The child should be able to say anything without having the fear of being beaten or punished for it. Many times, children ask difficult and uncomfortable questions, it’s important that parents understand and listen to them. Communication gives a child the chance to unload their bag of worries, it makes them feel lighter. Non-judgemental dialogue helps them understand that there is someone they can talk to no matter what they’ve done. If they’re punished or beaten for opening up about something they did, they will start lying from the next time. Most parents complain that their children lie a lot but they fail to understand that the reason behind lying is that their truth is always unwelcome and is met with a hard reaction.

Secondly, parents should realise that instead of giving a sermon to others about acting cool with the child, they should do it themselves. All parents know how others should bring up their child but clearly have either no idea about how to bring up their child or lack the courage to execute the same. This ignorance is not limited to parents alone but it also envelopes psychologists and psychiatrists in its darkness. This is clearly evident from an interview of prominent psychiatrist R.D. Laing’s son. In the interview, his son complained that his father became a family psychiatrist but his own family was a mess.

Since when did farmers start blaming the seed for not germinating in an unsuitable environment? If a gardener cannot make a bud bloom, it is his fault and not the fault of the bud.

“The moment a child is born, a woman dies and a mother is born.” This statement has two implications. First being that the way this mother is born in a woman will certainly reflect in the child. If this mother is born in a tight, rigid marriage where the waters of love do not flow, then this mother cannot naturally bring forth a child who can love. If the mother’s life is not touched by love, there is no way this mother can offer love to her child. So it is necessary for parents to have a successful marriage before they decide to have a child. The second implication is that just as a child grows, a mother should also grow with the child.

Thirdly, Parents shouldn’t just keep sticking with the child all the time. By doing this, they limit their choices and interfere with their overall development. Termed as helicopter parenting by psychologists, this behaviour is on an increasing trend in Kashmir. Maybe this helicopter parenting stems from mild PTSD of which almost everyone is a victim of in Kashmir. Helicopter parenting is a very important thing that needs to be understood and curbed very early before it causes more damage than it already has caused. This type of parenting doesn’t even let the child breathe properly. Parents should understand that it is okay if sometimes a teenager commits a mistake. After all, a mistake is the doorway to learning and skill development.

Fourthly, parents need to be role models for their children. This means that both the father and mother should themselves bloom first.

 The child should always give the benefit of the doubt to parents for never has it happened that a bad act was committed intentionally. As Socrates advised his son Lamprocles, a child should remember to shrug off with indifference anything that bothers him and his parents. If one’s parents are not realised beings it doesn’t become an excuse for the child to be that way too. Someone has to break the chain.
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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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