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30 Facts About India That’ll Make You Proud This Independence Day!

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1. India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest country in the world and one of the most ancient and living civilisations (at least 10, 000 years old).

2. India never invaded any country in her last 10,000 years of history.

3. Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian AND the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize in Literature.

4. India is home to the world’s largest under-25 population, putting young people at the helm of decision making.

5. India is home to world-renowned social reformers such as B.R. Ambedkar, Savitribai Phule and Ayyankali who fought against caste and gender-based violence and discrimination, paving the way for creating a just society.

6. The first female fighter pilot of India – Avani Chaturvedi – is just 24 years old. She has fought convention and created history, proving that young women in India are trailblazers and deserve every opportunity to succeed.

7. India gave its best ever Paralympics performance in 2016, with 4 medals. Devendra Jhajharia broke the World Record in Javelin throw.

8. We are home to over 200 different languages and dialects, all with their unique place in the fabric of Indian society.

9. Mangalyaan, India’s Mars Orbiter, was made possible at the cheapest cost worldwide – and it has celebrated over a 1000 Earth days in its orbit.

10. Sikkim has become India’s first 100% organic state – paving the way ahead of sustainable livelihoods.

11. The North East states in India are one of the world’s most beautiful and scenic regions: with the mighty river Brahmaputra, Majuli, the first island in the world to become a district, and rich biodiversity.

12. Twenty-one years after his demise and the fight against Britain for Indian Independence, Britain released a special stamp to commemorate and honour Mohandas Gandhi.

13. The classical dances of India serve a tradition spanning over 2,000 years and symbolise the diversity and culture of the nation.

14. The national flag of India is manufactured solely in Khadi and allocated to various groups in regional areas to create. It also promotes sustainable living and usage of local products.

15. The first All-India Hijra Conference was called in 1981. Around 50,000 members of the community travelled to Agra to attend it. Since then, the fight for trans rights has become stronger in India. (Fact taken from Shambhavi Saxena’s list on Youth Ki Awaaz.)

16. Calcutta held India’s first ever ‘Gay Pride Parade’ in 1999. Called the Calcutta Rainbow Pride, it had only 15 people marching, but still sent a big message to the country – we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re proud of it! (Fact taken from Shambhavi Saxena’s list on Youth Ki Awaaz.)

17. By launching 104 satellites in the orbit in a single mission, ISRO set a world record.

18. It was India’s Chandrayaan that first discovered water on the moon, in 2009.

19. The Indian army controls Siachen – which is the highest battlefield in the whole world.

20. The CEOs and leaders of top companies such as Google, Adobe and Mastercard are Indians.

21. Sachin Tendulkar was the first ever player to score a double century in ODI cricket.

22. India is a global leader in the production of spices. 70% of the world’s spices come from India.

23. In 2014, over 43,000 enthusiastic Indians gathered to form the world’s largest human flag. We also hold the Guinness record for the same.

24. In 1911 in Calcutta, the first version of ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was sung in a convention of the INC, filling hearts with pride. Years later, it would go on to become our National Anthem.

25. India has some of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world who’ve gone on to establish self-made multi-million dollar businesses!

26. India produces the most number of engineers in the world and has one of the world’s largest military bases.

27. As a lover and advocate of peace, India is one of the largest troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping Missions.

28. India has given the world the game of chess, the zero, trigonometry, calculus and many more pathbreaking inventions and discoveries.

29. India is home to Mr Shyam Saran Negi – the 100-year-old who has voted in every single Indian General election!

30. India is one of the fastest emerging and leading economies of the decade.

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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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