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This Independence Day, Assam’s Youth Will Rally With 3.5 Km Long Tricolour

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The nation is all set for its 72nd Independence Day celebration on Aug 15 of this year.  Independence Day is a day when people in India pay homage to their leaders & those who fought for India’s freedom in the past. Few weeks before the Independence day major government buildings are illuminated with strings of lights, and the tricolour flutters from homes and other buildings. Broadcast, print, and online media may have special contests, programs, and articles to promote the day. Movies about Indian freedom fighters are also televised. The Red Fort of Delhi once again is set to witness of the celebrations, where the Prime Minister of India will host the tricolour and deliver his speech the nation.  The President of India will also “Address to the Nation” on the eve of Independence Day.  As a whole, the entire country is eagerly waiting for the day to celebrate the 72nd Independence Day.

Approx. 2000 km far from the New Delhi, in Assam,  youths are preparing for Independence Day celebration somehow on the different way.  A registered organisation named Sunrise Youth Club, established in the year of 2006, will carry out a mega rally this independence day at Uparkhuti village of Baksa district ( BTAD)  of Assam. According to As Pavan Oli, an active club member of Sunrise, on Aug 15 the Sunrise Youth Club will be taking an initiative of a massive rally with 3.5 Km long Indian tricolour. This initiative is also an event for the honour of Assam Express Hima Das, the first Indian to win a Gold medal in a track event at the World Junior Athletics Championships in 2018 in Finland. In a telephonic conversation, Saurav Uprety of Suhagpur village of Baksa District said, “The work for the same has already begun, and the local tailors are stitching the 3.5km long Tri-colour. It is important to mention that they have not charged a single rupee for it.  It will be almost the longest flag till the date.”
He also added that that the district administration and local politicians also have extended support to this noble initiative. A local Bijoy Dahal is also pleased that the local media and some of the national media are covering the news and encouraging them to work in full swing. Again, talking about the preparation of the historic event, Nayan Newar, another local also stated that they wanted to make this effort as world record &  set the name in the Guinness Book of World Records, but they are facing the financial crisis to make it a reality for now. But, still the hope is alive and the club members optimised.

 

In fine, Assam is known for the militancy, insurgency, unrest & ethnic clash for many years.  There are several challenges the region is facing on. But still, the region has respect for the nation. It is trying to forget the past events and doing well for a peaceful living. The initiate has taken by the club members is highly appreciated. However, this year on 15 August, the region is all set to witness another patriotic move by a few youths & making it memorable for the peace- progress and social harmony for the region & nation as well.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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
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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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