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34 Minor Girls Were Regularly Drugged And Raped At A State-Funded Home In Muzaffarpur

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A month ago, a report came out stating India as the most dangerous country for women. A poll was conducted through interviews of experts which concluded India as the most unsafe place for women. Media channels may not focus much on the issue as they prioritise on communal and religious topics, but the reality is that fact can’t be manipulated, it can merely be ignored. The day when the study was out, spokespersons were shouting their lungs out trying to defend their parties, accusations were laid from both the sides. But the fact is that the govt has always been a failure in issues like women safety, be it the Congress or BJP.

A recent incident, which is unfortunately not much in the limelight, is one that happened in Muzzafarpur. Reports say, a total of 34 girls out of 42 girls, living in a girl’s stay home, were drugged, raped, tortured and beaten regularly. All the rape survivors were minors, ageing between 7-14 years old. The stay home was run by a state govt-funded NGO called Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti. Ten accused have already been arrested including the owner, Brajesh Thakur.

A statement recorded by the police suggests that the girls were often taken to other places where they were sexually abused and were often raped after being drugged. The district’s Child Protection Officer has also been arrested on account of this negligence. State Social Welfare Minister, Manju Verma’s husband has also been booked in the case allegedly for visiting the stay home regularly, as stated by the girls. However, the minister has refuted the allegations claiming the accusations were politically motivated. Though in the District Court premises, when the girls were shown the photos of the minister’s husband, they recognised him as the ‘Hunterwale uncle’ and one of them even spit on his photo.

The matter was exposed by a team from TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), who were conducting a social audit of all the girls and old age stay homes across the state. Although the team has praised the CM to allow the audit stating that state government generally don’t allow an independent audit across their territories. Still the extent of barbarism and brutality that happened with the girls can’t be ignored at any cost. Especially when such a gruesome act had been conducted right under the nose of govt.

The first FIR in the case was lodged on May 30, on the recommendation of TISS’s report stating that the stay home was being run in a highly questionable manner and needed to be investigated promptly. It took one-and-a-half months more to complete the investigation. This highlighted the compromised situation of law and order in the state. While TISS’s audit team has also shared their experience during the audit, they applied special tactics to win the confidence of the girls as they were scared that if they disclosed things, it could lead them to further troubles and assaults.

Between all this, opposition parties have also boosted up the attacks on the ‘Sushasan Babu’ govt, mainly RJD, accusing the government of safeguarding their cronies. The opposition also questioned the govt’s intention when Bihar DGP, KS Dwivedi ruled out CBI’s probe request, saying that Bihar Police was capable enough to investigate the matter. The media channels still haven’t raised the issue as much as they do in cases of socio-religious/political incidents.

Recent reports say that the main accused, Brajesh Thakur’s another stay home has 11 women missing since this incident has been brought to light. The accused has several stay homes being run across the city and is known for having a close relationship with the Patna Government. He has also been known for enjoying a close relationship with RJD president Lalu Yadav back when he was CM of the state. So, it’s clearly evident that these demons do enjoy favours of those in power when involving themselves in such shameless and inhumane acts.

It has been observed that since the Jyoti Singh Pandey gang-rape incident, rape cases have increased massively in the country, even after the inclusion of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which made existing laws even more stringent. It is a clear evidence of the fact that the laws made are not implemented correctly which paves the way for such brutal acts.

The case poses serious concerns on the well being of girls staying at similar stay homes across the country. There may be more demons like Brajesh Thakur roaming free across the country involved in such gruesome acts against women.

If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.

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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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