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Man Of All Seasons, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bids Adieu

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Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee can be best described as ‘the man of all seasons’. Vajpayee was one of those few leaders who had seen all the eras of Indian politics, its ups and downs. Starting from the Nehru era, Vajpayee had witnessed all the colours of Indian polity during the last 70 years. He was elected as an MP from Balrampur (U.P.) in 1957, was jailed during 1975 Emergency, formed Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP), and later went on to form government thrice in the 90’s. And, that’s why he is ‘the man of all seasons’.

Vajpayee is not only remembered as first non-congress Prime Minister to complete a full five-year-term (1999-2004) but also as a political leader who was the face of opposition when the majority of the country part was under the Congress rule. Despite being small in number, he never took down the role of leader of the opposition. Bloomed in RSS and nurtured by Jan Sangh, he formed the BJP in 1980.

Jawaharlal Nehru once said told a foreign diplomat that he (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) would be the PM of the country one day. That assumption proved correct when Vajpayee took the office of PM in 1996 (for 13 days), then in 1998 (13 months) and then a full five-year term (1999-2004). Vajpayee always practised the friendly politics. He always respected the opposition when was in power, and he always questioned the government when in opposition. Samjhauta Express and Lahore Bus service was the result of his this friendly politics. It is because of his willpower that India achieved the status of Nuclear power despite being handling the pressure from superpower America. The victory in the Kargil war under his leadership forced the world to change their views for India. The journey of politics is never a smooth road for any politician.Each politician has his/her downside in the career. Babri Masjid demolition (1993), terrorist attack on Parliament (2001), the hijacking of IC 814 IN 1999 were the downside of his tenure. One thing is needed to be mention that decision taken by the government for the case of IC 814 was one of the most challenging and difficult ones as they had to choose between the captive Indians (who were on the hijacked flight IC 814) and the release of terrorist Masood Azhar. The former were saved, and the compromise was made by releasing Masood Azhar.

Witnessing every season of Indian polity, he announced his retirement from active politics in 2005. He was conferred with ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 2014. On Thursday 16th August 2018 at 5.05 pm, he breathed his last and was cremated today at Smriti Sthal near to Rajghat at 4.30 pm. People poured their tribute to the beloved leader. One question many people raised that will be the most significant tribute that can be given to Vajpayee? To answer this question, it is necessary to look back at his speech which he gave when he resigned as PM as his government failed the No-Confidence motion. At that time he said, “Today, you are laughing on us because we have less number to run the government, but I tell you, a day will come when we will rule a maximum of the states.”
And nearly after 20 years of this statement, his words became true. Today, when he was being taken on his final journey on the roads of Delhi, maximum of the political leaders were from the states that are ruled by BJP. This was the greatest tribute to him as when he departed from the world, the majority of India is being governed under his BJP, and state Chief Ministers marched with him in his last journey on the roads of Delhi.

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  1. thug lifes

    Hi Frank! I want to tell you how much I appreciated your clearly written and thought-provoking article about Atal Ji.I look forward to reading your next informative work.

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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.

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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 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.

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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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