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World War 3 Won’t Be A Reality Unless Humans Want To Go Back To The Stone Age

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If we study all the reasons behind a war – social, economic, geopolitical, we find that warmongering has caused the loss of millions of lives and billions of dollars in property. Mistrust among nations, stockpiling of weapons, hidden agendas, the assassination of head of states, paying war indemnity, secret bilateral and tripartite security and defence agreements, boundary disputes and ethnic struggles have resulted in major conflicts among nations. World War 1 began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbian irredentists with the support of warmongers. Italian fascism, Japanese militarism and Nazi Germany’s aggressive foreign policy assimilated with the racial Aryan supremacy theory triggered World War 2.

The current geopolitical situation of the world is haphazardly globalized and very interdependent in terms of security and trade. The guiding principle in today’s world is Real Politik which states a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations. This theory talks about national interest is the ultimate aim and guiding principle for each country.

Starting with India, one thing the country was sure of was its friendship with Russia right from the Nehruvian era. Russia proved to be a valuable ally during 1971 Indo-Pak war as well as the 1999 Kargil war. USA sided with Pakistan by supplying weapons and the GPS technology which it did not share with India during the war. The change of the USA’s stance against Pakistan was seen when it began struggling against terrorism. The changes in subsequent governments in the U.S. and free market economy of India made the latter an attractive partner and a valuable security ally. India and the U.S. signed trade and nuclear deals to secure the Pacific and Indian ocean rim, both agreed on objectives like LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) and COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement) etc. As expected, it created tension between India and Russia.

Russia, for the first time in its history, did a joint military exercise with Pakistan and raised eyebrows in New Delhi. It also hinted at a possible arms deal with Pakistan which never took off, thanks to our diplomacy. The India-Pakistan conflict would incur a huge cost, which we saw during the standoff in 2001-2002. The cost of the standoff for India was 3. 1 billion US dollars and for Pakistan, it was 1. 4 billion US dollars. It’s unlikely that the two would go to war because of the economic hurdles as well as United Nations pressure, but imagine a real war with higher cost and the economic implications it would leave behind, leave alone the social and demographic effects.

Ever changing geopolitics in the subcontinent regarding Sri Lanka and Nepalese issues are all connected with China. China commands a higher position in world affairs as compared to India. Its position in the UN Security Council, World Trade Organisation or regional parties is significantly higher. The crux is that India is a huge market for Chinese products and any disturbance in Indian geopolitics will lead to trade distortion.

Today, every nation is so interdependent in the transboundary business operation that any kind of distortion in any part of the world will shake things up of the global economy. For example, IBM is a US company but the production takes place in China and assembly of chips takes place in Taiwan while the software is developed in India. Imagine China going to war with India over boundary dispute (Doklam issue). China not only loses its huge 84 billion US dollar market but will also distort the U.S. market and USA will intervene. When the USA comes with democracy, western Europe and Canada (it is a package deal) to balance the tilt of power, Russian and North Korean presence will be automated like a charging rhino. So Indo-China war is a big no-no. As far as we know, Russia is an ally of India but Russia is a bigger ally to China and the Communism connection is stronger than ever, so who will Russia support?

Now talking about the Middle East, Israel and Palestine’s never-ending conflict which was started by the British Empire (nothing new) has grown over the years with massive human rights violations. Saudi Arabia has been targeted by fellow Muslim countries on its inability to check Israeli use of hostile force as only Saudi Arabia is capable of leading armed effort to check Israel. The answer lies in American interest in both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Oil companies and business enterprises in Saudi Arabia are motivating factors. Saudi Arabian royalty has been urging Palestinian authorities to negotiate and accept whatever is offered with a take-it-or-leave-it deal. A major war is not possible in the middle east because it will drag big powers in, causing destruction. Being a market-driven economy like Saudi Arabia both Israel and Iran would avoid any kind of conflict and they would hate to lose money.

If you talk about the North Korean problem, until recently, Kim Jong-un has been hostile to world peace but not since the peace deal brokered by the USA between the two Koreas and the USA itself. The Trump government which achieved what the Obama government could not. North Korea’s only motto is unified Korea but the presence of US troops has been a deal breaker in the tense Korean peninsula. Any attempt will drag all the Indian Ocean countries along with USA and UK to war.

In reality, the theory of detente i.e. procuring weapons in equal measure or higher than the opponent so that both are too scared to use the weapon, is at play. World peace is a reality because of the ever-increasing global trade and the integration of people. The world is a family, symbolized by the Sanskrit phrase ‘Vasudeva Kutumbhakam’, comes true in the 21st century because of shared interests not only among states but people to people also.

So, we can comprehend that World War 3 is not only a negative reality but the even slightest chance of it is not possible unless we as a human race wish to fall back to the abyss of the stone age. Unlike a hundred years ago, animosity is sidelined by a global catastrophe like environmental problems, melting ice caps, ever-increasing the temperature of the earth. In today’s world order,  militarism is discouraged, conventions disallowing secret treaties among nations and banning the use of chemical and biological weapons, and also producing an exact count of nuclear weapons and WMDs is a must for all countries. The world has woken up to the perils of a global war and countries are doing their best to prevent such an event in the future. It is up to us that we fight and survive together or perish before our time.

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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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

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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