This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Priyansh Verma. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Quest For Equal Rights Is Not Over Yet

More from Priyansh Verma

The Union Government had left the issue of decriminalizing Section 377 of the IPC, to the ‘wisdom of the Supreme Court’. As the Supreme Court has now delivered its verdict; the centre needs to do its job and give real meaning to the LGBTQ community’s victory.

Transgender activists have time and again insisted on existence of law, which shall validate– marriage, inheritance, guardianship, and adoption of all the members of the LGBTQ community. There is no law currently enforced, that can validate such activities. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 which allows marriage irrespective of different religion, has clearly mentioned in its clause 4 that the couple should be a man and a woman. Furthermore, the personal laws viz. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which applies on Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, and The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, also doesn’t contain any provisions concerning same sex couples and transgenders.

Two years ago, Madhuri Sharode, a transgender woman married a guy from Uttar Pradesh, Jai Sharma, in Mumbai in front of family and friends in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony. She married Jai after his family accepted her, but couldn’t register her marriage. “The SC judgment gives hope for future change in laws. Without laws making way for marriage and adoption, there cannot be equality for LGBT community”, she says.

Madhuri’s concerns identify with many. Therefore, it’s pertinent that the Parliament makes a suitable legislation, to deal with this issue. But the real question is- Will the BJP take an initiative? No BJP leader apart from Subramanian Swamy has spoken a word about the verdict. And Subramanian Swamy has said, “There is no finality in the Supreme Court’s judgment today, and this can be overturned by a seven-judge bench.” The eerie silence of the Prime Minister clearly shows that he is not ready to upset the larger ‘conservative’ section of the society. Unsurprisingly, the opposition is also mum. For the first time, I’ve seen solidarity between Modi ji and Rahul Gandhi.

The battle against the archaic Section 377 began in 1994 by ABVA, and since then, it took 24 years to be held unconstitutional, for same-sex lovers by the apex court. It has been a very long journey. But it’s not over, all the stakeholders want the central government to formulate a legislation soon.

However, it’s difficult to anticipate BJP’s cooperation right now; because majority of Indian people are against same-sex marriage. They fear their cultural identity and uniqueness will be jeopardized. Most of the religious leaders have often called homosexuality a sin and unacceptable in any form. Although, institutions like Gay And Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) through proper research and analysis of Vedas, Puranas, Dharmashastra and Mahabharata, have clearly stated, about homosexuality and transgenders; that, “Everything in this world is a reflection of the original subtle and spiritual reality. Vedic culture allowed transgender people of the tritya-prakriti (third sex), to live according to their gender identity.”

There is nothing permanent in this world, rules and regulations have time and again been modified and repealed as per society’s needs and progress. All of us, who have been enjoying all the privileges since time immemorial, must understand the significance of damages we’ve done, by simply being ignorant and resolute. There is nothing unnatural in being a homosexual. We must contemplate the reasons behind being intolerant and opinionated towards them. We should think, why did they have to face humiliation for just being themselves. LGBTQ community don’t need any mental treatment! Those who question their identity and call their sexual orientation a genetic disorder, are the ones who need a treatment.

As I have already said, a legislation has to be made to regulate the marriage, inheritance, guardianship and adoption of the LGBTQ+. And that can be done, only by the legislature. Since the democratically elected government often does what is desirable by the majority, we will have to ensure, that such a legislation is passed in the parliament soon. And for that, we must change our attitude. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change, you wish to see in the world.” We must introspect, understand and interact with each other; particularly with our elders, to make sure the LGBTQ community feels socially accepted and worthy of being themselves, in contemporary India.

Jai Hind!





You must be to comment.

More from Priyansh Verma

Similar Posts

By Akash Dutta

By IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

By Shareerspeak

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below