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Had Kamal Nath Thought Differently, Criticisms Would Not Have Surrounded Him

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If we remain attached to all that is good within us instead of being relegated to shadowy corners of our lives, there must not come up sharp criticisms upon our earthly existence. Had Kamal Nath thought about this philosophy he would have not opened his mouth on the migrants’ issue and made an insensitive statement on ‘UP, Bihar’. He was born in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, educated in Kolkata of West Bengal, and is now holding reins of the state of Madhya Pradesh, his rants against outsiders do not hold much significance if he would have thought of this.

The corporate world selects job-seekers on the basis of ability. In such a case his inclination over giving incentives to the industries providing 70% jobs to the state youth is unjust. Talent is preferred over the region a person comes from in the modern-day cosmopolitan standard of recruitment. If migrants from UP and Bihar are getting jobs, the reason is their qualification. Political leaders across the country have criticised him for his remark. Akhilesh Yadav, SP president, said that people from Maharashtra, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh were coerced to leave those states and it was wrong. Yogi Adityanath, UP Chief Minister also criticised his remark by accusing him of divisive and regressive politics.

The RJD even disapproved his remarks in Bihar, and they urged him to avoid making such remarks in future. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister also commented that Nath seems to be unaware of the existing rules that prioritise jobs for the native population. BJP leader Kailash Vijaywargiya flayed him for divisive politics and pitting one region against another. Neeraj Kumar, MLC, JD(U) criticised him for a direct attack on the country’s federal structure. Meanwhile, a case has been registered against him at a court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district. The petitioner Tamanna Hashmi said in the plea that Mr Nath’s remark amounted to creating an atmosphere of distrust for migrant workers in Madhya Pradesh.

It further sought that the CM should issue an unconditional apology. While Bihar Congress working president, Kaukab Qadri assuaged that Mr Nath was only indicating towards the political leadership in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that deviated from its responsibility towards the talented and hard-working youths migrating to other states for livelihood. However, these employed people are not exactly happy with such a statement. He was also not relieved from the 1984 anti-Sikh riots’ smudge. Although he clarified his position by saying that it was just politics. There was an analysis that he was free on the sheer principle of benefit of doubt. Even Tejinder Pal Singh Bagga, Delhi BJP spokesman, observed four-day long hunger strike to protest alleging his role in the demonstration.

Was he being made Jesus Christ? He does not want to be crucified. A woven crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus during the events that led up to his crucifixion. It was one of the instruments of passion employed by his captors both to cause him pain and to mock his claim of authority, according to three of the synoptic gospels. Even the gospels of Matthew also mentioned when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head and a reed in his right hand. Then they bowed the knee and mocked him by saying Hail, King of the Jews! Just the same sort of circumstance was perhaps encompassing him. Will he successfully cross the Rubicon river as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river between Italy and Gaul in 49 B.C. after a war against Pompey and the Roman Senate?

He has now been treading on a very dangerous prickly path. A strong wave of bitterness has been approaching him by and by. Even in case of the loan waiver announcement in favour of 34 lakh farmers, the detractors linked the move with the looming fiscal fuss in the state. The likely financial load is going to be between 35 and 38 thousand crores after waiving an amount of Rs 2 lakh per farmer. He signed an order to write off short-term loans of the farmers in the state. Their eligibility for loan waiver taken from the nationalised banks and cooperative banks stood till March 31, 2018.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan was never in favour of this loan waiver. He spent heavily on the procurement of wheat, soybean and pulses under the scheme known as Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana in the last two years of his tenure. But as experts pointed out the investments in agriculture will suffer as a result since the same money will be used for the loan waivers. Allotment of expenditure in key areas will also be influenced as there could be a shortage of ample funds for that purpose. There’s a possibility of a precarious fiscal situation in the state.

A careful analysis of the latest data reveals that the fiscal situation in MP is fairly fragile in comparison to Karnataka and Maharashtra which have implemented similar waivers, they cautioned. The BJP criticised that the loan waiver decision was initiated in haste without proper paperwork. The cut-off date excluded most of the farmers. There was no eligibility criterion. A 22-member panel comprising of Chief Secretary,  Commissioner,  Agriculture Production, Development Commissioner (rural), Principal secretaries of agriculture, horticulture, co-operatives, tribal development, revenue departments for implementing the loan waiver settlement has been set up.

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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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