Is Sachin Pilot Leading INC To Victory In Rajasthan Elections 2018?

With only a little time remaining for Lok Sabha elections, the desperation in BJP can be seen easily. The major reason behind this is the participation of Sachin Pilot in the recently held assembly elections which became an eminent threat to the saffron party. The last four years of Vasundhra Raje government have proved increasingly stressful for the common people of Rajasthan. The introduction of such a strong contender as Pilot, in the opposition, has eliminated every single possibility for BJP to stand a chance in the Rajasthan elections.

The strong will that Sachin Pilot has, has made him one of the most beloved leaders of common masses. In this political arena, he is considered as a tough politician who can overcome tough situations. After the jaw-dropping defeat of Congress in 2013, Pilot took the command of the party in his own hands. He started with the tour of the entire state of Rajasthan, which is the largest geographical state in the nation. He met with other Congress members who were demoralized due to the results of the 2013 elections. Pilot involved himself in meeting with his party members regularly while maintaining good relationships with the senior leaders of Congress party like Ashok Gehlot and CP Joshi.

His endless efforts to maintain the integrity of Congress party in Rajasthan are worth mentioning. His methods of approaching senior leaders and other prominent party members of Congress have grabbed the attention of the BJP , which is the biggest rival of Congress in India. His different approach to reach out to people has given birth to rumors that Pilot is drifting away from the senior leaders of Congress party. Pilot addressed the media on these issues that were being circulated by the opposition party and told them that he is fortunate to get support from senior leaders of Congress and is going to work toward the development of the state under their guidance.

By-poll Renaissance

Sachin Pilot has travelled thousands of kilometers to ensure proper booth management. He has been instrumental in jump-starting the campaign “Mera booth, Mera gaurav”. Under his administration, Congress has witnessed a huge success in by-poll results. It is also a notable fact that after making Sachin Pilot in charge, Congress has won four out of six assembly seats. The vote share of the Congress party has increased significantly due to the efforts of Sachin Pilot in the Rajasthan elections. As all the parties are gearing up to participate in the upcoming elections, Pilot has maintained a lead over currently ruling BJP party in the state by jump starting Congress’ campaign. Under Pilot’s guidance, Congress party members came up with different strategies like door-to-door canvassing to increase their vote share in the elections. Pilot has strategised such approaches to read out for the voters and educate them about the policies and programmes that are structured in the manifesto of Congress party for 2019 elections. In an interview, Pilot told the media that their party is trying to reach out to as many people as possible before the elections. His dedication to this concept can be easily seen by the fact that he has been travelling to two or three different cities in a single day to reach out to the people and assess their problems. The average distance between any two cities in Rajasthan is approximately 250 km or more. Sachin Pilot’s Rajasthan election campaign has given birth to a new approach of political upbringing which can be troublesome for the opposition party in upcoming elections.

Leading The Opposition

Sachin Pilot has openly criticized Varundhra Raje led BJP government for the increasing corruption in the state and the party’s failure to bring any significant development project in Rajasthan in the last 4 years. He had openly challenged Vasundhara Raje for her involvement in mining scam and the failing law and order situation of the state under her administration. The success of Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan election is coupled by the fact that BJP has lost its credibility and faith in the eyes of common people. Sachin Pilot’s Rajasthan victory may result in his crowning as the Chief Minister of the state. He had made it clear to the media and common people that he is willing to accept any position in the party or state to work for the interest of people.

Where BJP is trying to increase their vote bank by playing the card of communal polarisation to divert the minds of people from their failure in last 4 years, Sachin Pilot has been instrumental in working for A solution of problems faced by common people.

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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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