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SC Dismisses Rape Allegations Against Rahul Gandhi

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The controversies associated with Rahul Gandhi are not going to end anytime soon. With his rising popularity among the pubic, he is becoming a threat to the corrupt opposition party leaders. All these years, not a single charge of corruption has been filed against Gandhi, which makes it harder for the members of opposition to destroy his image in front of the Indian public.

The young Congress party president has a clean image which is hard to maintain for most politicians in our country. As Rahul Gandhi has managed to gain the trust of majority of the population, he appears as a willful leader bent on eliminating the poison of corruption from Indian politics. This is the major reason for increasing hatred against him in the eyes of many prominent politicians and leaders.

The only possible way for the opposition to prevent Gandhi from gaining the public support is by tarnishing his image in front of them by fabricating false cases against him. It is a well-known fact that Gandhi had been falsely accused, and the case did not stand a chance in the court due to the lack of evidence in the charges which were formed on false grounds. But the case has managed to grab the attention of media aided by some corrupt politicians. And now it’s being presented to the common people in a calculated manner by the media – aimed to destroy Gandhi’s image.

Rape allegations against Gandhi is a political stunt played by Samajwadi Party’s ex MLA, Kishore Samrite of Madhya Pradesh. From the beginning, the rape case against Gandhi was found to be built upon a series of lies.

A rape case was registered against Gandhi alleging that he was involved in the gang rape of a 24-year-old girl. It was advertised in the media that he attended a party on 3rd December 2006 where he was accompanied by seven other people in the party out of which four were foriegners. The rape case against Rahul Gandhi lost its credibility on the fact that the identity or names of these foreigners were never found.

Rape is a very serious offense and not a single piece of evidence associated with it was left unchecked when investigation was probed in the matter. Media tried to blow the case out of proportion by making up stories based on lies only to defame Gandhi.

Another major controversy associated with the rape case against Gandhi is that a private party was being held at a VIP guest house under high security. A 24-year-old girl Sukanya Devi appeared out of nowhere in the party without any invitation. The presence of high-level security at the party failed to stop the young girl. No additional knowledge of what went down on 3rd December 2006 after Sukanya’s arrival at the party (where Gandhi was also present) has been found.

A complaint was requested to be filed against Gandhi by Sukanya and her mother Sumitra. They went to the Police Headquarters in Amethi to lodge their complaint after which Sumitra claimed that the inspector present on duty refused to file their complaint.

As the part of an ill-advised strategy by the opposition, Sumitra held a press conference to cover this story. A story built upon lies and fabricated to destroy the image of one of the most prominent political personalities of India only to grab the attention of reputed media channels. Some reporters covered her story, but nothing came out of this stunt. Things started to fall apart for Sukanya Devi, and she went to the Human Rights Commission and filed her complaint against Gandhi and his friends.

Before the reason of filing a false rape case against Gandhi could be known, Sukanya Devi disappeared mysteriously along with her whole family, and no one knows their whereabouts now.

In order to take advantage of this situation to defame Gandhi in front of the people of India, Kishore Samrite filed a case against Gandhi on the charges of raping Sukanya Devi and detaining her illegally since 2007. Even though the case lacks single piece of evidence, an inquiry was commissioned to the CBI to investigate this case further. As per the report presented by CBI in the Supreme Court, no proof of Gandhi’s involvement in such a crime was found. It was also pointed out in the CBI report that the website which published the fake news on this case originates from another country.

In light of these events, the rape charges against Rahul Gandhi were dismissed by the Supreme Court and the petitioner of this case was fined with an amount of  Rs 10 lacs.

This case was intended to destroy Gandhi’s clean and corruption-free image and prevent his increasing popularity in the nation.

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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.

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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.

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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