As Demonetisation And GST Woes Drag On…

Haryana’s Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, who appears to be a shadow of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hailed the anti-people initiatives of his Master, including demonetisation. He was among the first Chief Ministers in the country to roll out the GST regime in the state.

Both measures of the central government have destroyed small businesses in the state and in the entire country, and rendered lakhs of workers unemployed. Demonetisation was definitely an ill-conceived and ill-planned move of the Modi government, which heaped untold misery on the common man. The insensitive government kept hailing its decision, as scores of unwell and infirm common people lost their lives and lakhs lost their jobs as several small businesses, especially in the unorganised sector who were dependent on cash transactions, closed down.

The aftershocks of demonetisation were yet to die down, when GST hit the small businesses a second body blow. The complexities of the ill-planned and hurriedly implemented tax structure, and the unrealistic deadlines for filing returns put additional burden on the already shattered and ill-equipped traders and small businesses.

The hundreds of amendments made one after the other adversely affected the bigger businesses as well. The result was another spiral of crippling business sentiment and layoffs of the workforce. The people who have been adversely impacted because of these ad-hoc and arbitrary decisions of the government are now determined to respond to the tyranny.

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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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