Chandrayaan-2: How A Nation Came Together In A Moment Of Need

Going through social media is always a source of inspiration and nowadays the biggest medium to grasp knowledge. In this world of Google, I don’t think anyone is left out to touch the feet of this great guru. Well, Google received millions of clicks and the search engine received traffic with the typing of “Chandrayaan-2.”

We all were amazed and mesmerized by the unique invention of ISRO, which trapped us and our attention completely this month. For a change, everyone had unblinking eyes fixed at the spectacular Chandrayaan and not on our beautiful moon. That night of September 7, internet and media channels overflowed with the live streaming from the ISRO office for Vikram’s soft landing on the south pole of the moon.

The PM was awake all night, along with the 60 kids and their parents and made sure he was present with the team of Chandrayaan-2 in the ISRO office itself. It was a commendable attempt indeed to reach the moon but alas, we lost communication with the unmanned invention. There was a complete breakdown of emotions all over the country and at our every breath we still are expecting to receive signals from Vikram to complete the mission.

Sivan Sir, the chairman of ISRO announced that “We had lost the connection with vikram moments before it could land on the moon.” The viral picture showed Vikram hanging somewhere near the moon around 2.1 km away. The nation took charge over the social media showing their anger and sympathy for the incident. Some reacted as if they worked for ISRO, then we would have reached the moon years back. Some wrote posts with praises that touched hearts. Even I had a song on my mind and I headed for my FB post.

मैने पूछा चांद से की देखा हे कहीं मेरे यार (Chandrayaan-2) सा हसीं,
चांद ने कहा चांदनी की कसम, नहीं, नहीं, नहीं!

(I asked the moon if they’d seen someone as lovely as my friend Chandrayaan-2, and the moon swore on its radiance, “no, oh, no, I have not!”)

I am sure even the moon is mesmerized and is applauding ISRO for the intelligent and ambitious Chandrayaan-2 making us Indians proud!

We are thankful to the ISRO team for being an eye for us to see the moon so closely which was a dream!

I think a separate page for Chandrayaan updates was created in every popular social network. As we were just minutes away from succeeding in the mission which eventually could not happen, but it was a proud moment to make it till there. The viral video of Sivan sir and Modi ji consoling him melted our hearts. Sir, the hope is not lost. India definitely made history.

There were n number of speculations about what will happen next and they continue till date. On the other hand, Modi ji was also taken into account for answering questions about the economy. Many tweeted that the PM is hiding behind the moon because the economy running at its lowest growth rate.

Yes, the common man is questioning whether it is a better option reach the moon, or pay a fine of ₹20,000? The “chand and challaan situation” (moon and traffic fine situation) altogether are making things difficult for Indians. But we know that Modi ji knows to keep the balance and soon will launch a “MODIfication” as Navratri is yet to arrive.

On the other hand, social media is flooded with the memes and posts for both, and we all are dancing to Ranu Mandal’s tune (all credits to social media again). The viral video singer became an overnight sensation, hence I believe that destiny finds its destination.

I hope even our invention finds its destination soon by connecting back and responding with signals. It is really overwhelming when people across the world stand by you even when we have lost hope. NASA applauded and also extended their support to work together in the future.

I realised, be it our economy or our inventions, no matter how hazardous the condition is, we will definitely make our way out. The only pledge we should abide by is to “stand together” and not find flaws.

“Aaj nayi subah ka sooraj nikala hai usko gale lagana hai,
Chaand se keh do ki phir kabhi mulaqat hogi.”

(A new day has dawned and we must live through the sunlight,
Pass a message to the moon that we shall see her soon.)

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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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