This Student-Driven Organisation Is Filling Gaps In Education And Society

When we talk about educating the underprivileged in a society, we see that the Government, both at the central and local level, is trying to upgrade and enhance the education facilities. In my opinion, the Government is doing its level best, and there are a lot of changes we have seen in the past years. But, the changes in mindset and the gap between “advanced” education and “local” education still exists. Advance education focuses on providing knowledge, as well as developing students’ skills.

Not all families can afford private education. Therefore, it is essential we fill up the gaps between privileged and underprivileged sections of society, and help those who cannot afford private education.

Changing Mindsets And Filling Gaps 

Launched in the last week of June 2019, ‘Kiran: Route of Happiness‘ is an organisation which is filling these gaps in society. This student-driven organisation is not only focussed on education, but it also takes several initiatives to level up and enhance the skills of underprivileged students. Kids living in slum areas usually don’t have access to standard education, which often makes their lives difficult, as they grow. In these slum areas, ground-level education has always been a problem for these kids.

In my opinion, in some cases, the parents are oriented towards government facilities and mid-day meals, not towards the purpose of education. Education in those areas doesn’t focus on learning. The government education and welfare facilities may run smoothly with regards to the attendance score, but they are not sufficient in imparting quality education and skills. This may be one of the reasons that families visit schools to avail benefits and not for learning.

There is a change required in the mindsets of the people. The organisation mentioned above is working in the same direction; to change mindsets, as well as, make education interesting.

The Journey Of ‘Kiran: Route of Happiness’

A kid learning at Kiran: Route of Happiness

Every action or initiative is attached to past experiences. Similarly, Kiran: Route of Happiness is also a result of past experiences, and the problems society has experienced. The founding members of the organisation had several thoughts and ideas to help children and serve society.

So, they joined several organisations involved in helping students and society. But, each organisation was working more on paper and less in reality. Every member here has a different experience of working in such organisations. This is why they all decided to build something of their own, and create an organisation which involves working on the ground level. This project is a culmination of several ideas, meetings and discussions.

What Problems Did Kiran Face?

The starting phase of every new plan or concept is often full of problems and troubles. The founding members also faced multiple problems while setting up this organisation.

  • During the early phases, a lot of people joined with dedication but gave up in the middle. This created a problem, as the team size kept decreasing, and even though the workload was increasing. It became difficult for them to manage. This happens in every organisation or business. In the early phases, people show dedication, but when they come to work on the ground level, many of them give up and skip their roles. The same happened here.
  • The mindset of society: The uneducated parents in the slum areas were not interested in sending their children to schools. The major problem with most of them was that they did not understand the importance of education. They simply wanted their children to grow up and do odd jobs, and earn, to make a living.
  • The impact on people: Several people who wished their children to learn, were not ready to send their kids to an ‘outside’ organisation. The reason was bad past experiences. Earlier, organisations would come for a day, plan a gathering, click photos and leave after distributing small things to children. But, that didn’t eradicate problems, and this worried the parents. Hence, they did not hold a positive view on sending their children to outside organisations. The sad reality is that several organisations, who claim to serve society, are just involved in building their portfolio. It took a lot of time for Kiran to gain the trust of these parents and help them get over such experiences.

However, with patience and hard work, everything was settled, and the organisation started running smoothly and working on its core objectives.

Winner Students awarded after a competition held by the organisation.

The Founding Members Of Kiran: Route Of Happiness

The organisation holds 5 positions, and all the members currently working, were involved in the foundation of the organisation. The team includes:

-Founders: Kavya Lipi  and Ravi Kant

President: Anuj Singh

-Treasurer: Vivek Singh

-Secretary: Zoya Imam, Varsha

-Event Manager: Suhail, Vaishnavi and Kajal


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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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