How YKA’s Action Network Workshop Helped Me Take My Campaign One Step Further

Period Paath logoEditor’s Note: This article is a part of #Periodपाठ, a campaign by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC, to highlight the need for better menstrual hygiene management among menstruating persons in India. Join the conversation to take action and demand change! The views expressed in this article are the author’s and are not necessarily the views of the partners.

YKA, in their yet another endeavour to bring the voices of the youth at one platform, organised a two-day workshop on Campaign Building. The participants were either working for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and/or Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). I happened to be one of the participants in the workshop.

The workshop stressed on how ideas that are big, can perform bigger by effective campaigns. Examples of #HappyToBleed, #KodaicanalWont, and #IAmNotDown were cited for references.

Following was a session on design thinking, to view the problems in MHM from a design perspective problem and not just mind blocks. A session by Aditi Gupta, the founder of Menstrupedia on understanding SDGs by the UN helped to navigate through our own goals in sync with the SDGs. In the span of these two days, many sessions by experts in the field of SRHR and MHM led us through a journey of self-exploration of our works and respective organisations.

Mitali Nikhore, an economist, introduced to us MHM under the umbrella of public policy, where thoughtful interventions can actually make a dent.

As a founder of 3-Hole-Initiative, I was able to add many useful practices for effective management of campaigns in my kitty. 3-Hole-Initiative is an initiative incubating a taboo-free environment for menstruating humans; spreading awareness on the anatomy of human body, sexual hygiene and sexuality. 3-Hole-Initiative is in the baby stage and we are gripping for building social media campaigns that promote a well managed, hygienic and healthy menstrual life for all menstruating humans.

For almost a year, I had been taking workshops with women of the age 10-18 on menstrual hygiene management. I wanted to expand this base to an online social media portal also. Before the workshop, I was struggling with a very basic question – where to start?

YKA’s workshop really pushed my boundaries of arriving at an answer to this question. The workshop not only answered many of my queries on campaign building but posed many more questions that are bound to cross paths. All of us were to design a campaign of our choice on MHM/SRHR based on the learnings of the workshop. The Campaign Designing facilitated a platform for peer-learning.

The amount of enthusiasm and spark that I could just gaze and giggle at, was splendid! Everybody in that room was a living example of a change maker. Each one of us was at one level or the other struggling to make that dent in our societies which help the menstruating humans live the life we imagine – happy! Taboo free!

Towards the end, there was also discussion on how effective mediums like poetry, art, writing can be strong curtain raisers for the propaganda that dominate society and its thought. And how we as young change makers need to raise our voices against the politicisation of basic human rights and continue struggling to achieve the much-desired utopia. Quoted was a statement by Anshul Tewari, founder of YKA, which left an indelible mark on me and will always inspire me to hustle. “Politics thrives on ignorance. Make sure your stories thrive on breaking that ignorance.”

Featured image provided by author.
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