Period Contest: Open Letter To Srinagar Mayor

Editor’s Note: This post is an entry for the #Periodपाठ writing contest, a unique opportunity for you to write a letter and stand a chance of winning up to ₹30,000! The contest is organised by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC. Find out more here and submit your entry!

To,

The Mayor
Srinagar Municipal Corporation
Srinagar

Subject: Providing better menstrual hygiene facility

Esteemed Sir,

With due reverence, I am writing your good self as a part of the #Periodपाठ writing contest by India’s one of the prominent portal Youth ki Awaaz. Pertinently, the contest comes as a part of a larger campaign improving around menstrual hygiene management in India, in collaboration with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. As per the contest rules the contestant is supposed to write a letter to his/her local decision maker and stand a chance of winning up to Rs 30,000 in case of winning the contest, Rs 15000 for first runner up and Rs 5000 for second runner up, besides, the top ten letters selected by the juror will also be send to the decision makers identified by the contestants. The topic for the contest is ‘Write an open letter to your government representative asking for better menstrual hygiene facilities in your community.’

Cutting across the regional or religious lines, hygiene facility is concern for all. Before writing you in this context, I choose to discuss this matter with like minded people, out of which I find one Irfana Zarger, whom I as a journalist had privilege to introduce her before world by filing a story1 for her unparalleled contribution in bringing the hygiene facility in city. Irfana has the credit to construct a maiden washroom exclusively for ladies in the centre of the Srinagar city near Court Road. Undoubtedly she is an unsung hero of our society and coincidently she is a contractual employee at your office.

I discussed the above stated contest with her and we came to conclusion to place boxes at all public washrooms in Srinagar (later we can extend to rural areas), the box will contain sanitary pads which will serve the purpose to maintain better menstrual hygiene facilities in our community. Beside it will also help woman folk to overcome the sudden problem who visit the city.

With mine and like minded persons back support, Irfana is whole heatedly ready to lead this drive under the name and style “Eve Safety Door” in her personal capacity. In this regard your esteemed self is requested to issue a permission letter for conducting drive “Eve Safety Door.” Though it is less expensive drive, I suggest that Srinagar Municipal Corporation should itself launch this drive on priority basis.

Notably, in case of wining the above stated contest, I promise to donate half of the money for drive “Eve Safety Door.”

Thanks in anticipation

Bilal Bashir Bhat

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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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