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It’s Not Just A Fair, It Reflects The Emerging Power Of Women In Bihar

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Oh! Are you thinking about the title? Are you thinking about what I have written and what I am trying to say to you? Wait for a minute, I will tell you everything.

This is not about any government plan or policy, it’s all about the things that I watched in front of my eyes, and understood, in five days. Yes! I am talking about the Bihar Mahila Udyog Mela or Holi Milan which was organised by Bihar Mahila Udyog Sangh last week.

Most of us think that it’s just a fair, but when I went from one stall to another, I felt that it resembles the emerging power of women in Bihar. The five-day Bihar Mahila Udyoga Mela, organized by the Bihar Mahila Udyog Sangh, started at the planetarium last Thursday.

In a total of 70 stalls, there were saris and decorative items from different states. Every stall represented a story of women’s’ struggles and innovation.

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The five-day Bihar Mahila Udyoga Mela, organized by the Bihar Mahila Udyog Sangh, started at the planetarium on Thursday.

The items on sale included embroidered suits, ‘Anarkali’ suits, Madhubani paintings, handmade wall hangings, artificial flowers, block-printed garments, ‘papads’, pickle, ‘sattu’, potato chips, sweets, jewellery and other home decor items.

Two sisters started their business with handmade and customized gifts from Craft Patna. Maheru is a student of JD Women’s College while Shaheru currently studies in school and, they have been making handmade and customized gifts for the last two years.

Initially, both of them used to give gifts to their friends and relatives, and that’s when their friends asked them to start this business, as they liked the idea. You could easily find cards, gift boxes, scrapbooks and wind chimes in their stalls.

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The two sisters started their business with handmade and customized gifts from Craft Patna.

Kumari Kavita, 38 years old, had brought her homemade incense sticks to the fair. She has employed many women through this business. Her pottery products are found all over the city.

She has associated with the Women’s Development Corporation six months ago. She was informed that after a training program from Mahila Vikas Nigam, marketing of their products was improving.

They have also started selling their products online. And their products are reaching people through Khadi Mall. She makes housekeeping products with a variety of incense sticks.

No chemicals are used in these products, and they are made in a natural way, to keep people away from any harm. The price of these items varies from 20 to 300.

Babita Kishore, a 51-year-old, started the business of handmade organic soaps a month ago.

Babita Kishore, a 51-year-old, started the business of handmade organic soaps a month ago. Her daughter’s face had a lot of pimples and Babita made her first papaya soap as a result. The soap had a great effect on her face and after that, Babita got the idea to start her work on a large scale.

She made 12 types of soaps through the help of internet and books in about a month. These include goat milk soap, honey soap, papaya soap, charcoal soap, neem soap, ubtan soap and many more. They have many benefits ranging from curing skin diseases to promising natural glow.

The price of 100 grams is 100 rupees. Babita said that the response of the people is quite good. “This is my first exhibition, I am nervous as well as excited”, she added.

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The speciality of these bags is their biodegradability. From small shopping to freezing, you can even store vegetables in these bags.

Monica Prasad stopped using plastic about two years ago and started using biodegradable bags. She felt that this awareness should be brought to everyone. After this, she started stitching bags with a group of women.

The speciality of these bags is their biodegradability. From small shopping to freezing, you can even store vegetables in these bags. These bags are also special because they have messages like ‘save the earth’, ‘save sparrow’, ‘save the planet’ written on them.
You can use these cotton bags for years.
They are washable. Monica said that she promotes them through social media. They also have customers in Israel, Mumbai and other cities and their products are well-appreciated. Their price ranges from Rs. 50 to 100.
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“I use materials like leather, fabric, foam and rubber. Party sandals are made using ‘resham’ and ‘zari’ embroidery, stones, crystals and pearls,” she said.
A Patna-based entrepreneur, Shazia Qaiser, was selling customised footwear for occasions like weddings and parties. “I use materials like leather, fabric, foam and rubber. Party sandals are made using ‘resham’ and ‘zari’ embroidery, stones, crystals and pearls,” she said.
Products worth Rs 76 lakh were sold at the five-day Mahila Udyog Mela, which concluded at the Indira Gandhi Planetarium on Monday.
These women entrepreneurs put up a total of 70 stalls, including four food stalls at the Udyog Mela. Many of them had come all the way from Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and other districts of Bihar.
Products worth Rs 76 lakh were sold at the five-day Mahila Udyog Mela, which concluded at the Indira Gandhi Planetarium on Monday.
These women entrepreneurs put up a total of 70 stalls, including four food stalls at the Udyog Mela.
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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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