This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Simran Kaur Thandi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.


More from Simran Kaur Thandi

Development stands (ironically should) for building up institutional integrity and individual capacity encapsulated in dignity and a sense of embracing self esteem of all entities. It has to be modeled on the conduciveness in which potential of a human being abounds with opportunities entwined with freedom and not leaving someone in shackles.

Turning around to another paradigm which ensures development is our Constitution which designed to be a congregation of co citizens while most of the Laws far progressed on to become instruments of the market. The supreme law of land has however withstood the pacing time to retain the promise of equality and dignity for all whilst the absence of a unified spirit of consensus for confronting issues that affect across unequivocally.

As law students, we are taught to remember and preach that Justice is the first virtue of society. At least that’s what Mr. John Rawls says which naturally means that the whole task of justice is to produce fair principles for social cooperation. Though, in the new world order, role of development has assumed much more importance than the rule of law leading to a trajectory of lopsided development. But what to delve into nuances of this modern discourse, when we couldn’t escape the unjust origins of division?

On the onslaught of an unprecedented deadly global pandemic COVID-19, a nationwide lock down has been imposed in India. The origin of the Virus continues to be under investigation but it is just like how every catastrophe rolls out in the most disproportionate and unjust manner taking a toll on the innocents and helpless. Soon after the lockdown, millions of doomed migrant and daily wage laborers haplessly marched back to their home states leaving behind their places of work due to despair and panic. Legally, we do not have a framework to deal with workers working in the informal sector which is basically 90% of the workforce. The aftermath remains even more disturbing as it is predicted that the Pandemic is going to further push away more into the clutches of poverty.

Honorable Justice Krishna Iyyer, of the Supreme Court of India once remarked while penning down a judgment that being poor in this country does not mean that it is a crime. The very humane architecture of dispensation of social justice that he attempted to lay down for the unrepresented strata of our society got denuded by the Apex Court’s remarks a couple of days back on the migrant workers left to fend for themselves. It stated that why do migrant workers need daily wages in this time when they are being provided food? Thus, drifting far away from all the essential facets of right to life inflated into Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. While the Court chose not to meddle into the affairs of executive machinery which might be correct from the point of overarching judicial activism yet it still leaves an indelible scar of institutionalized disdain for the impoverished.

For every splash of water that hit the migrant worker for sanitizing them, there oozed out our long standing comfort with an unjust rigid social stratification, which has defined us as a civilization for centuries. Whether it is this apathy or it is the ordeal of massive Climate Change refugees around the porous region on the eastern borders of India, whose plight got accentuated by the way an arbitrary executive disenfranchisement exercise panned out which could not weigh itself on the kind of attitude the entire state machinery had adopted. Be it on a humane front or on a policy landscape, obliviousness and lack of remorse leads to an incorrect presumption of true magnitude of the crisis that lies ahead.

In the midst of World War Two, a powerful spectrum of thought was implored which was the idea of Four Freedoms by Roosevelt, the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear symbolizing the impetus to fight and win. Perhaps, freedom from want and fear doesn’t seem to be giving the rigor to fight a war against walls within the society that are in built.

While some fret over watchful consumption of internet, not being able to go out, eating the food of our choice, I cannot but think of the agony of my fellow citizens who have lived under much more trying lock downs which is nothing as compared to the one we are witnessing or the vast majority of poor people who sleep empty stomach. Conversations on initiating Human Rights issues are shrugged off as potentially politicizing development and are considered unnecessarily embarrassing, but it is inevitable as much as it is true, for when political ideologies and institutions fail humans, the necessity for honing humanity and fraternity becomes insurmountably paramount.

It’s time we start peeling off the layers of justified injustice as it is already late.     

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.

You must be to comment.
  1. Mansi Pandey

    Very well written my dear friend.
    Contemporary issues should be talked about.

    1. Simran Kaur Thandi

      thank you friend.

More from Simran Kaur Thandi

Similar Posts

By Popin Designers

By reshma rawat

By Chandrakant Shukla

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below