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The New Work-Place: Creative, Productive And Secure

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This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

A Happy Work Place Feels Like Home!

A work-place is an area where everybody collaborates and brings new ideas with their own creativity in order to build something. This is a place where work should not feel like a burden and colleagues feel like family. Just as in home, we may fight or we may have difference of opinion, but our hearts don’t feel different from one another. This is a place where everyone is respected equally, safety of none is compromised and all are given equal rights.

When Home Becomes Work Place

Many are working from home during the lockdown.

In the current scenerio, when social distancing is being given importance, majority of the companies have allowed their employees to work from home. According to a survey, this has boosted productivity among employees, and in the future it is likely to become a norm. Hence, it needs some set of regulations to work smoothly:

  1. Fixed Timing: As we work in office hours for fixed duration in weekdays and take offs on weekends, similarly WFH should have fixed working hours. It will also allow employees to dedicate fixed time to work and keep their family life separate.
  2. Team-Bonding Activities: Since all the employees are scattered at their home, it is important to evoke feeling of teamwork through fun activities, for example, by playing games like tambola, dumb charades, etc. together for some time.
  3. Assigning Fixed Tasks: There is a high probability of distractions and loss of productivity at home, so there should be fixed tasks assigned by the seniors in order to prevent the employees from getting distracted from work.
  4. Data Security: There should be an agreement between the employees and the employer to not breach important data of their companies. It will prevent misuse or piracy of organisational data.
  5. No cut in paycheck: Since employees are putting similar effort in mantaining the trust of their employer, their paychecks should also have the same salary regardless of the place where they are working.

Our Heros Working During The Lockdown

Some of us don’t get a chance to stay at home with our families, instead they feel proud working for the nation and saving lives. Yes, you guessed it right! These are all the essential service workers, including those in police, medical and sanitation workers. If we call them our ‘superheros’, it won’t be wrong.

Since the virus is dangerous and they are no exception, they also need some protection and equipment to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus. Hence:

  1. We need to ensure these people get top-quality PPE kits along with face masks and gloves.
  2. Many people who are being caught by rumours attacking them need to be protected. Also, curbing these rumours would ensure that no medical worker gets harmed during the screening process.
  3. Enough food and water should be supplied to them so that they don’t get ill in protecting others.
  4. Their paycheck shouldn’t be halved; instead they deserve double the amount of paycheck considering the amount of work they are contributing.
  5. Their families should be respected instead of getting indifference from the society.
  6. There is a lot of possibility for sanitation workers to get in contact with the virus. They should also be given high-quality equipment to ensure their safety.

Daily Wagers Worst Hit By The Pandemic

Doctors working at the frontlines need high-quality PPE to protect themselves from the virus.

More than three-fourth of the population in India gets salary equal to or less than ₹20,000. Among these, most earn daily wages to feed themselves. These include: rickshaw pullers, construction site workers, sex-workers, and many more. They all are the worst hit by this pandemic.

Most of the organisations and our government have arranged food and shelter for them, but many have been deprived. Some of them, like the sex workers, are not even offered help due to social stigma. People should understand the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate among anyone and hits all equally. As a society, we should ensure everyone stays safe and doesn’t sleep hungry.

The Future Of Work Place In The Pandemic

The pandemic effect is such that our ways of working are surely going to change in the near future. After the lockdown ends, we need to ensure that we break the chain which means we mantain social distancing. Following are the SMILE steps which should be considered to ensure safe working environment:

  1. Sanitization: Proper sanitization of every employee needs to be carried out before they enter the workplace.
  2. Minimal Staff: Half of the staff needs to work from home on alternate days so that proper social distancing could be mantained at the workplace.
  3. Ill person quarantined: Everyone should be monitered in the workplace for symptoms, and if anyone feels ill, he/she should be sent to home for a 14-days quarantine.
  4. Love to recovered person: If anyone recovers from the illness, he/she shouldn’t be ignored and should be encouraged as the person fought a battle in which they won.
  5. Expenditure on illness: Everyone should be covered through health insurance provided by the company, so that they need not to pay heavy expanses after suffering from the virus.
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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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