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Modern Yogi: Artistic By Heart, Entrepreneur By Mind

People always ask me why “artistic yogi”? Let me tell you what turned Mudit Pathak into an artistic yogi. When I was in 12th standard, I tried to commit suicide because of depression. One of my teachers destroyed me from inside. I didn’t attend the school farewell; I didn’t get good grades in my pre-boards in accountancy and didn’t even appear for some papers. 

Many people thought that I was going to fail my board examination. I was confused as nothing was falling into place. When I was deep in this personal crisis, a teacher acted as a guardian angel and gave me hope. It was my Accountancy teacher, Mr Mohit Agarwal. He not only understood my problem but also worked on me and my problems. It was his faith in me that made me get 76% in my board exams. 

But then I realised that I should leave commerce and try to excel in another area. I got immense support from Anuradha Ma’am, Rajeev Tripathi Sir, Jumma Ma’am and Sheeraz Sir, who supported me and understood my issues. They told me what was right and wrong in my life. I thought of doing something unique, different from the crowd, but was unaware of what to do. Then, I got admission in this beautiful college called Shaheed Bhagat Singh Evening College, Delhi University, and studied BA Hons. Political science. 

In my first year, I learned a lot of practical aspects of life, did internships under the Government of India, UIDAI (Aadhaar card), GAIL, and other national-level events, but was still unaware what I wanted to do. I was selected in one of the best dance societies of Delhi University, Innoverz. It taught me various things related to dancing. I was part of the core team of the department fest and college fest. Life was good, but I wanted the best. 

Then I realised that students were being misguided by various means in college and that we should do things which made us self dependent, and at the same time, we could get the knowledge of the corporate world. With this small thought in my mind, I established India’s first youth-based event management firm, Plan_It_4u, which is fully registered. It provides part-time jobs and internships to youths all over India. 

Then, while doing events, I realised that artists were being cheated, and the events, underground battles and other artistic events needed support from the community. So in order to support, appreciate and motivate artists, I established artistic_bynature, India’s first artistic trust to support artists in need. We started taking events and helping artists in promoting their art. 

One day, I was given an opportunity to clean the Bhalswa lake, which is very polluted. While listening to what the people told me about what could be done to save the environment, I established activistic_bynature, a virtual NGO to help and to educate people to do the right things in order to protect the environment. 

In between these things, I got an email from an organisation that had selected me as a recipient of the Karmaveer Chakra global young leaders fellowship award. And 4-5 months later I was also given the REX Karmaveer Chakra award and became India’s first and youngest person to receive the award. Recently, I have been nominated as a confirmed recipient of the India Glorious Achievers Award 2020. 

Now when I look back at myself I realise that it was not the fault of that teacher, in fact, he helped me be the real me. There are two types of motivations: positive and negative, and that teacher’s motivation was the negative kind. I always say, “be the change”, “do something out of the box”. Come out of your comfort zone and tell people that one day that failure, Mudit Pathak, will become artistic_yogi. 

Today, I give seminars, sessions, go into colleges/schools as chief guests, and judge various events. I take part in a lot of things: anchoring, debating, dancing, songwriter, breakup guru, social activist, artist-activist, student activist, graphic designer, career counsellor, emcee. These things are possible because of true determination and will power. 

When you are doing something new, there will be problems, people won’t understand, your family will not accept it, society will not accept it, but don’t leave, don’t quit, prove them wrong, do your best, and when you achieve something, people are going to follow you. Be your role model. Be the best version of yourself. Try to be better than what you were yesterday. 

In my case, my family didn’t accept it at first, but now they are proud of me. We run a Yogi Gang which gives career counselling, CV building programs, seminars and sessions and workshops for the youth to get an entrepreneurial mindset. 

A person with an entrepreneurial mindset can make a metro and run that from the busiest routes of Delhi, can transform half-a-million peoples’ life by transforming a village. I am talking about a man who, with a hammer and a chisel alone, made a road in between mountains. I am talking about Dashrath Manjhi, the man who comes from an “untouchable” group of people, whom we consider nothing. 

So it is on us, what we want to do and what we can do. Since kindergarten, I have seen India as a developing country. The conversion from developing to developed will come only when we go from being career-minded to having an entrepreneurial mindset. The Yogi Gang does the same thing. 

Coming back to the question, why artistic_yogi? Artistic: because I am an artist and work for artists, an artist-activist, so I chose artistic. Yogi: Youth Of Global India. It’s an initiative to uplift youth towards the development of the country with the Yogi Gang. 

To know more about artistic_yogi and his work, follow him on Instagram @artistic_yogi_ 

Organiser of the world’s first Artistic Carnival in India. 

Founder and CEO of The Yogi Gang: part of India’s first and largest Instagram 2 days live session on #CHANGEMAKERS for the youth with 25+ speakers from international fame and artists performing live. 

Organised world’s first Instagram live session with 20+ dancers on world dance day. 

Founder and Vice President of Bharat_Girlup, an initiative by the UN Foundation. 

Winner of Literoma Young Achievers Award 2020. 

I am releasing my self-written book on 2 November, 2020.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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