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Befriending Time Might Be The Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

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Yes, time! It’s so boring to talk about it. We may find every other person preaching about the importance of time to us.  But still neither ‘we’ nor ‘the person’ talking about time stick to it. We often take time for granted. So here are some great lines that most of us must have come across:-

To realize the value of ONE YEAR,
Ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH,
Ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK,
Ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY,
Ask the person who was born on February 29th.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR,
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE,
Ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND,
Ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND,
Ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.”

I find these lines quite true and precious. These lines prick our conscience at least once. But similar to this, there are innumerous quotes on the ‘importance of time’ and we find it fascinating to read, post, feel, and recite them but we are often too reluctant to realize their importance until and unless we face a similar situation. Yes, we do not realize the importance of something until we have lost it.

Representational image.

So are we here to waste our time and let it teach us a lesson that will help us be on the right track and focus on our goals? It is far better to realize that ‘prevention is better than cure. Because the wound given by time is not easy to cure.

Time is the greatest paradox. It is said that time is the best healer and indeed a great ruiner. It just depends on the situation we are going through. And yes it also depends on how we are using it. Those who respect it, it’s good to them and it’s the biggest evil to those who take it for granted. Remember the hare and tortoise story and it’s moral “Slow and steady wins the race”.

Is this moral always applicable? How foolish will it sound when you scream towards Usain Bolt in a 100m race, “Bolt!!! No need for being so fast because slow and steady wins the race?” He will lose if he takes time. And so did the hare. The hare was destined to win the race if he hadn’t thought that he had a lot of time left to complete the race. So there are times when slow and steady does not win the race but fast and furious does. The key is time.

Today’s teenagers are suffering from a disease. They have an urge to watch their phones for 2 minutes but end up wasting 2 hours on it. Many maybe even all of them will laugh when they hear of this disease but then they will cry, once this time is gone. And often the expectation is “Apna Time Aayega” (Our Time Will Come) until a hard truth slaps us and says “Beta, apna time aata nahi hai, apna time laana padta hai (We have to take charge to ensure our good time comes around) by not procrastinating but by utilization of work and time respectively.

We often say that we have a lot of time and this reminds me of the very first lesson of a story from my Class 12 English book – “The last lesson“. In this, the author gently highlights the importance of time. It’s when the Germans imposed their language on French and the French were left repenting for not learning their language on time and being overruled by the Germans. It’s just one of those examples where we say that Time left us on great remorse.

We all have only 24 hours in a day. And within these 24 hours, someone has become Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos and someone has just been a mere person who knows about such great personalities. And the ugly truth is that a large proportion of the world forms the latter. And people will give n number of reasons and excuses for not being like them.

But the difference between them and us is the proper utilization of time. Don’t let time control you, clench the time in your fist. The greatest enemy of time is procrastination. Once we overcome it, we are safe from the threat of time. A simple way is to start procrastinating your laziness not your work.

There are many other factors responsible for achieving our dreams and goals. Some of them are hard work, smart work, perseverance, dedication, sacrifices, diligence, devotion but the greatest of all is the proper utilization of time and its management. You may have completed all the necessities for the goal but if at the last moment you weren’t punctual, all your hard work goes to trash.  So, it’s better to stop wasting this precious thing and start utilizing it to be the best among the rest.

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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 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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