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Bahaar in Bihar? Govt First Needs To Pay Attention To These 9 Basic Expectations

The pseudo “Bahar in Bihar” slogan led to the formation of this government nearing its term in 2020. Here is a list of aspirations and demands that Bihar needs on the ground to be called a basic fulfilment of development goals which remain untouched till date.

1. Environmental Protection

Flood problems in the state do not need the creation of huge dams. Better and scientific hydrological survey and then a permanent shifting of villages encroaching upon river beds is the way. There are scientific non-harmful ways to that permanently.

I don’t think that if we implement 100 or even 80% rooftop and other rainwater harvesting methods based on zero loss, we will ever face waterlogging due to rainwater atleast. Most of the cities in Bihar have waterlogging due to poor drainage. That can be changed by this step and further strengthening the drainage system.

Forest cover can be increased, illegal mining and other things should be taken care of. Rejuvenation of primitive water bodies like lakes, ponds marshlands and other natural water bodies will create water storage facilities and lessen the impact of floods massively.

2. Infrastructure Needs

They need to be pushed not just in terms of roads but in terms of airports. Top 5 cities should have domestic terminals we are lacking severely in that. Corruption free infrastructure is a must else we just saw the bridges washed away. Also planning out urban areas systematically will curb several problems alone.

Patna Medical College.

3. Health

All districts must have a 1000 bed hospital atleast along with dedicated trauma and burn centres. Security for medical personnel and ultramodern treatment facilities at govt centres are a must. Bigger cities should have 2-3 hospitals each. Being a doctor, I know we are giving treatment with techniques used 20 years ago and that must be upgraded.

Patients from Bihar always have to go to Delhi or Mumbai for treatment particularly for diseases like cancer. High-end investigation and treatment facilities should be present at all major city centres for these rare diseases too because we have a huge population to care about.

Primary and community health centres should be upgraded to handle basic trauma snake bite poisoning minor burns all types of uncomplicated surgeries. Recruitment on all posts is of utmost importance. There are 50% vacancies at every medical centre.

Atleast 10 cities should have super speciality centres and critical care centres. Increase in ug and pg medical seats will automatically serve the purpose if all districts have a medical college.

The government today focuses only on Patna Medical College. It has plans to make it a 5000-bed hospital. Such ideas are insane. Instead, if they create medical colleges with post-graduate departments in all districts, then this centralized idea won’t be needed. Everything should not be Patna centred just for taking media attention.

4. Waste Management

We don’t have a waste management plan. Open unhygienic dumping is done in every city of Bihar. Its time to move towards waste segregation and composting etc. It’s profitable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable at the same time. Medical waste should be treated properly as per guidelines which are not followed in any of the hospitals I know.

5. Education

We should move towards shifting the state curriculum at par with the CBSE. Atleast its time to do away with the old structure of state boards and a total revamp is needed. The government has opened some universities but they are functioning very poorly. Compulsory NAAC accreditation should be mandatory for all govt universities and colleges. Again vacancies should be filled up at all levels.

Representational image,

6. Sports

Needless to say, we are in negative in this subject. District level sports academies should be created with participation from schools both govt and private. Not just cricket, various other sports can be promoted at the grassroot level in this manner which includes low budget sports with low-cost instruments.

7. Heritage Conservation

The most ignored part of our state should be dealt with scientifically. The government bulldozes heritage structures without batting an eye. This should stop.

8. Industrialisation

The government should focus on MSME more than big industries. Agor Textiles and local art-based industry can have huge benefits as they have international demands. The government should promote an art-based local economy like Rajasthan has promoted its dance pottery toys textiles and other local arts.

9. Transport

The government has left the onus of transportation on the public and we have huge traffic problems. The government fails to better city bus services every time. They should focus on getting trams in towns which are cheap and easier to set up than huge metro railways. Atleast 10 cities can run trams on selected routes profitably. They would be reliable cheap unique and permanent, so they won’t dissolve like bus services. Electric vehicle parts manufacturers should be given huge subsidies to set up factories and boost sales. It’s eco friendly as well.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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