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How Will Joe Biden’s Presidentship Affect Modi’s India?

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Hello readers, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous Deepawali.

Most of us are aware the largest superpower of the world recently had the hands at its helm changed. When a country as powerful as the United States Of America changes hands at the leadership, it becomes an issue concerning the whole world. Ex-Vice President Mr Joe Biden defeated Mr Donald Trump in the race to become the Commander in Chief of the most powerful country of the world.

This change will influence India as it will affect the rest of the world in some particular ways. Today I’m here to express my views how will we be affected by this change.

Mr Trump was quite sure about his victory in the 2020 Presidential elections. The main achievements that Trump listed in his address are economic ones. According to Trump, his policies helped to revive growth in economic terms and helped in creating “seven million” new jobs to reduce unemployment. It was very important from the pre-election point of view that his policies indicated a downwards trend in unemployment rate for non-white Americans and women – who, in fact, are the least likely to vote for him.

In doing so, he portrayed himself and his policies to be favourable to everyone to also ease allegations of racism. It was considered that the white republican entrepreneurs will invariably vote for Trump, thus his main focus was to attract the floating, undecided voters to his side. Whereas Mr Biden’s policies seemed to be in favour of the minority communities such as the Muslim-American community, Indian American community, Afro American community etc.

Trump has continued the American investment in relations with India, significantly broadened defence partnership, and even rebranded the Obama-era balance to the Asia-Pacific region with a new strategy. His aggressive approach to trade and immigration issues irritates Indians but has not interrupted the broadly positive arc of the relationship. Mr Trump said that it was the legal migrants who helped in making America great and the only contribution the illegal migrants have made is towards its steps down from greatness. These laws agitated Indians as well along with the Mexicans and Latinos.

As stated in a BBC report, Mr Biden, in his first 100 days in office, pledges to reverse all of Mr Trump’s policies that separate parents from their children at the US-Mexican border, rescind limits on the number of applications for asylum and end the bans on travel from several majority-Muslim countries. He also promises to protect the “Dreamers” – people brought illegally to the US as children who were permitted to stay under an Obama-era policy – as well as ensure they are eligible for federal student aid.

These promises and policies played a major role in ensuring Mr Biden’s victory. There were many other factors as well such as Mr Biden’s promise of raising the minimum wage and investing in green energy. Mr Biden has a strong stand on the climate change situation which will definitely be a strong backing to the stand of India on the topic of deteriorating climatic situations. Easing up the immigration laws will also prove to be very helpful to Indians willing to move to the States for education or livelihood.

How Will Joe Biden’s Presidentship Affect India?

With Mr.Biden as the President of the United States of America, various sectors of India may be affected. Indian Markets may surge as a result of the positive impact following the trend of Wall Street. Pharma sector may gain with increased expenditure by the government in healthcare sectors, IT companies can also ease up considering Biden’s reforms on H-1B Visa. America has proved itself to be helpful for India’s defence in the past.

As stated in the Carnegie report, “for decades when, India’s nuclear program, which stood outside the Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and beyond the reach of international safeguards, proved an immovable practical and symbolic roadblock to closer relations with the United States. President George W. Bush made a historic decision in his second term to cut through this most difficult knot in our relationship.

Recognizing India’s enormous potential as a long-term partner in a region that was destined to become the global centre of gravity in the 21st century, Bush believed that bringing India in from the nuclear cold would be a net plus for American strategy. If New Delhi agreed to abide by key nuclear safeguards and commitments, the United States would lean on the international community to bend nonproliferation rules and accept India’s nuclear program.”

A similar attitude can be expected under the regime of Mr Biden as the President. Mr Biden has called climate change a serious threat to humankind and he will rally the rest of the nations to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and will encourage them to curb their emissions by 2025. The efforts to relocate the supply chains will also gather momentum through which India can benefit at a large scale.

But these are only educated guesses of what may come for us. But I’m sure that no matter what happens India will stand tall as a proud nation.

Thank You

Jai Hind.

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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.

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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.

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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