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Positioning India As A Leader In Emerging Global Scenario

The 21st century has been called the Asian century and rightly so. The World Economic Forum projects that by 2040 Asia is likely to generate 50% of the world GDP and account for nearly 40% of the global consumption. The engines of this projected economic boom are being driven by the fact that more than half the global population resides on this mammoth continent.

The rapid rise in the per capita income of Asians has been a remarkably fascinating aspect to watch. In this era of rising Asian dominance, many people have mulled over the propitious dream of “pax indica”. The unique social, economic, diplomatic and geostrategic position India presently enjoys grants it a sui generis status across the globe.

overpopulation
India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country around 2027.

India is set to become the most populous country in the world within the coming decade, with a majority of this population within the bounds of the earning category. This will allow India not only to boost its own production but will also allow us to the market workforce as an essential resource of the future.

As more and more Indians educate themselves, they shall be employed in various white-collar jobs and the capacity of essential workers around the globe. Indians shall fill the formwork of healthcare systems, engineering systems amongst others in many developed and developing economies.

As the earnings of these OCIs increases, so do the remittances made by them to their homeland. As the migrated Indian communities earn themselves a better place, they increase the weightage of India in the domestic politics of that nation and also influence a more cordial approach being adopted by that country towards India.

Thus, our increasing population could in the coming times become the engine of the global economy as well and will most assuredly help spread Indian influence and prestige across the globe. A shining example of this is the U.S. 2020 elections which saw Diwali being celebrated within the White House as well.

The vibrant and steady foreign policy being followed by the central government has helped market India as a peaceful democratic nation which believes in the rule of law and treats the world as a family. The charity done by India in South Asia by donating HCQ tabs to many nations has found respect from the various corners of the globe.

India’s staunch stand against terrorism is resonated by many western nations as well. The listing of Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the UN and the overwhelming support of the fellow nations in helping India elect to the UNSC shows the weightage the world affixes to India.

The importance of U.S., Japan and Australia import to India over rule-based free maritime trade in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean can be gauged from the wide spectrum Indo-US treaties that were recently signed. India also happens to be an important stakeholder in Afghanistan, developing which will further strengthen Indian position around the globe.

India’s role on the climate front is also consequential for the aging world. India is firmly securing the top position in the solar energy market and would thus make an enormous contribution towards global sustainable development. India’s environmental policies have been lauded by the UN and multiple other agencies. India is undergoing a greener change in its own industries and production systems. This will help India in leading by example and will set India in a leadership position, especially with the sun setting on U.S.’s membership of the Paris accords. 

amazon hq india
Amazon’s new India headquarters in Bengaluru is its biggest building globally.

The recent COVID-19 outbreak resulted in China drawing the global ire. Calls were made by various countries to shift the global supply chain to other capable countries whose capacity could be so increased. India should market its capability by advertising the magnanimous increase in production of N95 masks and PPE kits effectuated by India in the short span of COVID onslaught. The companies thinking of shifting bases should be lured by India by lessening the bureaucratic red tape and increasing the ease of doing business.

India needs to cash-in this opportunity by providing infrastructure and resources to these countries. The new labour codes are a step in this direction and so are the farm bills and the deregulation of the essential commodities. Thus, some steps have been taken and some further need to be taken to make the Indian soil fertile for the plantation of these exotic foreign plants.

Besides such robust foreign and pragmatic national policies, India has come into the concept of self-reliance. This can essentially set up supply and demand chains within the Indian bubble and help build up the Indian entrepreneurs and companies. Once this phase is over, these companies can then pollinate and in sequitur bloom around the globe. The path of self-reliance without regressing to isolation will be a difficult tread; however, if done correctly would boost India into the economic hot-seat.

All this, that has been and will be is the result of the fraternity among Indians. A country as varied as India, having a myriad of languages, ethnicities and beliefs has been sewed together by a sturdy thread of vibrant democracy, based on the sacrosanct beliefs enshrined within the Constitution.

At many points of this country’s history, many statesmen and political pundits expected the Indian experiment to fail and descend into chaos. It has been a true privilege to witness the Indian democracy unfold and bloom. This miracle has been a result of the fabled Indian cordiality and fraternity. This hallowed principle has descended from its lofty place in our Constitution to the streets and rivers of India.

We have together overcome the 1965 “official language” riots, the emergency era, the Sikh riots, the Babri Masjid demolition, the Godhra riots and the recent Delhi riots. We have sustained multiple attacks on our sovereignty in the shape of the Mumbai attacks, the illegal Kashmir occupation by enemy combatants and various others.

I believe that we have managed this far and will continue to walk this road because it is we the people who have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, socialist and a democratic republic.

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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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