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The Rising Issue Of Domestic Violence: Why Are Cases Not Reported?

Abstract

Domestic Violence at home is savagery or a type of misuse allotted on one individual by another in such household settings as dwelling together or marriage. It can happen between previous accomplices or life partners, just as in continuous same-sex or hetero connections. It can likewise include savagery against the older, guardians, or kids.

It happens in various structures, including sexual, conceptive, strict, financial, enthusiastic, verbal and physical maltreatment (Kenney, 2011). People of all ages or sexual orientation can be influenced by aggressive behaviour at home, regardless of whether mental or physical; aggressive behaviour at home hinders casualties and kids and ought to be viably tended to.

Introduction

Difficult stories of domestic violence against women in Mumbai, India
The PWDVA, a common law, incorporates physical, passionate, sexual, verbal and abusive behaviour in the household. (Photo by Giulio Paletta/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Domestic violence in India’s households incorporates any abuse experienced by an individual from their family member; in most cases, it is the abuse endured by a lady from a male individual of their family.

In earlier times, the primary law was the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, which demonstrated giving and accepting dowry an offence. With an end goal to support the 1961 law, two new laws, Section 498A and Section 304B were brought into the Indian Penal Code in 1983 and 1986.

The latest enactment is the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) 2005. The PWDVA, a common law, incorporates physical, passionate, sexual, verbal and abusive behaviour in the household. It says that any damages or harms or imperils to the wellbeing, life, appendage or prosperity, regardless of whether mental or physical, of the wronged individual or will, in general, do as such.

It incorporates causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse or bugs, hurts, harms or jeopardises the oppressed individual to force them or some other individual identified with them to satisfy any unlawful need for any share or other property or significant security or has the impact of undermining the distressed individual or any individual identified with them by any direct in any case harms or causes hurt, regardless of whether physical or mental, to the abused individual.

Aggressive behaviour at home is presently ordinarily characterised extensively to incorporate “all demonstrations of physical, sexual, mental or financial viciousness” that might be submitted by a relative or personal accomplice. Family savagery is a more extensive term, regularly used to incorporate youngster misuse, senior maltreatment and other brutal acts between relatives.

The Act accommodates a break of assurance request or between time security request by the respondent as a cognisable and non-bailable offence.

Review of Literature

  • Ravneet Kaur and Suneela Garg [1]:

Domestic violence puts pressure on many sectors of society and it affects the growth of India. In this term, the law came into the practice of health safety, labour and normal way in growth. Abuse affects the current society, crime by one person to another, which is repeated several times in a family and society.

Domestic violence is a major problem in India and across the world, and this problem harms families, children, etc. According to Ravneet Kaur and Suneela Garg, this violence is an act of control on another person, where the person hurts or abuses another person to have control.

Victims fall into very serious injury or are mentally and emotionally abused. The one who commits domestic violence on another, this violence, where they use physical, sexual or emotional threats on their partner, causes a serious threat to the survivors.

  • Domestic violence in India by Ameeta Kalokhe [2]:

In this article, the author has reviewed that both men and women can be domestic violence victims. Physical, sexual and emotional violence against women by husbands, family members or members of joint families in India; 40% of women suffer from violence caused by the husband. Mainly, women who live in villages suffer a lot from this violence.

In many places near Rajasthan, Bihar, UP, etc., when a girl child is born, it is killed by the husband or family members of the husband. Also, during a girl child’s childhood, less importance is given to them and they receive minimal education compared to a boy.

Early women were constantly viewed as feeble, defenceless and in a situation to be abused. Brutality has for quite some time been acknowledged as something that happens to ladies. Social mores, strict practices, monetary and political conditions may prioritise starting and sustaining aggressive behaviour at home. At the end of the day, submitting a demonstration of savagery is a decision that the individual makes out of the scope of choices.

45% of marriages occur at a young age. Young, middle-aged women in India from urban and rural areas in joint families across states are victims. In the past 5 to 10 years, domestic abuse grew and four out of 10 women now suffer from domestic abuse. The gap between men and women is not decreasing, it increases day by day.

  • When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy’s [3]:

I found this article very interesting because it was based on real-life experience and the most important thing is that the author herself a victim of domestic violence. According to her, domestic violence is the single largest crime against women in India, with the number of reported cases in 2014 at 1,22,877, according to the national crime bureau survey.

She said that she was abused by her husband in many ways; beaten by an iron rod, slaps, marital rape, etc., soon after her marriage. She believes the punishment for domestic violence and abuse should be more serious.

The most common cause of domestic violence is dowry. Strict rules are yet to be looked over and, according to her, in the Act, an amendment should be included for harsher punishment against dowry. Currently, it is a cognisable and non-bailable offence and the perpetrator is sent to jail for up to 3 years.

Statement of Problem

During my research, I faced many problems in investigating cases, old research papers, facts and articles. It was quite difficult for me because it was the first time I was making a research paper. I was very confused and stuck between topics and cases. But once I read Domestic violence 2005, I found it interesting.

It is a troublesome book to peruse regardless of the obvious magnificence of her language and in spite of the way that it is a fictionalised recounting her own marriage, domestic violence, its types, causes, etc.

It was the first time I was making a research paper. I could not search some of the things and read previous research papers, objectives, facts about domestic violence, etc. I faced problems and was confused between previous research papers and their formats. Searching in books, articles and old research papers was also a very difficult task.

Major problems faced by survivors of domestic Violence

Woman Looking Out Window
Brutality is normally executed by men who have been in places of trust and closeness and authority.

Mostly, 76% of women are survivors of domestic violence. The major problems faced by survivors are:

  1. Victims are beaten very badly, they get harms.
  2. Serious injuries are caused, their life is in danger.
  3. Health conditions are very poor.
  4. Their safety is not there.
  5. Their mental health is not good, mental health problems occur.
  6. Stress, tension.
  7. Legs and arms are being broken.
  8. Mental, physical and sexual abuse.
  9. They are asked for dowry or property or valuable things.

As mentioned above, both men and women can be survivors of domestic violence, but domestic violence is seen or reported by women in most cases. Brutality is normally executed by men who have been in places of trust and closeness and authority, such as spouses, fathers, fathers-in-law, stepfathers, siblings, uncles, children, or different family members.

Objective

  1. This Act was formed to finish the link of abuse, violence or force where women/girls are victims and suffer the foremost. To keep them safe from being hurt, abused. Making them brave to manage the situations, the act is formed for defence.
  2. Make it easy to register cases of violence, the office of a protection officer is appointment in every district; there’ll be an officer provided to each district where the complaints are registered under force, local police, the judicial magistrate will file a complaint.
  3. To provide shelter home where medical, legal facilities are provided to help women who are survivors, temporary protection and support are given to them, ensuring that force won’t be tolerated at any cost.
  4. Providing proper information of this act to women because many of them aren’t aware and custody orders are filed in case force is practised on a wife by their partner and with immediate effect, the perpetrator is arrested by police.
  5. Maintenance, relief funds which wife can claim. It’s mentioned in the PWDV Act that women (wife) can claim maintenance, relief funds under Section 125 of the CRPC. The act provides rights, freedom of speech, to measure in a circle where she is safe and free, violence-free life.

Research Methodology [4] [5]

domestic violence
What will you do when you will confront abuse in your life?

I searched for data of victims in my city/area and tried to read the cases that actually happened and how the survivor controlled them. After reading cases of real-life incidents, I noted some points in my notebook in my own words. After that, I made a survey of my own on domestic violence, where I asked 10 questions from people of different age groups related to domestic violence.

My survey was made on WhatsApp (due to the current lockdown). I surveyed WhatsApp and made a group where I added some of my friends, relatives, common people who are my neighbours and in that group, there were 10 people within three age groups: between 23 to 30, 30 to 55 and 55 above.

I asked 10 different questions related to domestic violence. The questions were:

  1. Problems and circumstances to talk with others in the wake of being residential abused?
  2. The mental state of casualty in the wake of being abused sincerely or explicitly?
  3. What things invigorated to leave a harsh relationship at long last?
  4. What are the primary things of aggressive behaviour at home?
  5. What are the things which can be distinguished that your relationship is changing over in savagery?
  6. Did you at any point confront any sort of abusive behaviour at home?
  7. What will you do when you will confront abuse in your life?
  8. If you will be a casualty of abusive behaviour at home, will you endure and proceed with the same partner or cut off the association with him and start with a new relationship?
  9. Does your accomplice merit your adoration in the wake of abusing you?
  10. What will the impact of household violence be on children?

Conceptual Framework

Aggressive behaviour at home is intense and savage wrongdoing, which is drilled inside four dividers of the house. Everybody knows that these cases are at times made inside boundaries of the house and at some time, they are not detailed or recorded because of life dangers made by the person who is doing this maltreatment.

At some point, because of the dread of family, society and mental self-portrait, they don’t let it out in the public arena. Aggressive behaviour at home affects the relationship between individuals or relatives. Between two individuals, when love, relationship, dignity, compassion, etc., changes into abhorrence and becomes savagery, that is called abusive behaviour at home.

In India, most cases are accounted for in states like Bihar, UP, Tripura, Rajasthan, Manipur, MP, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and numerous northern states where ladies are 55% of the casualties.

Connection of aggressive behaviour at home with women doesn’t imply that it’s brought about by their present spouse; it can likewise be an ex or some other relative. It tends to be explicitly, intellectually and truly misuse, and at present, it’s critical to know the reasons for aggressive behaviour at home.

The request of cash, post, settlement, property, because of this solitary the greater part of cases occur from abusive behaviour at home. Commonly, vengeance also prompts abusive behaviour at home. Aggressive behaviour at home is brutal wrongdoing, likewise, a large portion of the instances don’t come out because this casualty is being mishandled and the person who carries out this wrongdoing persistently shows the pitilessness.

Cases identified with a relationship is most which happens and in past years, cases have expanded by certain creators when trust, love between accomplices are over, it prompts local maltreatment. Aggressive behaviour at home doesn’t imply that only women are casualties. It incorporates men. Men are additionally survivors of abusive behaviour at home in over 40% of cases in India.

Before examining the impacts of aggressive behaviour at home, it’s important to realise that family is a piece of society. If inside families issues happen, then it directly affects society. In a large portion of cases, women are the casualties of abusive behaviour at home. However, it doesn’t imply that men are not survivors of abusive behaviour.

  • Victims of aggressive behaviour at home don’t come out because of dread. If any individual is a survivor of abusive behaviour at home, for them coming out from that experience is beyond the realm of imagination because of dread. Local maltreatment, the antagonism in the perpetrator’s mind doesn’t come out, to them, coming in a typical condition takes a very long time to overlook.
  • Mentally, misuse prompts sadness. It prompts intellectual problems, pressure and so forth.
  • It’s the sort of agony with no medication. When a person experiences physical maltreatment, they bear the genuine torment and it is exceptionally coldblooded. By and large, they become truly tested or any piece of body quits working and once in a while, a few damages become perilous.
  • Aggressive behaviour at home most excruciating part is this that individual with whom they are in a relationship, they just begin remorselessness on accomplice which leads to intense injury and agonising stun which casualties jump at the forefront of their thoughts, that the individual with whom they are in a relationship with whom they believe, that individual just breaks all trust and starts this sort of brutality. Casualties think profoundly and believe that nobody is there in this universe of their own and some of the time casualties lose their conscious, which prompts suicide.

Hypothesis

India's Dowry Problem
Why are cases not reported? (Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Why are cases increasing but not being reported to the police? This question arises without any answer. Some survivors bear the pain and overthink about society, name, fame, respect and position. They think that when these things go outside the home, they will face infamy or slander in society. Some think that it will be okay next time, but it only becomes a lifetime of violence by their partner.

This is why cases are not reported; due to threat, name and fame, insecurity, infamy, etc. These are things that even after the government has made acts for the safety of women, cases are not being reported. They start overthinking what everyone will think and about the name of the family being spoiled.

They think everyone will get to know about the police investigation and the court case. The wonder who will do the court work. They step back and think about their respect in society. That’s why people don’t file cases.

Most of them are not aware of this Act, especially people who are less educated, who live in villages. These are the reasons why it’s not reported.

Explanation in Detail [6] [7]

Section 498(a) defines the PWDV Act 2005. The meaning of aggressive behaviour at home is elegantly composed and wide extending and all-encompassing. It covers mental just as physical maltreatment and dangers to do likewise. Any type of beating, mischief, hurt, security, appendage or prosperity is secured.

Also, there are explicit definitions for the accompanying:

Physical abuse: defined as the act or lead that is of such a nature as to cause substantial torment, damage, or peril to life, appendage or wellbeing or hinder the wellbeing or advancement of the oppressed individual. Physical maltreatment additionally incorporates attack, criminal terrorising and criminal power.

Sexual maltreatment: the enactment characterises this as direct of “sexual nature” that mishandles, mortifies, debases or in any case abuses the nobility of a lady.

Verbal and psychological mistreatment: insults/mocking of any structure, incorporating those as to the failure to have a male youngster, just as rehashed dangers.

Monetary maltreatment: categorised as including hardship of budgetary assets required for the endurance of the person in question and their kids, the discarding of any benefits which the casualty has an intrigue/stake in and denial/limitation of money related assets which the casualty is utilised to while in the residential relationship.

The meaning of “wronged individual” incorporates any lady who is or has been in a local relationship with the respondent and who asserts to have been exposed to abusive behaviour at home by them [Section 2(a) of the PWDVA].

The meaning of “respondent” incorporates any grown-up male who has been or is in a residential relationship with the distressed lady, and against whom the lady has looked for consolation or any male or female relative of the spouse or male accomplice of a wedded lady or a lady in a relationship in the idea of marriage.

The meaning of “residential relationship” is any relationship two people have lived respectively in a mutual family unit and these individuals are related by affiliation (blood relations)/related by marriage, although a relationship in the idea of marriage through selection are relatives living in a joint family.

Kinds of Abuses [8]

Children violence and abused concept
Physical maltreatment is any genuinely forceful conduct, retaining of physical needs, circuitous truly destructive conduct, or risk of physical maltreatment.

Control: Controlling conduct is a route for the batterer to keep up strength over the person in question. Controlling conduct, the conviction that they are defended in the controlling conduct, and the resultant maltreatment is the central issue in maltreatment of individuals. It is regularly unpretentious, quite often slippery, and unavoidable. This may incorporate, yet, isn’t constrained to:

  1. Checking the mileage on the odometer following their utilisation of the vehicle.
  2. Monitoring calls, utilising guest ID or other number checking devices, not permitting them to make or get calls.
  3. Not permitting their opportunity of decision as far as garments styles or haircut. This may incorporate constraining the casualty to dress a particular path, for example, more enticingly or more moderately than they are agreeable.
  4. Calling or getting back home out of the blue to determine the status of the person in question. This may at first begin as what has all the earmarks of being a caring motion, yet turns into an indication of desire or possessiveness.
  5. Invading the casualty’s security by not permitting the existence of their own.
  6. Forcing or empowering their reliance by causing the casualty to accept that they’re unequipped for enduring or performing basic errands without the batterer or all alone.
  7. Using the kids to control the casualty parent by utilising the kids as spies, taking steps to execute, hurt or abduct the youngsters, physical or potentially sexual maltreatment of the kids, and dangers to call Department of Child Safety (DCS, in the past CPS) if the casualty parent leaves the relationship.

Physical Abuse: According to the AMEND Workbook for Ending Violent Behavior, physical maltreatment is any genuinely forceful conduct, retaining of physical needs, circuitous truly destructive conduct, or risk of physical maltreatment. This may incorporate yet isn’t constrained to:

  1. Hitting, kicking, gnawing, slapping, shaking, pushing, pulling, punching, stifling, beating, scratching, squeezing, pulling hair, cutting, shooting, suffocating, consuming, hitting with an article, undermining with a weapon, or taking steps to truly ambush.
  2. Withholding of physical needs including interference of rest or dinners, denying cash, nourishment, transportation, or help if wiped out or harmed, securing casualty in or out of the house, declining to give or proportioning necessities.
  3. Abusing, harming, or taking steps to harm others like youngsters, pets, or unique property.
  4. Forcible physical limitation against the casualty’s will, being caught in a room or having the exit blocked, being held down.
  5. The batterer hitting or kicking dividers, entryways, or other lifeless things during a contention, tossing things in anger, destruction of property.
  6. Holding the casualty prisoner.

Sexual Abuse: Sexual maltreatment is utilising sex in an exploitative style or compelling sex on someone else. Having agreed to sexual movement in the past doesn’t show current assent. Sexual maltreatment may include both verbal and physical conduct. This may incorporate, however, isn’t restricted to:

  1. Using power, pressure, blame, or control or not thinking about the casualty’s craving to engage in sexual relations. This may incorporate the creation of the casualty have intercourse with others, have undesirable sexual encounters, or be automatically engaged with prostitution.
  2. Exploiting a casualty who can’t settle on an educated choice about inclusion in sexual activity due to being snoozing, inebriated, sedated, debilitated, excessively youthful, excessively old, or ward upon or terrified of the culprit.
  3. Laughing or ridiculing another’s sexuality or body, offering hostile expressions, annoying, or verbally abusing corresponding to the casualty’s sexual inclinations/conduct.
  4. Making contact with the casualty in any nonconsensual way, including undesirable infiltration (oral, butt-centric or vaginal) or contacting (stroking, kissing, licking, sucking or utilising objects) on any piece of the casualty’s body.
  5. Exhibiting exorbitant desire bringing about misleading complaints of treachery and controlling practices to confine the casualty’s contact with the outside world.
  6. Having undertakings with others and utilising that data to insult the person in question.
  7. Withholding sex from the casualty as a control system.

Using Male Privilege: As long as we as a culture acknowledge the rule and benefit of male predominance, men will keep on being injurious. For whatever length of time that we as a culture acknowledge and endure brutality against ladies, men will keep on being injurious.

Economic Abuse: Financial maltreatment is an approach to control the casualty through the control of monetary assets. This may incorporate, yet isn’t restricted to:

    1. Controlling the family salary and either not permitting the casualty access to cash or unbendingly constraining their entrance to family reserves. This may likewise incorporate staying quiet or concealed records, putting the casualty on a recompense or permitting the casualty no state in how cash is spent or making the casualty give their check to the abuser.
    2. Making the casualty lose employment or keeping them from taking an occupation. The abuser can cause the casualty to lose their employment by making them behind schedule for work, declining to give transportation to work, or by calling/pestering/calling the casualty at work. Spending cash for necessities (nourishment, lease, utilities) on trivial things (drugs, liquor, side interests).

Data Analysis [9]

Dowry deaths in India
Source: NCRB

Primary Data: Essential information assortment strategies are various manners by which essential information can be gathered. It clarifies the apparatuses utilised in gathering essential information, some of which are featured beneath.

Interview: It is a technique for information assortment that includes two gatherings of individuals, where the main gathering is the questioner (the researcher(s) posing inquiries and gathering information) and the interviewee (the subject or respondent that is being posed inquiries). The inquiries and reactions during an interview might be oral or verbal by and large.

The interview can be done in two different ways, specifically; in-person interview and telephonic interview. An in-person meet requires a questioner or a gathering of questioners to pose inquiries from the interviewee in a vis-à-vis design. It very well may be immediate or roundabout, organised or structure, engaged or unfocused, and so forth.

A portion of the apparatuses utilised in face-to-face meets incorporate a scratch pad or recording gadget to observe the discussion — significant because of human absent-minded nature. Telephonic interview, then again, is helped out via telephone through standard voice call or video calls. The two gatherings included may choose to utilise video apps like Skype to complete the interview. A cell phone, Laptop, Tablet or personal computer with a web association is required for this.

Survey and polls are two comparable devices utilised in gathering essential information. They are a gathering of inquiries composed or recorded and sent to the various people to give reactions. Subsequent to offering responses to inquiries, the study was recorded.

The strategy utilised in the review was the interview. There are two fundamental kinds of studies utilised for information assortment: on the web and disconnected reviews.

Online reviews are done utilising web empowered gadgets like cell phones, PCs, Tablets, etc. They can be imparted to respondents through email, sites, or internet-based life. Disconnected reviews, then again, don’t require a web association for it to be done.

The most widely recognised sort of disconnected study is paper-based overviews. Be that as it may, there are additionally disconnected studies like Formplus that can be loaded up with a cell phone without access to a web association. This sort of review is called “online-offline” overviews since they can be filled “offline” yet require a web association to be submitted.

Secondary Data [10]

Sources of secondary data include case laws and judgement made on domestic violence in India. Data has been collected on cases, judgement on this. Methods which are used is the collection of government records, previous year papers, database, some of the data has been asked from my friends also.

D Veluswamy vs D Patchaiammal: In this Supreme Court decision, a more extensive significance to an “abused individual” under Section 2(a) of the Force Act was presented by the Supreme Court, wherein the Court specified five elements of sleep in relationships as follows:

  1. Both the gatherings must act as a pair and are perceived as husband and spouse before society.
  2. They should be of a legitimate lawful period of marriage.
  3. They should meet all requirements to travel into marriage. For example, none of the accomplices should have a dunk living at the hour of going into a relationship.
  4. They should have deliberately lived together for an interesting timeframe.
  5. They more likely than not lived respectively in exceedingly common relatives.

The Supreme Court likewise saw that not all live-in-connections add up to a relationship within the idea of union with getting the advantage of the Force Act. To induce such advantage, the conditions referenced above are satisfied and this must be demonstrated by proof.

SR Batra vs Smt Taruna Batra: For this case, the Supreme Court concerning the meaning of shared relatives under Section 2(s) of the Force Act expressed that the meaning of “shared family unit” in Section 2(s) of the Act isn’t joyfully worded, and seems, by all accounts, to be the aftereffect of ungainly drafting and requires to be deciphered in an exceedingly reasonable way.

The Court held that under Section 17(1) of the Act, the spouse is simply qualified for guarantee a privilege to habitation in exceedingly common relatives, and a “mutual family unit” would just mean the house having an area with or taken on lease by the husband or the house which features a place with the joint group of which the husband may be a part.

For true, the property being spoken neither had an area with the spouse nor was it taken on lease by them, nor was it a joint family property of which the husband was an element. It had been the select property of the mother of the spouse and not a typical family.

Conclusion

domestic violence protest
There is a need for the event and validation of a culturally tailored Domestic Violence scale and interventions geared towards preventing and managing Domestic Violence.

Literature review underscores the requirement for further studies within India evaluating Domestic Violence experiences of older women, women in same-sex relationships, and sleep in relationships, extending the assessment of Domestic Violence perpetrated by individuals besides intimate partners and spouses and assessing the multiple forms and levels of abuse.

It further stresses the need for the event and validation of a culturally tailored Domestic Violence scale and interventions geared towards preventing and managing Domestic Violence. The findings derived from the information gathered from the ladies living within the Akbar Nagar area of Lucknow city are scripted below:

  • The study reveals that 20% of the respondents are being hurt physically by in-laws/family members.
  • 34% of the respondents are mentally hurt by in-laws, members of the family.
  • 32% of the entire respondent face problem of physical violence by their husband.
  • 44% of the entire respondent faces mental violence by their husbands.
  • After the respondents were denied their basic needs, 44% of the respondents face mental depression.
  • 48% of the respondent’s children’s education is extremely badly stricken by Domestic Violence.
  • 76% of the respondents are not attentive towards law associated with Domestic Violence.
  • 94% of the respondents are not attentive to any organisation, individual addressing Domestic Violence.

The study shows that Domestic Violence against women is still prevailing in Akbar Nagar Area, Lucknow.

References

  1. Addressing Domestic Violence Against Women: An Unfinished Agenda
  2. Domestic violence against women in India: A systematic review of a decade of quantitative studies
  3. When home is a prison: Meena Kandasamy’s story of domestic abuse
  4. Domestic Violence Research Paper: “The XXI Century Problems”
  5. How to write a research methodology
  6. Domesticviolence.com
  7. Research Methodology – Definition and Objectives 
  8. Types of Domestic Violence
  9. The Data Analysis Process: 5 Steps To Better Decision Making
  10. Important Judgments on Domestic Violence Act, 2005
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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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