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Education And Economy Must Go Hand In Hand For A Nation’s Sustainable Development

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Development is usually stinted only to people’s economic welfare, but it is a broad term and includes the social weal of the concerned people and their economic progress. In other words, big dams, tall buildings, macadamized roads, magnificent plazas, and fashionable clothes are not the only indicators of a developed nation, but the term development includes other social aspects also along with these economic indicators.

Indian nobel laureate Amartya Sen in his book ‘Development as Freedom‘, indicates that freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of choice are essential for the development of a nation. So the nation’s material resources are not the only indicators of its development, but we must consider whether the people have freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of choice.

Education and development are two interrelated and inseparable terms. The education system of a country is closely linked to its level of development. The sustainable development of a country in which economic and social aspects are included is linked to such an education system in which natural sciences, social sciences and humanities are given equal preference. The dream of sustainable development can’t be fulfilled by giving importance only to the natural sciences or social sciences.

When we talk about the development of a nation, it does not mean accidental or momentary development, which doesn’t last for a long period of time or which will be at the cost of our future generation rather, we mean sustainable development. According to the World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is defined as the development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs.

As such, the presumption of sustainable development is impossible without an educated society. It is education that familiarizes us with different concepts and ideologies which pave the way for sustainable development. It makes an individual creative and useful and enables him to find creative solutions for the challenges faced by humanity in the present times.

A question strikes our mind that what kind of education should be, which could help achieve the goal of sustainable development? It is evident that just increasing the percentage of literacy rate can’t fulfil this dream. Rather a good and high standard of an education system can play a critical role in the economic and social development of a nation.

When we have an overview of the education system in our schools and colleges, we find that it has not risen above the level of transferring information. Famous educationist Paulo Freire has termed such type of education as the ‘Banking Concept of Education’ where the students become silent listeners in the classrooms. The teacher transfers the information to students, and they store it safely in their minds to recall it in the examination hall to get good grades.

Such type of teaching-learning process doesn’t develop the cognitive, creative and observational capabilities of students. Rather, it makes them robots without critical thinking and creative potentialities. The comprehensive concept of education includes the accretion and modification of knowledge, proficiency and attitude.

The main aim of education which connects it with development is that it should embolden and nourish the critical thinking and creative potentialities and amenabilities of the students, but unfortunately, such type of education system is hardly found in our society. Education should make students’ minds efficient enough to comprehend the learned knowledge and apply it to solve the new problems and challenges faced by humanity. It should help them to raise their voice against the outdated rituals and traditional taboos of society.

We need to ponder all those processes that can mutually bring changes in our education system to make it better and concatenate it with sustainable development. It includes a proper allotment of funds to the educational sector, improvement of basic infrastructure, versatility in the curriculum in accordance with the needs of modern society, modern teaching techniques and many more.

All these processes are essential for improving the standard of our education. Along with all these things, a teacher has a pivotal role in improving our society’s education system, so teachers should be provided with modern teaching training and techniques. If our society covets an efficient community of teachers, they should be provided with the opportunities of economic benefits, social recognition and reputation and professional promotions.

Teacher education is a must for the professional development of teachers. Teacher training institutions should be provided with sophisticated and modern teaching aids and instruments to train teachers for the revival of the traditional education system of our society. It is the need of the hour to revive and reconstruct the teacher training system to make teachers proficient in the teaching process.

An interdisciplinary approach should be adopted to utilize other subjects to learn and understand some critical issues and concepts. A close and interdependent link should be established between theoretical and practical aspects of learning instead of only focusing on the theoretical part. A teacher should use formal and informal teaching methods to bring innovation in himself and attain mastery in the field of teaching. Only a proficient and skilful teacher can provide comprehensive education to their students, vouchsafe a society for holistic and sustainable development.

(The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at

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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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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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