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How Did Victory At The Gabba Uplift The Spirits Of Indian Fans?

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We all have been through the 36 all-out phase in our lives. Considering the year 2020 has been, we as Indians faced social, economic, medical and many more challenges. But when young Shubham Gill held the Border-Gavaskar trophy, pride was not the only emotion in the eyes of Indian fans.

Differences have always been a prominent part of our society, but cricket has always proved to unite us no matter what. But this year, the Indian test cricket squad bestowed India with one more gift, hope. No matter how many bouncers life bowls at you, no matter how injured you are, stay on the pitch head held high and face one ball at a time.

Defeating the Australians in fortress Gabba was not an easy task. Seemed impossible when Pat Cummins took the wicket of captain Rahane with Paine catching the ball behind the wickets. Everyone was sceptical about the inexperienced team for the fourth test. Jokes were being shared saying veteran Ravi Shastri will be a part of playing eleven for the final test. But we all are aware of the results.

How did they pull this off? With a dozen injuries, both physical and mental, how did each man stay focused and give the best they could. Let’s talk about how the team’s problems can be related to the problems in our daily lives. What inspiration can we draw from the fight of our team?

Australia v India: 4th Test: Day 5
Shubman Gill of India celebrates his half-century during day five of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 19, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Throughout the series, uncertainty was at its peak. When hitman Rohit Sharma left the pitch contributing mere seven runs to the massive chase, many fans had given up hope. But Rahane and Shubham Gill remained calm and focused in the game.

Everyone was now expecting a draw, but then Gill started bashing the Aussies and switched to fearless cricket mode. With a strike rate of 62 and approaching a century, he fell for Lyon’s beautifully bowled offside that drifted towards him.

With Gill gone, the unpredictability rose. So basically, our journey through life, however planned it might be, will have unexpected obstacles, remain calm and keep your head in the game. Criticism is an unavoidable part of our life. May it be our career or personal life, people around will always have an opinion about it.

Australia v India: 4th Test: Day 5
Rishabh Pant of India celebrates victory while Josh Hazlewood of Australia looks on during day five of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 19, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Same happened with 23-year-old Rishabh Pant. He was constantly criticised for his performance as a wicketkeeper and to be honest, he was unable to give what was expected, but how could he? He had to fill the boots of a legend, MS Dhoni. But he proved his metal and earned his position in the team. Victory would never have been possible if he hadn’t played the explosive game he played. One should acknowledge the criticism constructively and filter out the negativities.

The 26-year-old fast bowler from Hyderabad couldn’t hold back his tears during the national anthem. Mohamad Siraj had lost his father and couldn’t come back home to complete the last rites. But Siraj chose to honour his late father the right way, he embraced his pain and helped his team get a grip on the match by dismissing five key batsmen.

Many around the globe have lost family and friends to COVID-19. Floods and cyclones have led to major destruction of life and property in India. We lost our brave soldiers protecting the Galwan Ghati from Chinese aggression. Siraj represents a spirit, a spirit to overcome our fears, our pain and give life our best effort.

To conclude, the determination and fearless attitude of the Indian cricket squad can be applied in every aspect of our lives. 2020 hasn’t been the best year for Indians. But with victory in Gabba, every fan’s spirit was uplifted and the fact that sabse aage honge Hindustani was made evident.

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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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