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Bitter Hike In Petrol Prices: Is It Time To Move On From Our Fuel-Based Vehicles?

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There is no obvious solution to resolve the rising petrol prices, as corroborated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman’s reactions. She said lowering the price is a dilemma of duty. On the other hand, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan recently said that petrol prices may just curtail in March or April with all confidence and as the most committed politician consistently squeezed under the regulation of OPEC tactics. How can it positively be?

A few days ago, he talked of bringing petrol under the precincts of GST for curtailing its hopping price. There remains contradictions in reactions to this proposition. Not only some vehicle users, but all are displeased by the high spurt in petrol prices. It appears to be pursuing with a painful and uncomfortable approach. Will it not be apt to express that petrol prices are rising like the pandemic? Although the vehicle riders find the situation irritating, yet, roads remain occupied with fast-moving vehicles. This may be enough to prove that there is not much problem due to the rising price. The government does look to bring the petrol into the ambit of GST to contain its increasing price, but there remains little attention on bringing down taxes such as excise duty and VAT, given a sudden increase in the petrol price.

It is better to grasp the minister’s precise words: “केंद्रीय पेट्रोलियम मंत्री ने कहा कि तेल उत्पादक देशों द्वारा कच्चे तेल की बढ़ती कीमतों के कारण देश में पेट्रोलियम प्रोडक्ट्स महंगे हो रहे हैं. अपने देश के हित में अधिक लाभ कमाने के लिए, कच्चे तेल की आपूर्ति करने वाले देश कच्चे तेल की कीमतों में बढ़ोतरी कर रहे हैं. उन्होंने कहा कि कच्चे तेल की आपूर्ति करने वाले देशों से कच्चे तेल की कीमतों में बढ़ोतरी न करने का अनुरोध किया गया है क्योंकि इसका प्रभाव सीधे उपभोक्ता पर पड़ता है (Petroleum minister said that due to the increase in price in raw oil in oil-producing countries, the price of petrol has increased. These countries are increasing the price to earn more profit. The countries have been requested to bring down the price because this price effects the common citizen.” )।. Further, अहमदाबाद में एक कार्यक्रम में निर्मला सीतारमण से जब पूछा गया कि तेल की कीमतों को सरकार कब कम करेगी तो उन्होंने कहा कि वह नहीं बता पाएंगी कि कब… यह एक धर्म संकट है (Further, when asked till when the government will keep increasing petrol prices, FM Nirmala Sitharaman said she doesn’t know.”) |

However, whatever vehicle users may discern from the news, there is an urgent need to discard their dependence on the engine-propelled motors. The time is ripe for saying no to continue life as machinejeevee. There are benefits of walking. As medical minds also indicate, walking reduces sugar level or even cures patients suffering from short height. Body remains fit without any controversy. The time has come to shun every kind of fear restricting us from intense sweating. A fit body can even procure employment. They need to sing the revolutionary song on the contour of “Tel bhrane ki tamanna hai abhi, dekhna hai kitna ouper jata hai abhi.”

As we know very well, being a welfare state, the government proceeds to provide subsidies on various things, so it has to adjust its tax structure in a shocking way. As a result, the unhappy populace are forced to purchase daily needs including petrol on surged prices. Politicians are caring for the agonised public and saving their pointed nose also.

Like our country’s helpless condition, Tories and the conservatives in London are up in arms over a proposed hike in petro prices with their Rishi Sunak, who is leading the way for the 58p-a-litre levy in the Chancellor’s sights — with as much as a 5p rise being considered — to help plug the Covid black-hole.

They maintain that PM Boris Johnson had pledged not to increase the hated levy in 2019 and breaking the vow would betray voters. The move will create significant economic difficulties for millions in Britain too. The UK analysts put: “A hike of 2p would cut GDP by £600million, reduce employment by 8,000 jobs and add 0.6% to inflation.” It can be an intimate procedure and a variety of barriers can stop him from hiking petrol price, even though it can be a money-generating method. This simple and convenient idea indicates the move is being initiated in the public interest to comfort their hands.

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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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