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The Art Of Simplicity And Living Life

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Why are you here in this world doing all the necessary things daily without saying anything to anyone? What should you have done and what you are doing? Are you good or bad? Whatever you did 10 yrs back was right or wrong? Are you analyzing your mistakes correctly? Are you making good choices in your life? And in this way, the list goes on.

Stressed anxious woman
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Over-analyzing and calculating life will only lead to frustration.

What Does ‘Life’ And ‘Truth’ Mean?

The purpose here is not to make you busy in calculating your life but to make you feel free from these questions. But if you’ll not analyze what you’ve done and what you’re doing, how will you move forward? even the greatest of philosophers have said to learn from the past mistakes and analyze life, find the true meaning of life.

Here it’s essential to understand the meaning of ‘life’ then the meaning of ‘truth’. Well, many philosophers had died in search of these two meanings. Truth and life, to be more complex they made it ‘ true meaning of life’.

It seems a little bit hard but it’s accepted among us all. And what gets accepted in this world becomes the truth. I don’t want to make it more complex. Let’s see a common family having two children and a couple working on farms living in a village with a minimum income. They smile even after getting 200 rupees more than usual, The father has just brought a doll and a bar of chocolate for his children and the whole family is celebrating the day like a festival.

Making Your Own Definitions

What if I say they are living ‘life’. What if I say that this is ‘true’ happiness. Actually, whenever I’m stuck with complex and subjective concepts I make my own definitions, to be more specific if you’re searching for purpose of life and what life is? Then the simplest solution is to create your own version of life, no need to find it just create one. That’s it! Cool? Yea it is!

Are you observing how simplicity is making even the hardest concepts easier? The thing is people don’t need to search for the best things like the ‘ultimate truth’ or anything similar but they need to make everything ‘just better’. Even the crux of every call you’ve made with your people is that they want to make things better. The key to this is not necessarily another self-help book full of complex information, then what? Just a break! Some memories and peace.

What people really don’t understand is that it is their own life and no one is here to judge them on how intellectually or sophisticatedly they are dealing with themselves sitting in corner of a room with all lights off. Actually, simplicity is the new sophistication. How? Thoughts are like a web of spiders, the more you think about unnecessary things the more you’ll end up making it complicated for you just like the spider.

The more the spider weaves, the more complex becomes the web. For example, If you think ‘whatever I did was wrong and I’ll die in guilt for the rest of my life’ then stop and listen! Whatever you did is past and it was not intentional that’s it. Forget it and move on! If the phenomenon is a simple way to make it more emotional and complex unnecessarily? To torture your simple and sophisticated mind?

In this world full of information clattering from newspaper social media to the minds, an average person can’t afford to keep each and everything intact. And because of so much information, the mind creates unnecessary complications making a web resulting in depression and anxiety. The problem that most of the youth is facing today may be the reason is young people want to know so much as compared to a 50yr old man who just wants to enjoy and count his days of life.

Don’t Make It Too Complex

Actually, some things are better not to be understood, some things are better to be untouched. Every kind of knowledge is not worthy enough to gain, at the cost of your simple yet precious smile. Why older people are simple? Because they know overthinking would manufacture a cheap depressed man with suicidal thoughts and nothing more. Seriously? Well Yeah! This is the side effect of knowing so much.

social media apps
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Influencers and people on social media often paint everything bleaker than it is.

Does remaining minimalistic means ignorance or dumbing down things? Definitely not. It isn’t about not noticing and ignoring everything but it means observing and noticing everything, then consciously choosing the right and healthy things. This is the need of the hour. we as a human race are constantly losing the art of simplicity.

Even today you’ll not hear good people uttering that someone gave them 1 lakh Rs. or so but the stories of ‘someone made my day’ can be heard among the richest people, just a better day than usual and some relief makes them happy because simple things make life easier.

On Instagram stories the self-declared ‘intellectuals’ would pretend that:
People are hard to understand, the world is becoming worse, life is complex. Have you ever wondered, where these perceptions are manufactured, packed, and distributed among the retailers? It’s the mind that is full of complexities and not the world, It’s the mind that thinks that people are becoming complex to understand.

How about taking a cute nap? After the nap things will be better and if not at least you’ll feel relaxed. But in place of that people will talk to other people for sympathy and condolence for their feelings which are not even permanent in nature and eventually they make it bigger and every time you repeat a bad feeling with each increasing number it will get worse and even sometimes that original feeling seems smaller than the one which is created with space of time. However, the newly created feeling which is not even 50% of the original starts dominating the scene, and life really becomes hard.

Feelings are our own possessions and we can keep them simple by just not allowing the concrete dangerous knowledge to enter into our hearts. For the sake of understanding the power of simple feelings let’s get back to childhood days and remember licking ice creams, having fun on swings in the park, playing and laughing, getting angry over lame issues, sleeping on mom’s lap, etc. You’ve re-lived those memories right? My sentences are simple but the feelings they’re emitting are priceless and so powerful that this can make your day.

This example is not rocket science but little things make huge differences. If everyone in this world would decide to make their lives better, then the so-called complex world will eventually get easier. Here our purpose is not to change the world but to simply make it better and for that, we need to start with ourselves.

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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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