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News Related To SDGs You Might Have Missed In 2021

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We at Be a Bridge for Change realise that a large number of changemakers work in areas related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Be it NGOs, academicians, government officials or social entrepreneurs. It becomes very difficult to keep an account of the latest developments while giving one’s 100% to the specific cause undertaken.

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Here is our attempt to keep all the changemakers and people up-to-date on various fronts related to SDGs. Be a Bridge for Change brings to you consolidated news related to SDGs.

Women In Rural India Go Digital To Cope With The Pandemic

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  • Covid-19 brought the lives of women weavers in Gujarat to a halt in 2020.
  • Thanks to Leelavati, a World Bank initiative for improving digital and financial literacy. These women have managed to cope in these difficult times.
  • The Project is running across six Indian states and covers around half a million women.
  • The beneficiary women are now capable of handling online transactions and marketing and selling their produce on digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Catch The Rain: Ministry Of Jal Shakti, India

  • National Water Mission, India, has launched a “catch the rain” campaign to nudge key stakeholders for efforts in the direction of rainwater harvesting.
  • Construction of rainwater harvesting structures is to be taken up while ensuring people’s active participation in these activities.
  • States have been requested to establish “rain centres” in each district for the same.
  • All district collectors, heads of educational institutes like IITs, IIMs, have been requested to make this campaign a success.

El Salvador: First Central American Nation Free From Malaria

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  • El Salvador was certified to be malaria-free by the WHO.
  • It is the first Central American and third nation in all Americas to achieve this feat. The other two countries being Paraguay and Argentina.
  • Earlier, El-Salvador was on the WHO list of 21 countries that had a good potential to eradicate Malaria by 2020.
  • In 2019, about 94% of malarial deaths were in the African region.

Study On Snow Leopards In India

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  • India is a part of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP).
  • The study suggests that concerns of the local people should be factored in the conservation plans.
  • The study also suggests that local communities are the strongest allies in snow leopard conservation efforts.
  • Snow Leopards fall under the “vulnerable” species category of the IUCN. Efforts to save snow leopards need global cooperation along with locally suitable practices.

Forest Fires In India’s Simplipal

Sustainable Development Goals
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  • A week-long forest fire in Simplipal bio-reserve is a matter of grave concern among environmentalists and bio-diversity experts.
  • The bio-reserve is typically prone to such fires during months approaching summer.
  • According to forest officials, around 399 fire points were identified in the fringe areas of the bio-reserve, all of which are under control now.
  • According to a Wildlife activist, Bhanumitra Acharya, most of the time, such fires are a result of illegal poaching.
  • Hunters and poachers try to divert wild animals towards desirable areas by using human-made fires.

Hunger Rose By 22% In South Africa Due To COVID-19

Sustainable Development Goals
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  • A study has found that almost half of South Africa families went hungry because of the lockdown imposed to curb COVID-19.
  • Closure schools also played a major role in child hunger as many children are enrolled in feeding schemes delivered in schools.
  • The eventual impact of this resulted in poor nutrition for women. According to the study, mothers reduced their own intake to ensure that children are being fed — a phenomenon called maternal buffering.
  • The study also claims that the overall impact was somewhat mitigated from august onwards when the government came up with relief grants.

Critical Moment For SDG Global Action

Sustainable Development Goals
Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Unsplash
  • In a virtual conference with European Parliament Vice-Chancellor, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed termed the present time as a “critical moment” in the SDG action plan.
  • She also termed this decade as the “decade of action”.
  • She also emphasised the importance of global partnership and the significant role that the EU can play in it.

Let us know if you found this useful. Comments, suggestions, and opinions are welcome.

By Sameer Pendharker

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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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