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Polls Over People: The Second Wave Is A Complete Horror And Modi Made Disaster

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This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

*Trigger Warning: Covid Death*

Our nation is on a ventilator, under the clutches of the coronavirus’ second wave, and it’s clearly caused by the complacency of the Modi Government.

The government got blinded with the global praise on handling the coronavirus wreaking havoc in its first wave that it nearly forgot that we could encounter a second wave or mutants and variants of the deadly virus like the other countries did.

In spite of learning from the mishandling in the first wave, the Modi government took hubris in getting applauded by other countries as to how India dealt with Covid and how they had been back to the normal conditions. As all of this was happening, India witnessed a spike in Covid cases in the states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Kerala. In no time, we heard that cases went on their peak and we were witnessing the second wave in the country.

Meanwhile, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our Home Minister Amit Shah with several other ministers were campaigning for elections, were doing rallies with absolutely no social distancing and no masks and all of this was shamelessly showcased on their Twitter and Facebook handles with the captions, “Never witnessed such huge crowd”.

Can anyone imagine that they were doing all of this when people were dying from the deadly virus, due to the lack of medical facilities? But yes this happened in India. Our Prime Minister didn’t even bother to take charge of the situation as he was busy with the Bengal elections.

It was polls over people for him, he didn’t realise the gravity of the situation until the opposition countered him on the same and people made twitter trends go viral against the irresponsibility of the government. Modi got into action, came back to Delhi, held a meeting with all the top officials on the current situation.

And in between all this, there comes a tweet from our Prime Minister calling out more and more people to cast their votes in the by-polls taking place in different parts of the country and to “strengthen the festival of democracy”. Nothing can get more sickening than this for us as the citizens of India.

The second wave of the coronavirus in India is devastating and eye-opening at the same time. This time there are more people who have succumbed to this virus and more people who are on a ventilator. The conditions are so grave that people are booking slots in the crematoriums for the dead bodies to get cremated. It’s a complete horror and a Modi made disaster.

During the first wave, our healthcare system collapsed. By that time we knew where we needed to invest and what is more important. Since September 2020, cases started dropping but it was anticipated by many doctors and scientists that we could witness a more dangerous second wave of the virus.

Still, the government wasn’t preparing for this. What they were preparing for was super spreader events like the election rallies and organising the Kumbh Mela.

In between the first and the second wave we could have had proper medical facilities, beds in hospitals, oxygen and drugs required for the treatment. But our government failed us in that. So, clearly, we have not learned our lessons from the pandemic last year, when a lockdown was announced and there was a migrant exodus.

Covid Death Toll Continues To Rise In India
Multiple funeral pyres of people who died of Covid-19 at Sarai Kale Khan crematorium on 28 April, 2021 in New Delhi. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The situation in India right now is apocalyptic because the visuals are searing. People are dying on the roads and the worst part is this government doesn’t let the exact figures of death come out. If we look at the official number of deaths and the pictures coming in from the different parts of the country, we can clearly understand that the official number coming to us is extremely understated.

This country is breathless while mainstream media doesn’t question the government for the same. But we see some independent journalists and global media flagging up the crisis in India. The Times, in a recent opinion piece written by Phillip Sherwell, published a scathing picture of the country’s COVID-19 response with a headline that read, Modi leads India into viral apocalypse.

This time our Prime Minister decentralised his duties and made states responsible for any step that is to be taken for controlling the situation. In his sombre speech, while addressing the nation, he asked states to keep lockdown as their last resort.

By this decentralisation, it’s been a huge mess for the people to clearly understand whether the government is with us or not or is it just the responsibility of the citizens of this country to get through these unprecedented times all by themselves.

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  1. Ali Faizan

    Nice article

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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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