This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Uttam Singh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

These ‘Eco-Positive’ Neo-Imperial Policies Are Ruining Himachal’s Ecology

More from Uttam Singh

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

“Jeevan ka ek aadhaar, van adhikaar.”

Based on climatic conditions, the forest region of Himachal Pradesh (HP) can be classified into four different types: sub-tropical type, temperate region, alpine and sub-alpine region, and trans-Himalayan region. The subtropical forest belt is found on the tracts of Shivaliks and the foothills of the lower Himalayas. This is mostly located in the district of Mandi, Bilaspur, Solan, Sirmaur, and parts of Chamba and Kangra. Dry deciduous and lower moist broad-leaved forests fall under this region.

Mountain or Temperate type of forest belt is found on the upper hills of the lower Himalayas, Middle Himalayas and lower tracts of Upper Himalayas. Such types of forest belts can be found in the districts of Mandi, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla, Solan, Mandi and parts of Chamba. The vegetation here comprises mixed broad-leaved temperate type, Deodar.

Alpine and sub-alpine type forests are found on the upper slopes of the lower and middle Himalayas, and in the upper Himalayas and south-facing lower sloped of outer Himalayas. They fall in the districts of Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahul-Spiti. The vegetation in the belt of this forest is of moist alpine type. Trans-Himalayan forests are on the inner dry valleys of the outer Himalayas and trans-Himalayas. They fall in the district of Lahul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and parts of Chamba.

Forest Cover In Himachal Pradesh

Source: Himachal Pradesh State Forest Report 2019

It can be seen from the table that about 68% of the land in HP is covered in forest, of which 42% has been classified as ‘UN-demarcated Protected Forest’ by the government. While about 34% of the State’s forest land is categorised under ‘Demarcated Protected Forest’, the rest is under ‘other forest’ and ‘Reserved Forest’. It becomes important here to define this terminological classification of forests by the State. The term ‘protected forests’ first appeared in the Indian Forest Act of 1878 formed by British imperialists. The Act categorised forests into three types: protected, reserved and village.

Source: Himachal Pradesh Forest Department 

Reserved forests were deemed to be commercially viable for exploitation. Maximum state control was to be exercised in this type of forest although occasionally, limited access to forest was granted by the State. The protected forests were also state-controlled but some concessions were given: all commercial species of plants were completely under state control.

Such forests also closed fuelwood collection and restrict grazing of land by cattle. The Indian State has retained the colonial definition of reserved and protected forests. It is important to note that the State has not yet repealed the draconian colonial forest right act but has only amended it to incorporate the greater demands of the imperialist powers in this age.

The Act was amended to further classify Protected Forest into Demarcated and UN-demarcated forests. This is to mark the limit of the activities allowed in the forest. Demarcated forest means that the government has notified the limits to which the forest can be used by the local population. In demarcated protected forests, the State has more control over the resources.

How Relevant Is The Forest Rights Act In HP?

In Himachal, adding to the reserved and demarcated protected forest, about 40% of the forest is under strong and effective state control where people`s activities are minimal. The Forest Right Act of 2006 for the first time recognised the historic injustice done to forest-dwelling tribal societies. The Act vested some rights over forests to communities and individuals. The Gram Sabhas were particularly given the power of decision-making; the clearance of the forest, even for State roads, schools etc. could not be carried out without the decision of the Gram Sabha for it. Above the Gram Sabha, power has been vested in the sub-divisional level and district-level officials. The Act also bars any suit against officers acting in good faith. However, under the Act, this is quite vague and gives officers absolute power over forest resources.

Against this strong statist hold over the forest, the free, prior, informed consent (FPIC) mechanism is one to ensure people’s participation in forest management. People-based community forest management was to be evolved through this. Community participation meant strict utility of traditional and local knowledge of forest by the State in its policy decisions. This also creates a farce mental conception among people that they are the ones who decide about the implementation of projects.

This farce decision-making authority vested in people is not effective in promoting the objective interest of people. For the ideological apparatus of the State like the media, religious institutions and local government, units along with the local ruling class are in a power position to create an opinion about a particular development model. The project is a manifestation of the model that can easily be forced upon people through this power dynamic, leaving no consent here.

Hence, community participation, as envisaged in the Forest Right Act of 2006, is designed to strengthen bureaucratic power, which in turn benefits the capital-state nexus working on the model of ‘increasing the ease of business’. This gave the bureaucrats more power of carrying forward the motives of large corporate giants, capitalists, who have more stake in the hands of these bureaucrats. The Shah Commission inquiry of 2013 found out that many of the bureaucrats have strong rent-seeking opportunities.

From its very inception, the FRA has never been implemented. The bureaucrats decide things on their own, without effectively consulting with the Gram Sabhas. Sometimes, decisions about the allocation of forest land are not taken in Gram Sabha but in the DC office, where few influential people of the village, along with the bureaucrats, work on the dictates of capitalists and ministers. Forest bureaucracy stands in the way of realising the forest rights of tribal communities.

Forest Trees

In Himachal Pradesh, the implementation of this Act is all the more complicated. The gram sabhas are under the strict control of District Forest officers, who have quite a different understanding of the relationship between forests and the tribal communities who stay in them.

They say that the FRA is applicable only in Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orrisa, where there are tribes who wear leaves on their body, but here in Himachal, there are no such tribes and the land on which people are living is encroached and not their traditional and ancestral. The Brahmanical consciousness of the bureaucrats who hail mostly from the plains has prevented them from recognising the forest rights of tribals. This is when about 90% of the rural population in Himachal depends on forests for their livelihood.

This practice of the bureaucrats is quite opposite to the objectives of FRA. The FRA was supposed to grant patta to informal landholders, but the bureaucrats in association with ministers and corporate are bent upon displacing people from their land. This tendency of bureaucrats and ministers to openly serve the cause of capital was overtly expressed in the proposal to amend the FRA itself. But on stiff protests by people this amendment stayed. The strong desire for the bureaucrats to work for the interest of capital and not in the general interest of people stems from the political-economic space that determines the limit of our thought, action and moralities.

It is not that officers are morally corrupt and inherently disgraceful. To understand their functioning, it is important to demystify the forest. Forests are not just a natural phenomenon but for the imperialist, they are the reserved stocks for capital formation. Forests are the site to resolve the internal contradiction of capital. The inherent contradiction between the capital’s need to multiply the surplus-value and the natural limit provided by spatial features of a particular region has been resolved by converting forests into commodities and now, in the name of combating global warming, carbon reserve for carbon trade has come up.

Forests As An Imperial Commodity

To facilitate these projects, imperialist power is colonising the forest region, annihilating the social-political and economic space around the forest and construct a direct integration of the geography of the forest into the world supply chain for imperialism.

Besides, forests are instruments for the State to assert a claim over the forest dwellers, integrate the people into its own political space under the flag of one sovereign power. In other words, forest facilitates the production and reproduction of state power. Once integrated within the state, they can be made to serve the cause of capital through the different disciplinary mechanisms of the state institutions.

Forests are the resource base of several industries. It supports pharmaceutical industries in the foothills of Shivaliks by providing herbs of specific chemical compositions. Of the company exploiting the natural resources for profit, Neptune is a leading Canada-based company having its manufacturing unit in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from this Nutraceutex, Torrent Pharmaceutical Limited, Dabur, Natural Pure Herbs etc. are also among the companies that have to depend on herbs from Himachal and Uttrakhand for capital generation. The herbs used by the pharmaceutical industries are: ‘Tejada’, ‘Kala zeera’, ‘ratanjot’, ‘kashmal’ and ‘mitha telia’.

Due to overexploitation of the herbs, many of them face the threat of becoming extinct and in fact, 55 medicinal plants are on the verge of extinction. They are collected by the locals, mostly women groups are organised for this. The contractor, on behalf of the company, employs workers on a daily wage basis and makes them move from jungle to jungle. The contractor does not reveal the medicinal value of the plants or herbs. Sometimes, even children take out the roots of the plants on their own and sell them to the local shopkeeper who in turn is connected to the contractor. The children are paid in the range of Rs 100-500 for the plant or herbs. The herbs and plants that historically belong to the people are hence expropriated.

Buxwaha Forest

But the World Bank does not recognise this as the cause of depletion of forest or destruction to the forest ecology. For them, the only cause is what they call encroachment of forestland by tribal communities and the use of forest produce for food and fuel. It is quite obvious that the bank wants people to be displaced from the forest. They want people to be deprived of their ecosystem, the bank is using a coloniser language to rob people of their habitat and make them free and join the easily exploitable labour for the capital.

To materialise its ideology, the imperialist powers represented in the institutional make-up of the bank create strong bureaucratic power in an oppressed country like India. It is not difficult for the bank to create a subservient bureaucracy since it is the bank that provides the ideology and finance for any sort of political, economical or ecological activities in forests. And it loudest when it comes to forest conservation, the bank thinks that encroachment and traditional use of the forest for food and fuel are the most significant threat to forests. All the bureaucrats echo the loud voice from the bank, for all these officers have the desire to be in Washington on the payroll of the bank.

We have seen earlier in this chapter that bureaucrats think that tribal living in the forest is an encroachment upon forest and the agriculture performed on the forestland is the cause of forest depletion. Indian states have continually vested power in them through different legislation time and again. One such law is the Sale of Timber Act of 1968 based on this the Himachal Pradesh government has formed several rules and regulations related to forest products. That makes forest bureaucrats the biggest landlords.

The Act provides discretionary power to the District Forest Officer to grant permission for a timber sale. This has resulted in a nexus between timber industrialists and bureaucrats, and also given space for what is called timber mafia and bureaucrats nexus. But the biggest mafia in terms of power over the forest resources and zero accountability to the people are these forest bureaucrats. These unholy nexuses have brought havoc to the ecology of Himachal and the Himalayas in general.

The indiscriminate falling of trees has brought a shortage of food, fuel and water to the people here but has benefited the imperialists and their compradors. A report on the status of forests in Himachal said that in 22 years Chir Pine density went down by 72 % in the Chamba district. Three other important species including Deodar, Ban Oak and Kharsu Oak have also seen a decline in density.

Wood-based industrial companies want to convert the whole of the jungle into raw material for their industry. The plywood industries and the paper mills also are dependent on forests for their industrial production, adding further into the deforestation rate. One of the major causes of deforestation in Himachal Pradesh is the development projects. It is interesting to note that the World Bank provided funds for all such development projects as well as afforestation, which is called ‘reclamation of lost ecology’. According to a research of Himdhara, the Kinnaur Forest Division received about Rs 50 crore for afforestation, but the project is still on its way even after six years.

Impact Of Climate Change On Himalayan Livelihoods

Climate change is a real and imminent threat to the lives of people here. The change in temperature of the mountainous region, the erratic weather conditions, melting of snows, frequent cloud bursts, frequent rock and landslides etc. are all examples of the change in environmental conditions that the people have seen in Himachal. The Gaadi tribes of Himachal’s Kangra and Chamba district are most affected by this change in climatic conditions. They are semi-nomadic tribes of the Himalayas, known for the production of carpet wool, they move to the lower reaches of the Himalayas in winter and move back to Daula Dhar in summer.

The change in weather conditions has resulted in rising in the temperature of the lower region, the change in the tree line and snow line has affected the pasture ground which to has moved upward. The rising temperature of the pasture ground has produced diseases of the cattle, many of them have died. The change has compelled some groups of these tribes to stop cattle rearing altogether.

Representational image.

Apple cultivation is the single biggest factor that keeps Himachal’s farmers in a self-sustaining status. One of the main reasons for less migration from Himachal as compared to that from Uttrakhand is the apple cultivation here. Apple is a good cash crop in Himachal, but since 1998, the production rate of apples has been on the decline. Experts said that the abnormal climatic condition led to a change in the snow line, which has moved upward. This has caused a decrease in the area of apple cultivation. The 2016 study showed the extinction of apple cultivation from Sirmour and the lower region of the Kullu district.

This is a very clear example of climate change on people and their economic activities. A decade ago, there was no trace of apple civilisation in the upper reaches of Lahul and Spiti, but now there are orchards, too. The erratic weather conditions have also caused havoc to the economic life of people. Snowfall, hailstones and heavy rainfall in summer months ruin the production of wheat, maize etc.

Retreating glaciers, and an erratic and declining snowfall have dried up. Sources of natural water, streams, ponds and lakes that helped the farmers are no longer existent or are on the verge of drying up completely. They dried up either due to changing climatic conditions or due to the use of cement to preserve them, cement increases the temperature of the water sources and hence, leads to its evaporation. This has created drought-like conditions in the Himalayas, people are vulnerable to water disasters in the upper slopes of the Himalayas. In the middle and upper slopes, as temperature increases, animals like monkeys invade the area and destroy the crop of farmers.

People say that earlier, in the middle and higher reaches, there were no monkeys but now they have invaded villages and towns. This has been possible due to the increase in the temperature of the region, thus making it easier for the monkeys to adapt to the climatic condition of the upper and middle slopes. And to get rid of what the administration calls the monkey menace, the killing of monkeys has been officially sanctioned. The government awards people for killing monkeys. In this way, the State found a solution — albeit the solution to the problem lies in further deepening the problems. Indiscriminate killing of monkeys will create an imbalance in the food web, which in turn will affect the ecological balance.

An ambitious project of the Indian state is the railway line connecting Delhi to Leh by building the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line. This 465 km long railway line at the height of 5,360 metres cost Rs 86,360 crores. The project was proposed in the year 2017, the aerial survey of the area has been completed and the land acquisition is underway. The railway line will have 74 tunnels, 124 large bridges and 396 small bridges. The damage this project is going to cause the Himalayan ecology is unprecedented.

The news of the construction of lines may add to the aesthetic pleasure of the middle- and upper-class of plains as is evident from a news report in Indian TV that said that people can get the experience of airway on this rail journey. Even the ruling class of the hills will benefit from the rail as they will be able to easily transport their cash crops but what will the working class get? Large plots of land of the farmers have been acquired in the name of the project. The Prime Minister himself said that this project is of high strategic significance, as its promises to connect Delhi with Tibet.

So, in the national interest and the interest of aesthetics pleasure of people from plain, the people of Himachal are being asked to let their mountains be blown up by building tunnels, to let their water source dry up by digging of mountains and felling of trees, and to let their forests and arable be snatched. The sheer ambition of this project is havoc for the people here, yet, no environmental, social or economic survey is available. The State is secretly planning a massive blow on the livelihood of people. The project has the potentiality to destroy the whole of the north-western Himalayas, for the railway line will begin with massive deforestation and rock destruction.

The carbon market was earlier proposed as a means to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases. This was conceptualised and given an administrative apparatus in the Kyoto protocol. It was said that climate change can be mitigated through carbon costing. The protocol provided imperialist countries with an edge over oppressed countries. The imperialist powers can provide finance to oppressed countries, who in turn will undertake the project of afforestation, which increases the carbon credit of the oppressed country. This then can be bought by the imperialist power.

Representational image.

With carbon credit, the imperialist country can then raise its emission at the level of credit. Thus, the Kyoto protocol created a new market for the mobility of finance capital. In the name of forest conservation and mitigating global warming, what we have is a more nuanced form of Imperialism.

Similarly, Himachal Pradesh sold its first carbon credit of Rs 1.93 crore to Spain through the World Bank, earlier the Bank-funded Watershed Development Project, and other forest conservation programmes in Himachal. Thus, the Bank spends money, foreign imperialist powers reap benefits and Indian States give them land and resources to reap the benefit. This is forest management and mitigation program of climate change.

The issue about forest conversation and mitigation of climate change is that the solution is being sought within the structures that have created the problems. The social necessity of limitless expansion of capital is the single most cause of the spatial invasion of capital the world over. This has lead to an appropriation of resources, conversion of resources into exchange value, and creating conditions for value addition. The value so added by labour-power is then supposed to find its realisation.

This constant motion of value is capital and in this motion, it has to cross several barriers. The barriers in motion of value are spatial and temporal. Capital overcomes it by the commodification of these barriers. Spatial limits to capital are natural barriers to human development. But capital is like the blessed being who has been given this power that whichever object they will touch will be changed in gold.

Similarly, capital has commodification power. It converts natural barriers in exchange value. But this does not end anywhere. To be alive, the capital has to expand its value again. For this it is chased by value, it moves throughout the world to valorise, and the value so created. And in this process, the cynical chase moves on and on with no end. For any end in this chase is the end of capital itself. Therefore, the whole rhetoric of forest management and mitigation of climate change by carbon trade is just a way to shift the crisis for some time. By doing so, it has only in-visualised the contradiction but in the long run, the contradiction will create yet another crisis. The world must realise the futility of capital-centric environment protectionist measures.

You must be to comment.
  1. Parijat Jha

    Hi Uttam, I’m a scholar is committed to thinking critically about the issues you have raised in your posts. My research looks at apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh and raises issues that you have centered incisively in your posts. I can’t seem to find a way to connect with you. Do you think you could email me at and we can discuss our shared commitments?

More from Uttam Singh

Similar Posts

By Ena Zafar

By Imran Khan

By Prabhat Misra

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below