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If English Were A Government, What Would Be Its Various Ministeries?

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Let’s be acquainted with the Government of the English Language. It has its own Constitution as a rule book, popularly known as English Grammar. For its parts of speech, it has eight departments to govern the English language all across the world, irrespective of geographical location and political or national boundaries. In this regard, each department aims to establish a flow of good communication in coordination with one another. Thus, it enables people to communicate clearly and effectively.

Every department has a distinct nomenclature and a role to play. Well-written is the rule book of the Lingua Family that is asking us to follow it. However, an expression of thought will result in miscommunication or failure of a message if it is not in line with the rules laid down by the Government of the English language.

However, the rulebook itself has undergone a seachange since the Shakespearian time. Moreover, a dictionary as an apex body paves the way for the functional power of any department. The pundits of linguistic society go to bat for what’s right and what’s wrong.

The department that has the maximum numbers to its credit is the Noun. Name anything or anyone; it will fall under this massive department that is very receptive. What works on behalf of a noun is the Department of Pronoun. Thus, it often replaces a noun with its limitation. It is just around a century in number. So, it is easy to master all of them by taking into account how each of them works and functions. These tiny words work wonders.

The Government of the English Language has its own Constitution as a rule book, popularly known as English Grammar.

To add value to the Department of Noun or criticise it in any manner, the next department that comes into play is the Ministry of Adjective, which is used attributively or predicatively. If the third department does not come into use for the first one or the second one, life would be insipid, dull, bland, colourless, unexciting and wishy-washy. Hence, words like ’good’ or’ bad’ or the likes of them must be used to lift our mood or be a critic of something or someone around. Adjective words have a cultural value, too.

The king, however, is the Verb, which is the next department that performs any action or shows the status of something. Noticeably, Present, Past or Future depend on this department. Let’s give it the utmost value. An auxiliary brings about a radical change in the meaning of the performance of any verb. But these auxiliaries add up to only 12. They are: ‘ be’ ‘do’, ‘have’, ‘can/ could’, ‘may/ might’, ‘shall/ should’, ‘will/ would’, ‘must’, ‘dare’, ‘need’, ‘used to’ and ‘ought to’.

However, no less is the role of the next department that is the Adverb, which modifies not only the department of the Verb but also Adjective, or its own department in another form. At times, without considering the department of Adverb, the action becomes meaningless. For example, ‘A teacher teaches something’ sounds incomplete unless a word like well or intelligently is used at its end.

This piece is more than halfway through the linguistic discussion and governing system of the English language, having covered five departments so far. As a relationship manager, what comes into the picture is the Department of Preposition, which shows a relation or position between two or more nouns and pronouns. This piece is for you. This department, too, like that of Pronoun, is limited in number. Hence, the mastery of around 150 prepositions is child’s play.

Then comes the Department of Conjunction that coordinates, subordinates, correlates with or joins other departments together. The acronym ‘FANBOYS’ is famous for its role as seven Coordinating Conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so. These words connect or join anything or everything.

The last department that often comes first in usage is the Department of Interjection, which expresses a strong feeling such as shock, pain or pleasure when it comes to expressing oneself. This small department with a few centuries of utterances always carries a sign of exclamation at its end! Wow! The tone matters a lot! I hope the message is through.

About the author: Dr Birbal Jha is a notable author who heads British Lingua, an institute of international repute for English communication skills. They may be contacted at 9999107254.

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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.

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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.

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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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