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“I have left dreaming about women’s safety in a country like India.” I am scared!

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There is not a single day when I don’t hear any news regarding rapes. Every day there is some heart-wrenching headline waiting to be read. From a newborn girl to a 34-year-old woman, no one is safe. No hope has been left. This is not the country I dreamt of.

We are evolving in every aspect , let it be technology, money, education and many more, but why don’t we ask this question to ourselves -‘ Do we really think that becoming Supreme and high-tech in every perspective but only not in women’s safety is a Shame for any country’?

In a recent conversation between a journalist and well known politicians there was a statement stated by some of them which was hard to believe and horrible regarding the rape case which took place Hathras, UttarPradesh where a dalit girl was raped , brutally murdered and in addition to that , the last rituals of the girl was performed  forcefully by UP police, without the consent of her family.  When asked to the politicians regarding this issue and ‘why is there an increase in rape cases India, and what steps should be taken by the government to ensure women’s safety’?The leader replied by stating that ‘girls should no longer be allowed outside there house without any male presence to watch upon them and should restrain themselves from wearing short clothes , knowing the consequences attached to it.’ This is not the first time , media has recorded such statements, many such leaders think this way that the only reason behind rapes are “girls and their inappropriate gestures”.

Everyone of us are aware of the rape cases . This article is related to all the girls out there who are ‘scared’ and worried about thier future in this country . They are horrified for thier dreams getting shattered. They are worried for themselves, thinking there is something bad waiting for them.

As you read this article,there might be a crime being committed by some people against the girl. And again, the guilty will run away , we will hear the news and get upset on that or even cry to god but eventually we all will forget this and move on but what about that bad effect on the family?They will never be able to rely on life so easily.

It’s very easy to suggest someone not to loose hope but to keep fighting against the wrong, but these just sound good to ears, but think from your heart , Is it easy to revive from such deep grief and no one to support and provide you with justice instantly even knowing the guilty.

Today ,  I ask this question to everybody of you and specially to my government.‘Is saving cows from getting slaughtered more important than saving a girl getting killed by extreme physical abuse on the road. Every life is equally important and urgent to save but seems like noone griefs about rape cases and are normalising these issues , when it needs a special care and investigation.                          None of the leader neither speaks or does appropriate for giving justice to the girl’s family? Nirbhaya’s case got its much awaited justice after 7 years, 3months and 4days.(December 16 , 2012 gangrape victim) where this must have been done much earlier.

I am ashamed of being called a girl from India. I am tired of being seen as a victim and an object.

We do not want sympathy.

We want equal respect and justice.

I am the future of this country, protect me from becoming a victim of such painful abuse . This is a basic human right for every single person, gender in this country.

Respect humanity, respect girls.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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        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.

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        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.

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        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)’.

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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.”

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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.

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        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
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