Back To School Tweet Sheet

Demand answers around girls' education from your decision makers.

As the pandemic forced school closures, children around the world struggled to cope with their rapidly changing classrooms. In India, the lack of planning around continuing education during the lockdown and reintegrating students into the education system, has already begun to impact students across the country. This lack of planning has had a particularly negative impact on girls, especially those from marginalised communities who face daily challenges in accessing education. With reports of deepening poverty, increased burden of domestic work and rising cases of child marriage, gender-based violence, trafficking, millions of girls won’t be returning to school.

In light of the unique challenges girls have been facing during COVID19, the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) led a rapid assessment study for Champions for Girls Education in India. The study presents a real time assessment of the state of education for girls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam through which a picture of the state of affairs in the country can be imagined.

Add your voice to the movement to demand concrete action and accountability from decision-makers to ensure access to quality education for girls doesn’t suffer due to COVID19. Tweet your support and ask critical questions by using the tweets below:

Tweet to Protect The Progress Around Quality Education For Girls After Covid-19

Less than 25% of girls in UP have had access to phones during school closures. How are we ensuring equitable and low-cost access to education for children at this time @CMOfficeUP? #BackToSchool

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More than 60% of girls in UP reported spending their time on chores and care work. How are we popularising enrolment drives to bring girls #BackToSchool @CMOfficeUP?

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Even before the lockdown in UP, the syllabus for the previous academic year was not complete as reported by more than 50% children. How are children, especially girls being given the support to catch-up to grade appropriate learning @CMOfficeUP? #BackToSchool

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Less than 10% children in UP received any form of support from the Education Department during the lockdown. How are we planning to tackle this @CMOfficeUP? #BackToSchool

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Out of school and away from friends and routines, 74% of UP’s children say that their life was better before the lockdown. How can we ensure their safety and bring them #BackToSchool? Add your solutions here: yka.io/BackToSchool

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Only 41% children reported receiving support from the Education Department. How are ensuring support to the remaining 59% @officecmbihar? #BackToSchool

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Less than 30% of girls in Bihar had access to mobile phones during school closures. Let’s demand that the state government change the narrative! Head to yka.io/BackToSchool to know about steps you can take! #BackToSchool

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The increased burden of domestic work has led to only 60% girls being able to spend time on their studies. Change this narrative. Join the conversation on getting girls #BackToSchool yka.io/BackToSchool

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Just over 40% of school-going children in Bihar were certain they would return to schools when they re-open. How are we reaching out to the remaining 60% children to ensure they get #BackToSchool as well @officecmbihar?

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87% children reported that their lives were better before the lockdown. Let’s demand accessible counselling and support towards mental wellbeing of school going children. Add your voice to #BackToSchool yka.io/BackToSchool

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Only 56% children in Assam reported receiving some form of support from the Education Department. How are we building capacity to ensure services like mid-day meal and sanitary napkins reach all? #BackToSchool

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Do girls and boys have equal access to online education? In Assam, only 31% of girls always had access to a phone. How can education be made more accessible during the pandemic? #BackToSchool

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With schools shut, 79% of girls in Assam spent their time on chores and care work. Getting them #BackToSchool may be challenging. Demand enrolment drives targeting girls so they’re not forced to give up on education!

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In Assam, 62 % of girls stated that their life was better before the lockdown. What steps can be taken to support their mental health during this time? #BackToSchool

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Is the pandemic going to cost lakhs of young children their future? 63% of Assam’s children are uncertain about their return to school. Help change that, and demand  mass outreach programmes to get them all #BackToSchool!

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Join the global movement to demand concrete steps from decisionmakers to ensure that quality education for girls does not suffer post-COVID-19.

Let's bring girls #BackToSchool

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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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