Write an open letter to your govt. representative asking for better menstrual hygiene facilities and win up to ₹30,000!

Entries Closed

A #BolDaal writing contest in collaboration with

Contest Winners

Neelu Yadav

Student, Super School India

"मैंने जो पत्र लिखा है, इस बारे में मुझे कोई जानकारी नहीं थी। इस बारे में मुझे सुपर इंडिया की मैम ने बताया था। दीदी ने जैसे ही बोला कि पीरियड्स से संबंधित किन-किन दिक्कतों को आप देखती हैं? फिर मैंने उन तमाम चीज़ों को लिखना शुरू किया।"

Read her story

Nitisha Pandey

"There are a lot of narratives around periods that focus on the health and hygiene of the menstruators. However, very few connect it to the environmental aspect. The state can definitely play a crucial role in improving access to affordable sustainable products."

Read her story

Prashant Pratyush

"स्कूलों में लड़कीयों के ड्रॉप ऑउट के कारण के रूप में पीरीयड एक बड़ी समस्या है। दिल्ली सरकार ने शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में हाल के सालों में अच्छा काम किया है मगर पीरीयड के कारण स्कूलों में लड़कीयों के ड्रॉप ऑउट को रोकने में दिल्ली सरकार भी बाकी राज्य सरकारों की तरह असफल रही है। इसी समस्या ने मुझे दिल्ली सरकरा का ध्यान इस ओर आकर्षित कराने के लिए प्रेरित किया।"

Read his story

Talat Praveen

"जो मुद्दा इतने दिनों से मैं लोगों के बीच लाना चाह रही थी, वह मैंने इस प्रतियोगिता के ज़रिये लोगों तक पहुंचाया। मेरे मन में शुरू से ही चला आ रहा था कि जिस तरह से हम हर दिवस खुशी से बिना किसी शर्म के पूरे परिवार के साथ मनाते हैं, वैसे ही दफ्तरों, स्कूलों, कॉलेजों और मंत्रालयों में भी इसे मनाया जाना चाहिए। पीरियड किसी तरह की बीमारी नहीं है। हमें इस चीज़ पर शर्म नहीं करना चाहिए, यह महिलाओं के लिए ईश्वरो का वरदान है।"

Read her story

About the Contest

 

For years, stigma associated with menstruation has not only prevented conversation on the issue, but also hindered initiatives for better menstrual hygiene practices. Menstruation is an integral part of the discussion around workforce productivity and empowerment of individuals. It also currently stands a key barrier to menstruating persons' access to education. It’s time we break free from taboos, and demand what is the need of the hour - policies and initiative which make life better for menstruating persons.

To participate, write an open letter to your immediate government representative stating your demands for better menstrual health, wellness and hygiene. The top 10 entries will be sent to the respective ministries/representative to bring to their attention what citizens want. Top 3 entries will be awarded cash prizes of up to

Winner: ₹30,000 | First Runner Up: ₹15,000 | Second Runner Up: ₹5,000

The entries for the Open Letter Contest are now closed and under review. Results for the contest will be announced by April 9, 2020.

Entries Closed

Get started:

Step 1: Identify a local issue that highlights period related problems, or issues in dealing with menstruation.

Step 2: Identify a local decision maker who can take action on this in your community.
Hat tip: The more specific and local your decision maker, the higher the chances of impact.

Step 3: Write and publish a letter stating your demands, addressing it to the identified decision maker.

Useful Links

 

The entries for the Open Letter Contest are now closed and under review. Results for the contest will be announced by April 9, 2020.

Entries Closed

How to write a winning entry

  • Publish your letter on Youth Ki Awaaz by March 15
  • Identify the right decision maker to write your letter to: someone who works with the issue and/or has the power to take the action you'd like to see
  • Your letter should be a minimum 150 words
  • Help us find your letter by giving it a title in this format: #PeriodPaath: Your Title
  • Promote your letter among your friends and networks for maximum page views to clear the first round of selection.
  • Make sure your letter doesn't violate Youth Ki Awaaz's Community Guidelines
  • Send your submission in English or Hindi

Selection Process

Top 20 articles will be shortlisted by an internal team and sent to the expert jury member. The jury member will then select 10 best articles to be sent to the decision makers identified in them, top three among which will be awarded cash prizes.

The articles will be selected on the basis of:

  • The local relevance of the issue: Letters that successfully identify local issues that affect masses have a better chance of being selected
  • Decision maker engagement: Whether the correct decision maker for the issue being explored is identified, and how convincing and strong the point being made
  • Originality and creativity: Letters that bring in a unique perspective to the issue and have an original voice and interesting way to talk about it
  • Simplicity and directness: The easier and more direct the letter is to understand, the better, as it's much more shareable than one with complicated jargon
  • Structure and clarity of thought: The letter should have a clear, concise structure, for greater clarity and a smooth flow of information
  • Stand out Factor: Letters that are truly unique, with a 'wow' factor in tone, structure, narrative, data or personalisation stand a better chance of being shortlisted

MEET THE JURY

Angana Prasad

Executive Director at Project K.H.E.L. (Kids Holistic Education & Life-skills)

Nirmala Nair

Director - Kaboom Social Impact and Menstrual Health Advocate.

ASSOCIATE PARTNERS

FAQs

The Indian socio-cultural-political landscape of today is ridden with problems. With over 65% of the population below the age of 35, the potential that young people have in finding creative resolutions to these complex issues is unparalleled. With #BolDaal, Youth Ki Awaaz seeks to bring together the country's sharpest young minds to critically examine, discuss and find solutions to issues through interactive, thought-provoking challenges.

You can participate in any live challenge by logging in to Youth Ki Awaaz and submitting your entry. Each challenge has its own set of editorial guidelines and giveaways specified. To log into Youth Ki Awaaz, simply head to this link, and create an account. Don't forget to add your bio before publishing your first article on YKA!

Every article needs to meet the Youth Ki Awaaz community guidelines outlined here. If your article violates any guideline, it will automatically be disqualified. YKA also reserves the right to take down any such article.

As per the Youth Ki Awaaz company policy, any misconduct/cheating detected (and we've got our ways!) would result in your name being blacklisted on our server. This would mean you wouldn't be able to participate in any other contests or write on the platform in future. In the spirit of the challenge, we urge you to play fair and square.

Have a question we haven't already answered? Drop us an email here, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!

In case the contest receives fewer than 500 entries, it will be cancelled, and a fresh challenge will be created for you to write on.

 

Are you the menstrual health champion India needs today?

Entries Closed

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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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