Prevention of Animal Cruelty: Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

By Lakshmi Kailasan, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi.

Prevention of animal cruelty is not merely about debating over whether one is a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian and neither is it about determining an animal’s right on the basis of its religious relevance. In the wake of the inhumane acts committed against these creatures, is there a need to strengthen the previously existing legislations? Article 48A of the Indian Constitution provides that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment, and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Article 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution imposes on the citizens the fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. (more…)

Medical Termination of Pregnancy: A Woman’s Body but a Woman’s Choice?

By Lakshmi Kailasan, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi.

Medical termination of pregnancy which is more commonly addressed as abortion, may be defined in medical terms as the premature exit of the products from the uterus. To explain it in simple terms, it is the removal of an unwanted foetus. Going back in time to reflect on the status of abortion, it was punishable under the Indian Penal Code thereby suggesting the complete infringement of a woman’s right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by the State under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Prior to 1972, not only did the penalizing lead to violation of the law but also resulted in unsafe abortions being conducted by untrained medical practitioners, a problem which to some extent exists even in today’s time. (more…)

The Period Buddy Project: Learnings at a Teach For India Classroom

By Tanya Chandra, Founder, LexQuest Foundation.

As part of LexQuest Foundation’s Period Buddy Project, we recently visited a TFI school in New Delhi’s Sangam Vihar area. Based on our conversations with the VII grade girls of the said Government Senior Secondary School, we realised that there exists a major gap in the knowledge dissemination process vis-a-vis the requisite learning standards in such classrooms, especially with respect to menstrual, sexual and reproductive health of adolescent girls. (more…)

“Period” of Change: Acknowledging the Right to Menstrual Health

By Tanya Chandra, Founder, LexQuest Foundation.

It can’t be stressed enough that menstruation is a mere biological phenomenon, so why does it bother a society so much that we need policies for menstruating women? To answer the aforementioned, one has to acknowledge the closely knit cultural and social spaces along with the psycho-social contexts in which women attain puberty and go on to menstruate for the better part of their teenage, adolescence and adult lives. (more…)

The Conversation Junction

By the time high school is over, you are expected to metamorphosize into young adults and determine the necessary “course of action” as far as your career prospects are concerned. This, when in fact, whether you will leap ahead or lag behind depends largely on your ability to cope with the immense amount of pressure from various quarters. The immediate family always has a “plan” to impose upon you and your friends are as clueless as you! Amidst all the commotion, if you take up a stream that you believe will leverage your ambitions and aid your prospects in the field of law and public policy, you may often feel at sea, as you don’t know where and when to start and how to furnish a well thought out plan of action that will lead you in the right direction. (more…)

Bollywood and Religious Sentiments: When a Legal Notice comes knocking

By Adv. Sanyukta Banerjie.

Nothing falls apart faster in India than roads during rain and religious sentiments during a movie release. Every other day, the dailies report yet another movie producer, director or even the actor (no seriously) grappling with a legal notice and I shake my head thinking “Ah! Well they are still being covered on Page 3. If you start featuring on Page 1 that’s when the shit’s really hit the fan *cough Padmaavati cough Padmaavat*”. (more…)

Civic Architects: The Policy Generation Group (Right to Menstrual Health)

In an ideal democracy, the State mechanism is designed to determine the problem areas for its people and resolve them through necessary policy action. People and their well being is thus at the core of an exemplary public policy mechanism, which is why proactive mass action can determine the fate of the policies that the State sets out to formulate. It is hence crucial that people demand policies on existing realities that require urgent attention of the State because unless such issues garner public attention, the State can’t recognise their expanse at a scale that deserves carefully crafted policies. (more…)

The Period Buddy Project

What is Period Poverty?

Research suggests that 70% of Indian women’s families cannot afford to buy sanitary pads, which is why only 12% of women in India use sanitary pads during their period. The remaining 88% are compelled to resort to unsanitized cloth, ash and husk sand thereby causing severe reproductive health problems for them. Moreover, most government schools lack common toilets or functional separate toilets equipped with period friendly facilities for girls owing to which at least one in five girls drops out of school at the onset of her period and those who persist typically miss five days of school each month due to inadequate menstrual protection.  (more…)

Brides for Sale: India’s Sorrow?

By Tanya Chandra, Founder, LexQuest Foundation.

As India’s latest Anti-Trafficking Bill awaits informed modifications and superior content editions, it’s unfortunate that a major component of human trafficking which concerns the sinister trade of women and young girls across several States of India has somehow escaped the eye of our Legislators. Bride Trafficking, a practice so tragic that under the garb of marriage, women are commodified throughout the cycle of their reproductive lives and resold several times, has yet again failed to be conducively acknowledged as a crisis that needs urgent attention from the Legislature. (more…)