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 Right to Menstrual Health Project: Learnings at a Teach For India Classroom

As part of our Right to Menstrual Health 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…)

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…)

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…)

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan: A Major Overhaul in India’s Education Sector?

By Vishu Surana, National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela realized 30 years ago that education is the most essential tool for social, economic and political transformation and a key instrument for building a just society. For a country like India to develop socially and economically, we need educated individuals. Keeping this in mind, our Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Prakash Javadekar launched the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SMSA) with the aim of improving quality of school education. It aims to unify learning from Class 1 to Class 12 by adopting a holistic teaching approach and using technology to empower teachers and students both. (more…)