Petition to National Skill Development Corporation, HRD Ministry
Better Primary Education and Skill Development in India
Right to primary education is a fundamental right in India. It is the duty of the Indian government to provide education to every boy and girl up to the primary stage. Primary education will enable a child to learn to read and write. It will enable him to use his vernacular language and learn the simple rules of arithmetic. But this system is clearly not sufficient and has certain loopholes. Honing skills and holistic development is of paramount importance in today's day and age- where there is cut throat competition. But unfortunately, the government aided primary education goes nowhere beyond the set curriculum which ends up making students merely carbon copies of each other. There is a vast gap between the primary schooling in an international board versus that of a government school. The students of international boards have got a varied choice of subjects. Moreover, there is focus on several extra curricular activities for holistic development. On the other hand, the free elementary education is sub par in many rural places of India. The infrastructure i.e. libraries, classrooms, sanitation is of no quality in these schools. The faculty let alone the facilities is pitiable in many cases. Recently there had been many videos resurfacing the interweb in which a teacher was teaching gibberish to students in the name of alphabet. The government needs to make the job of a primary teacher more attractive by increasing the pay so that it will attract competent men for the job. Government should bring in uniformity in the curriculum and standards of the primary education, irrespective of the board because we're referring to the common youth of India. For our country to progress holistically, we are in the utmost need of skill based approach and better primary education. The skills in children must be explored, trained and perfected; and this needs to begin in primary schooling. So join me in requesting the HRD Ministry of India to improve the current plight of primary education in our country.
Petition to Ms Anupama Jaiswal
Keep UP Girls in School - Make toilets accessible to them!
Reena’s parents stopped her from going to school, so that they could keep her safe. Reena’s school had a toilet that was kept locked, forcing her to use an open field instead. Not only was this painfully embarrassing for Reena, it was also extremely dangerous because it left her vulnerable to sexual assault. I know how hard it is for a young girl to have no access to clean toilets. The bathrooms in my school were so dirty that they were impossible to use. In summers I would drink less water, just so that I didn’t have to use the loo. When I had my period, I had no place to change and would worry about the embarrassment of staining my uniform. Like Reena, there are lakhs of girls in Uttar Pradesh who are forced to drop out of school because they don’t have access to toilets. This is why I have started this petition asking the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that all schools have access to clean toilets. Sign my petition. Did you know, according to the Annual Status on Education Report 2016, in more than 45% of schools, either the toilets don't exist and if they do they are not in a usable condition. This is one of the reasons why almost 25% girls between the age of 15 and 16 drop out of schools in Uttar Pradesh. Toilets are a basic necessity, not a luxury. Lack of access to toilets makes young students vulnerable to health conditions like diarrhoea, worm infections or UTIs which can further hamper their studies. Secondly, using open areas to defecate leaves young girls extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse. And the problem gets even worse when girls start menstruating and start skipping school rather than risk the social embarrassment of staining their clothes in public. Young girls should not be forced to choose between open fields for toilets or dropping out of school. But with your support, we can change this! Together we can make sure that girls stay in school and both boys and girls get to access clean toilets if you sign this petition. Hence, with an objective of reducing the dropout rate from schools in Uttar Pradesh I, Krati Prakash, along with Breakthrough appeal to Ms. Anupama Jaiswal, MoS, Basic Education, Uttar Pradesh to make "clean toilets accessible to the students of schools across Uttar Pradesh".
Petition to Shri Narendra Modi ji, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Smt Smriti Irani, Sh. Harshwardhan ji
Free Sanitary Pads/Menstrual Cup by Govt of India to females living below the poverty line
As per a recent article in 'Times of India' & many other newspapers/websites, only 18% women in India have access to sanitary hygiene in India. Most of the women/girls from the remaining 82 % are using substitutes like unhygienic cloths & other unsafe alternatives like sand, ash, jute sack, leaves, newspapers, etc. Another report published by UNICEF and WaterAid found that more than a third of girls in South Asia miss school during their periods, mainly due to lack of access to toilets and pads in schools 12-year-old Bholi’s uterus was removed because she had contracted a reproductive tract infection. Bholi hails from a small village in Madhya Pradesh and represents a large population of Indian women who suffer at the hands of illiteracy. Just like Bholi, millions of women in India fall prey to low standards of sanitation and menstrual hygiene.These facts are devastating, shocking & an eye-opener for each one of us. Menstrual health is a comprehensive, multifaceted issue, and evidences have shown the dire need to address it. We certainly need to bring a change in the conditions of the women living below the poverty line and make them healthier & happy. In the recent Lok Sabha election campaign, political parties promised around Rs 5000/- to 6000/- per month to those families who are living below the poverty line whereas the cost of hygienic sanitary pads ranges from Rs 10- Rs 12 for a month's usage. We urge honorable prime minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji & government of India to hear the silent cry of these poor women/girls, who are suffering every month because of the lack of hygienic amenities, and provide them eco-friendly pads, menstrual cups or tampons. Let's all create a noise & make an effort to eliminate the monster of period poverty from India.Please support and sign this petition.
Petition to Prakash Javadekar, Narendra Modi
Self Defence - A Compulsory Subject in School.
Self-defence is of utmost importance in the kind of the world we live in today. It is especially important for women, generally referred as the weaker sex and are considered easier targets. In our country India where the cases of gender violence are on rise, out of which so many go unreported, self-defence for both men and women has become a basic requirement. It is a necessity for the women of our country because of the increasing number of heinous crimes like rape, molestation, kidnapping, murder, acid attacks, eve teasing, sex trafficking and so many other being committed on them. The crimes like child abuse and child trafficking are also a very serious issue for our country which expose both young boys and girls to a dangerous world. But because of these fears and crimes we cannot sit back at home and stop living our lives. It is the time when each one of us should know how to fight back for our safety. Self Defence training is the answer for this. But not everyone has an access to these classes, regardless of them being paid or free. I hereby request the HRD Ministry to make Self Defence a compulsory subject in school so that the young boys and girls, men and women of our country are competent enough to safeguard themselves. It can be started right from the First Standard till Eighth standard. For this the help of ex-service men and women from Military forces can be taken. There should be no fees for this training in both private and government schools so that the lower income strata can also benefit themselves from this. Even if a single member of family has this training he/she can pass it on to others as well. If our respected HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar understands the urgent need of this change in our school education system our country will feel safer when it steps out in this harsh world. It will be a big step towards a safer nation to live in.
Petition to Chairman, University Grants Comission, Vice Chairman UGC, Additional Secretary UGC, Maneka Gandhi, Prakash Javadekar, Rahul Gandhi
@UGC: Make College Campuses Safer Now With Active & Compliant Anti-Harassment Cells
‘Let’s try to not make this a big deal.’ ‘What can we do? Ignore him.’That is what college authorities told my friend Mira* when she complained against a batchmate who was following her around the campus, and sending her unwanted and inappropriate text messages. Their 'don’t-care' attitude on such a serious matter made it worse. Their failure to act indirectly encouraged the harasser and he soon began stalking her outside college too.I saw up-close the trauma my friend suffered with such prolonged harassment, without getting the rightful institutional support. The injustice and apathy disturbs me. Because the Anti-Harassment Cell/ Internal Complaints Committee (ICCs) at Mira’s college - designed to tackle cases of sexual harassment - could have stopped this ordeal but it didn’t even try.I want to fix this broken system.The reason I have faith in ICCs is because I was a member of an active one at my college. I saw first-hand how an active, compliant ICC makes students feel safer.It can be daunting for a distressed student to approach the police. Students feel more comfortable approaching an active, compliant ICC as they are assured of many services: effective official redressals, curated emotional support, and structured assistance in approaching the police, if required.I believe that true learning can take place only in safe spaces. Mira was denied that. Her experience proves that the ICC exists only on paper in her college.And this is clearly happening across college campuses in India because the HRD Ministry reported that sexual harassment on campuses increased by 50% in 2017.Mira’s college like many others is openly violating the 2016 mandate of the University Grants Commission (UGC). It clearly states that all Indian higher educational institutes must constitute an autonomous Anti-Harassment Cell or the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) which has the responsibility of "creating its campus free from discrimination, harassment, retaliation or sexual assault at all levels".The system has failed students. It’s time to pull its socks up. UGC needs to implement a strong mechanism to ensure university ICCs are compliant and active.I have started this petition for every Mira out there. I am asking UGC to make it mandatory for every university to release a detailed annual compliance report of their ICC. To assure this report isn’t another misinformed paperwork, we want it to be a comprehensive annual report, containing details of the ICC’s compliance, case statistics, and signed and affirmed by all members of the ICC, including the 3 elected ICC student members that UGC mandates.This will be similar to what the Corporate Affairs Ministry has compulsorily asked of companies to make workplaces sexual harassment-free.I want every college student to feel safe. Sign this petition to show the UGC that I am not alone in wanting this.Let’s break the toxic culture of silence around sexual harassment.Let’s stand in solidarity for those silently suffering and demand #SaferCampusesNOW #TimesUp (* Name changed to protect identity)
Petition to Satya Pal Mallik, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Ravinder Raina
Introduce ‘Personal Safety Education’ in School Curriculum to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
I have been working on raising awareness about child sexual abuse in Jammu and Kashmir for more than two and a half years now. Nine out of ten people, I usually speak to, deny the occurrence of child sexual abuse in Kashmir. The response I am most familiar with is that ‘child sexual abuse doesn’t happen in Kashmir.’ However, according to a study conducted by Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), 53% of children across 13 states of India were sexually abused in 2007. I fail to understand that if child sexual abuse doesn’t happen in Jammu and Kashmir then how did Kathua rape and murder take place? In fact, it was the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua, which prompted the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet to pass an ordinance on Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance (POCSVO) in April 2018. Similarly, on the other side of the border, the brutal rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl prompted the Government of Punjab in Pakistan to announce plans to introduce ‘Child Abuse Awareness’ in their school curriculum. Undoubtedly, child sexual abuse is quite prevalent in our society, yet we wait for incidents like Kathua and Punjab to happen before taking any much needed preventive measures to address such issues. My question is very simple: Can we not act proactively and come up with solutions to prevent social evils like child sexual abuse beforehand? It is very important to understand that child sexual abuse scars a child for a lifetime and the healing process in such cases is very slow. Our Judiciary doesn't help either because the lengthy trials only lead to re-victimisation of a child/adult who dares to speak up against his or her childhood abuser/s. Therefore, I want the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to introduce a comprehensive ‘Personal Safety Education Program’ in our school curriculum to address child sexual abuse at its roots. Our children must be made aware about what’s 'safe touch' and what’s 'unsafe touch' from a very young age, in addition to sensitising the teachers and parents in our respective societies about this serious issue. It is time to overcome the myths and social stigma attributed to sex education. Please sign my petition and join me in saving thousands of children from falling prey to child predators in Jammu and Kashmir.
Petition to Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Smriti Irani
Introduce Paid Paternity Leave for Working Fathers #LeaveInequalityBehind
It takes two people to bring a child into the world. So, why is it that mothers get maternity leave in India but fathers don’t? Fathers have equal responsibility for their children. And most of them want to take up that responsibility but are not allowed to do so because of discriminatory parental leave policies! We must break through this idea that mothers are the ‘primary’ parent and fathers only ‘babysit’ the children. Our politicians are working towards getting more women into India’s workforce but how can that happen when men and women still don’t share the load at home? Sign my petition asking the government to introduce dedicated (i.e. “use it or lose it”), 8-10 weeks of paid paternity leave to working fathers, which must be used within 2 years of their child’s birth or adoption. In 2018, India was ranked 108 out of 149 participating countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index report. In ‘economic participation and opportunity’ in fact, only two countries in the world were ranked worse than India! Is this not a matter of national shame? I have been working for several years with various organisations to improve their gender diversity at work. But I realised that it’s not enough to just hire more women. If women are shouldering most of the responsibility at home, especially childcare, how can they be expected to put in the same amount of effort at work? It’s physically impossible! The problem is - women and men, mothers and fathers are not seen as equal in our society or our laws. This has to change! While maternity leave is a must, and India has made generous provisions to its working mothers in this regard with the Maternity Benefits Act of 2016, this law leaves behind a key component – parental leave for fathers as well. Studies around the world have shown that providing paternity leave has been proven to have positive benefits for all! Men: Fathers enjoy better relationships with their children Fathers share responsibilities at home more equally Women After having children, women return to work more Women stay employed longer – contributing to their family’s income Gender pay gaps reduce over time Children Children grow up more well-adjusted, intelligent and secure Organizations Employees work better Employees stay longer and are more loyal to organizations Organizations are able to attract better employees Society Cultural stereotypes about gender, work and family reduce Country’s economy improves So this election year, help me seek justice, equality and progression on gender equality by appealing to our political leaders to include paternity leave in their election manifestos! Our future – families, organizations, and the entire Indian economy – lies in the hands of our elected representatives. Sign this petition asking them to make sure paternity leave is as much part of our system as maternity leave! #LeaveInequalityBehind #DadsAreNotBabySitters #ParentalLeave #PaternityLeave
Petition to Bhavish Aggarwal, Ankit Bhati, Supriya Sule, Anand Subramanian
Ola: Commit to train 200 women in Mumbai to become cab drivers by Women’s Day, 2020
Ola: Commit to train 200 women in Mumbai to become cab drivers by Women’s Day, 2020 Every time that I have to book a cab and travel late at night, memories of the horrific rape of a young girl by the cab driver in Delhi flash before my eyes and the thought of ending up with the same fate as her sends shivers run down my spine. As a student who travels frequently, I wish I had an option of choosing a woman cab driver; I would have felt a lot more comfortable and safer, but the harsh reality is that there are hardly any commercial cab drivers who are women. I strongly feel that women drivers would make women passengers, like me, feel much safer. Training and hiring women as drivers will also benefit cab companies as this will boost their public image and profit as studies show that- women are less rash on the road, pay more heed to the traffic rules and that they are also less likely to drink and drive. Sign my petition asking Ola to commit to training and hiring 200 women in Mumbai as commercial cab drivers by Women’s Day,2020. #sheOla #OlaLeadTheTrend With Ola being the fastest growing new-age cab aggregators and with millions of dollars being pumped in by investors into Ola it is clearly the most capable company to get more women drivers on board and empower them financially. Of course, there have been many other initiatives such as She Cabs in Hyderabad, She Taxi in Kerala, Women Cabs in Bengaluru, Priyadarshini cabs and Viira Cabs in Mumbai, but these women-only cab companies find it a tough going due to lack of funding. Ola had proposed the idea of women-driven taxis across India after the horrific rape case in Delhi in December 2014. but today, even after nearly 4 years there is no significant visibility of women cab drivers in Ola. They did start Ola Pink in Bangalore but there is no such initiative in Mumbai which has gained any momentum. There are only 2 well-known stories of women drivers in Mumbai that Ola proudly owns, one of which is a cab driver and the other one being an autorickshaw driver, working for Ola. Therefore, Mumbai being one of the biggest users of Ola and Ola Share, Ola should commit to training 200 women to become commercial can drivers and provide them the necessary funds required to become a cab driver and work for Ola and hence turning the previously mentioned 2 stories to 200 stories of how Ola took the first step to help these women become independent cab drivers so that people across India acknowledge that driving skills are truly gender-agnostic. Please sign my petition and take the first step to make the dream of seeing more women become cab drivers, turn into a reality by asking Ola to commit to training and hiring 200 women in Mumbai as commercial cab drivers by Women’s Day,2020. #Turn2To200(Image credit: Buzzfeed)