What happens when a gynaecologist, a poet and a man walk into the room?

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With four lovely performers and three speakers, Hidden Pockets and Krantikalli for #Sep28 campaign took this initiative to bring young people together and talk about Women’s Health and the City. The best part was that we had a gynecologist with us as a speaker. Dr. Suchitra is a medical officer for Family planning Association of India at the Delhi branch. Having a gynecologist among us made the audience very excited. The youngest in the crowd was a 16 years old performer.

The event was conducted at the Playground Creative House in Defense Colony, Delhi. The event started with two of the lovely performers reciting their poems. Brindalakshmi through her poems voiced the need for Red Lipstick, as if every women in the room was dying to put the red lipstick but was scared.  Anuradha recited her poetry in Hindi wherein she connected various different women and their struggles with health. Ankita spoke about body shaming and loving our own bodies while Amia brought a young adolescent’s anxieties into the room. The room was filled with an aura where we all had some questions to be answered. We all could connect with the poems, and we all connected with each other.

To the make the evening more interesting, we had our speakers next.  We had three speakers, Aisha from Hidden Pockets Collective, who mapped public health centers, and is a single women staying in a metropolitan city, went first. Second was Nitin, a man in a women’s meet, who spoke about how important it is to be a part of such discussions. As a partner, a brother and a friend, he wanted to be more engaged in these issues and be more sensitive to such issues. And third was the gynecologist, Dr. Suchitra.

 

 

The conversation was mostly focused on discussing public health centers and how difficult it is for women to access health centers, followed by sharing of experience on how it felt to visit Family Planning Association for the first time. Nitin shared his experience about visiting clinics and understanding how important it is to visit these centers with your partners.  And then we had the gynecologist talking about safe abortion, about how it is a women’s right to get a safe abortion and also about myths related to abortion.

Slowly the audience in the room started opening up. And then one by one we had the women asking questions. There was an excitement as well as seriousness in the room. Excitement because women were finally asking questions directly to a gynecologist and seriousness because all were paying attention to what the doctor was saying. The questions were related to periods, methods to contraception, pregnancy, safe abortion etc..

The audience also got to know about FPAI (Family Planning Association of India).  FPA India envisages sexual and reproductive health for all as a human right, including gender equality leading to alleviation of poverty, population stabilization and sustainable development. They have clinics around India such as in Delhi, Agra, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai. We got to know how  FPAI follows ‘No Refusal Policy’ and also about how it gives importance to “after care” post having abortion and helps the person in understanding choices to contraception.

To sum up the beautiful evening, we had our performers recite their amazing poems. By the end a few still had questions, few looked content and while a few others were still in that fascinating aura.

Hidden Pockets Collective would like to thank out host partners @Krantikaali for helping us conduct this event in Delhi.

Pic credit: Riya Singh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do when faced with online cyber bullying?

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Gurmehar Kaur has been trolled online for her campaign against ABVP. She has been called names, have been given rape threats and this has forced her to pull out her campaign against ABVP.

What Gurmehar went through can also be seen as cyber bullying.

In last few years, the cases of online abuse and harassment has drastically increased. In such a condition, what are some of the options that we can opt for, which can provide us with immediate relief.

There are various recourses that a victim can choose in such a scenario: The law relating to communication is restricted to offensive, obscene message/images or messages when shown disinterest. Cyber bullying is a wider term. A victim of cyber bullying can approach the court under Indian Penal Code or Under Information Technology Act. IPC opens up doors for victims of stalking u/s 354D and its ambit covers a part of cyber stalking u/s 354D(1)(ii). We can consider this incident (Gurmehar Kaur) to be of Cyber bullying nature which covers cyber stalking and cyber harassment both along with multiple other faces it may take.

In her case, Gurmehar Kaur has filed a complaint with Delhi Commission for Women against cyber bullies.

It has been reported that the FIR had been filed under Section 67 of the IT Act and Sections 354 A (sexual harassment) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

What are some of the other options that we have if we are a victim of cyber bullying:

a) In this case, Delhi Commission for Women has initiated an inquiry on its own and have sought Facebook to deactivate accounts from Facebook of the abusers.

b) Some of the twitter handles have been identified and they can be asked to be deactivated.

Source: Twitter @SwatiJaiHind

In some of the cities, there is an option of going to Cyber cells as well.

In Delhi, there is a cyber cell in Daryaganj, where victims can go and file complaints and initiate cases against the abusers.

The Cyber cell deals with issues of complaints like hacking of Facebook and Twitter accounts, fake email IDs, credit card frauds, abusive and defamatory emails. It has facilities to retrieve and analyse immediately evidence pertaining to emails, websites, chat rooms, databases etc., and trace desktops, laptops and mobiles phones.

It is important to realize some of the options, that can help us in protecting ourselves from these online threats and we can use the existing mechanisms. These mechanisms are not full proof and they are yet to respond to the increasing changing nature of technology, but these resources provide us with some relief, that needs to be used to challenge the rampant online hooliganism.

A love letter to Delhi: Breathing in the old and the new together

Every time I am heading to Dilli now, there is exhilaration in my belly, greed for the streets and skies of this city. Don’t get me wrong — I still hate it too, I hate how much I fear it and how much it makes me fear it, I hate the air thick with smog and the anger on strangers’ faces. Every trip outside is an experience fuelled by adrenalin, where I shed the comfort and peace of a bare air-conditioned room for the madness of Delhi’s streets, talk to strangers, get lost, eventually find my way. Perhaps Dilli for me is a metaphor for life: to go out there, to put myself out there, is terrifying and often overwhelming, it is difficult and it is work, but in the end it is always worth it. It transforms you. Delhi will never just be a city for me: it will be a reminder to let go of my fears. Or perhaps Delhi has transformed all cities for me, has made them somehow approachable, has let me see the magic in encountering places and people as if I were a traveller, has shown me that I will always find places and people that value the same things that I do.

Delhi is a strange, strange experience: it lives in so many different times at once — the metro ride from Chandni Chowk to CP or Hauz Khas takes place in terms of years, not kilometres. Yet instead of being confusing or conflicting (which Delhi often is), this aspect of Delhi gives me hope, makes me feel as though I am a part of something larger than myself. And also: that this too will pass, and will remain. The old and the new lock horns and carry on, struggling with each other, but aware that this battle has no end. Delhi (like all of India, perhaps) is amused at our efforts to remain enclosed in bubbles, separate from all the people around us, but it will not let us have it. So many worlds, in terms of time and wealth and age and ideas, so many bubbles interact in Delhi on a daily basis. I am convinced this interaction is important, is vital, is transformative: you must meet what is different from you, and respect it. You must cease to fear it. A love letter to Delhi is the same as a love letter to life: Kipling said that Delhi was the naval of the world, and it feels like that to me — for me, it is, because I have made it so. Cities seem less scary, and strangers don’t seem so threatening. At the very least, it seems possible — travel, and discovery, and all the rest of it.

Despite everything, Delhi is sometimes constricting, violent, and petty. But I love it like family, like somebody who has seen through its layers and is convinced that at the heart of it, the city is only vast and inclusive and has space for everybody, makes space for everybody. The metro was, to me, a revelation, a space that made me interact with all the men and women that I would otherwise ignore on a street — it let me observe a cross-section of all the people who live here, and told me that I too was a part of this heaving mass, no matter what I wore or thought or said today — I belong here. No matter which godforsaken corner of Dilli I may land up in, a metro station is a few minutes away, and that makes me feel safe and free, like I have some control over time and space in this capital. That I belong here too. It’s what I’ve always felt when I’ve encountered Delhi’s various monuments that are open to the public, when I’ve been able to spend hours under swaying trees without having to answer any questions. That’s what I felt one sunny afternoon in Paharganj, where I was secretly terrified and lost with a friend, but a series of shopkeepers, rickshaw-wallahs, and strangers on scooters guided us to the bookstore we were looking for. I belong here, there is value in what I love, I belong here. I must move out of my comfort zone to be a part of this magic, I must be kind and brave, I must be persistent with this mad city, but at the heart of it, it loves me. I belong here.

About the writer:

Purvai Aranya is a 20 year old undergraduate at Ashoka University. She is studying English and Philosophy. When she isn’t writing or drawing on any available surface, you will find her worrying or talking to the moon. She wants to continue reading, exploring and learning as she grows older, She has recenty fallen in love with cities, and wants to fight fiercely to make space for herself in the world. She puts up poetry, pictures, and paraphernalia at http://purvaiaranya.blogspot.in/

Hate to love: An outsider’s love letter to Delhi

The summer I was in Europe with my mother, I don’t think I missed anything about home or college or the wild cities of India. I was entirely immersed in the newness of the experience, in the cobbled streets and vivid skies of strange cities. There was only one nagging voice in my head, the familiar and hilarious lilt of it: Vishwa Vidyayala, it said. Doors will open. It was like a song that wouldn’t leave. Mind the gap. The metro lady had made a home in my head. When did I fall in love with Dilli so fiercely, when did I begin to miss it?

When I was younger, I hated cities and the idea of cities. I was a child of forests and solitary mountain roads. Delhi of the smoke and concrete was a nightmare to me. Once my parents and I drove down to Delhi from Chandigarh, and got lost right at the border — in my memory, no matter what turns we took, we ended up at the dusty outskirts of MG Road, under half-built flyovers and a darkening sky. In my mind, that experience was a painfully accurate metaphor for Delhi.

At some point after coming to a college on the outskirts of Delhi, I changed my mind. These things always seem to happen in flashes, as though it takes a single step to move out of a threshold into blinding light. I hated Delhi consistently, hated it even from the safety of my dorm room while others explored it, hated it even whilst being in awe of it the first time I went for a gig in Hauz Khas Village and got drunk in a blue dress. Cities seemed to stand for everything that I was afraid of, everything I couldn’t be and didn’t want: glass buildings, capitalism, parties, threatening strangers. Then one day I went to the Sunday morning book market at Dariaganj and changed my mind, in a flash. Or perhaps that is just how I remember it in retrospect.

My memory is clearest when it comes to doorways, thresholds: I cannot forget walking out the doors of that sheltered metro station into the bright light and chaos of Dilli, a vast and infinite corner of the old city. We bargained with a rickshaw-walla and set off, careening down a narrow street. I was afraid to blink and miss out on a single second — this seemed like the whole world in a street, more than I had ever seen or experienced or imagined in my life — the people, the crazy roadside shops, the baffling assortment of things on sale, the beautiful windows balanced against ruined buildings, the advertisements and posters fading away against all the charm and madness of old Dilli, the cows, the carts, the noise, the tiny streets that snaked out in every direction and seemed to lead nowhere and everywhere all at once. Something about old Delhi reached out to me and grabbed my heart at the very first sight. I was sold, I was changed.

The rickshaw led us down to wider roads and avenues, eventually stopping at some shopfronts at a roadside. The corridor in front of the shops was partly covered and partly open, and it was covered — I let out an involuntary gasp when I glanced down — with books, for as long as I could see down the corridor, books in small piles and books spread out on the ground, cartons of books and books leaning against the wall. There was a foot or two of space to walk in, between the road and the book-lined corridor, and there was a series of strolling people making their way through this miniature street. My friends and I made our way, from the first shop till as far down as we could go. November sun spread out lazily over everything, and the world seemed like a magical place. I went through book after book, and finally picked out seventeen from various sections of the corridor. I spent less than a thousand rupees that day. With my books stuffed in my bag, half of them hanging from my hand by tightly bound twine rope, we left that place. I felt full, complete, like a city had held out its hand and told me it loved me, it wanted me, that there was space for me and the things I loved in this world.

About the writer:

Purvai Aranya is a 20 year old undergraduate at Ashoka University. She is studying English and Philosophy. When she isn’t writing or drawing on any available surface, you will find her worrying or talking to the moon. She wants to continue reading, exploring and learning as she grows older, She has recenty fallen in love with cities, and wants to fight fiercely to make space for herself in the world. She puts up poetry, pictures, and paraphernalia at http://purvaiaranya.blogspot.in/

Pleasure and access through the eyes of a person with disability

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“Whenever an event happens in Delhi, any able bodied person would first check if the tickets are available and if he or she can buy them. For me, it is a double step. I first need to check which hall it is in and then enquire whether the hall is accessible. Once I know that the hall is accessible then I need to go to step two which is buy the tickets and go for the event.”

*****

Being a startup working around spaces, inclusiveness, pleasures and sexuality, Hidden Pockets made a conscious effort at making this World Disability Day about sharing pleasure pockets for the disabled, places that they can actually access considering that these options are usually limited and few. How about a look at access from the eyes of a person with disability? We spoke to Nipun Malhotra, CEO of Nipman Foundation about people with disability and access and the work his organisation does around making spaces accessible.

In December 2015, the government of India launched the Accessibility India Campaign in an attempt to make government buildings accessible to people with disability. This campaign aims to make at least 50% of the government buildings in the national capital and all states capitals, accessible to people with disability by July 2018.

Demonetisation and access

I think the problem is much bigger than demonetization. I’m 29 years old and I have never really used an ATM. I always sign a cheque and give it to my attendant to have the cash withdrawn. That said, I’ve been hearing two kinds of feedback about demonetization, one that says that banks have released a circular about a separate queue for senior citizens and the disabled, mostly in Delhi. The other one is negative.

Going beyond demonetization, what is required is an institutional change and financial access to people with disability. For the visually challenged, most of the banks’ website are not accessible. So they cannot even do electronic transactions. With respect to mobility challenges, most of the banks have not been accessible. So with or without demonetization, that has been a long-term struggle.

People with disability as complete individuals

While there are NGOs in the country that focus on auditing public spaces to provide access to people with disability, to Nipun Malhotra,  says it is about looking at people with disability as complete individuals and going beyond educational institutions and hospitals.

I have realised that for people with disability in India, schools and hospitals are two spaces that people focus on. Even in schools and hospitals, the figures are quite disappointing. There is need for change in attitude in India towards people with disability. People with disability should be looked at as complete individuals and not just as people with physiological needs. Disabled people should also be out in the open celebrating.

Nipun Malhotra commutes on a wheelchair due to arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder leading to a lack of muscles in arms and legs that he was born with. Nipman Foundation works as accessibility partner for events and festivals auditing temporary structures to provide access to the disabled. Apart from the Serendipity Arts Festival (Goa) scheduled to happen in December 2016, Jaipur Literary Festival and NH7 Weekender are some of the festivals and events that the organisation has partnered with so far.

With over a decade of experience in auditing public spaces including Delhi Metro, Delhi Parliament, the Delhi High Court, Delhi Heart, Priyanka Malhotra, a disability rights activist and an accessibility auditor, started the Nipman Foundation in 2012. The organisation works on different spheres of providing access to the disabled, be it to wheelchairs, livelihood, health and other services. Now the organisation also focuses on events and temporary structures.

A few accessible events and festivals in India

It depends on what the festival really wants. One of the ideas that we came up for the NH7 Weekender was having raised platforms for people with disability who are in a sitting position. These events usually have people standing and that obstructs the view of the people sitting. Raised platforms will make the visibility of the stage at eye level. It would be easier for them to look at things. That is just one example,

Apart from raised platforms, the organisation also looked at access to disabled friendly toilets, training and sensitisation of staff at the music festival. According to Malhotra, being an accessible, Jaipur Literary Festival only required support with ramps for the stage and wheelchairs for any elderly or disabled persons attending the event. Nipman Foundation had a stall offering wheelchairs and volunteers who can help, making the festival accessible to people with disability.

With the Serendipity Arts Festival being in its first edition, Nipman Foundation sees the potential to make the festival completely accessible to people with disability. Apart from the venue accessible and providing accessible transportation for people with disability, the festival has a long term vision of making the content accessible, adds Malhotra who classifies access as physical, attitudinal and access to content.

Public spaces in New Delhi

Speaking about his home city of Delhi, Malhotra adds that India Habitat Centre, India International Centre and five star hotels are accessible (wheel chair friendly). What about other public spaces?

Whenever an event happens in Delhi, any able bodied person would first if the tickets are available and if he or she can buy them. For me, it is a double step. I first need to check which hall it is in and then enquire whether the hall is accessible. Once I know that the hall is accessible then I need to go to step two which is buy the tickets and go for the event. I live in Gurgaon. There is a theatre right next to my house. But the theatre is not accessible at all. 

Other accessible movie theatres in New Delhi

Spice Cinema in Noida was completely accessible. There is a PVR in Saket that is very accessible. Then there is a theatre in Select city or DLF Mall one of the two, that is quite accessible. Then there is a Three Seasons Lajput Nagar that is very accessible. There are these four or five theatres that are quite accessible. Other than that the situation is quite bad. 

Being an avid movie watcher used to watching at least a movie every week, Malhotra notes that Spice Cinemas in Noida to be completely accessible. It appears that the builders of the mall were open to inputs about making the mall accessible.

I actually approached the builders of the mall and sent them a polite mail with a couple of recommendations and also met one of the managers with my mother. They were receptive to us. They took our feedback and ensured that it was accessible.

Approach to making spaces accessible?

The way to go about things is instead of retrofitting things and making them accessible, it would help if the government comes up with a policy that mandates a NOC for accessibility for commercial buildings over a particular size, just like a emergency fire exit etc. Unless that certificate is given, the completion certificate should not be given.

Supreme Court’s mandate on national anthem in theatres

I’m going to stay silent on whether the national anthem should be played. Not because I don’t have an opinion, but because as a wheelchair user, my challenge is much more complicated, writes Malhotra talking about the recent Supreme Court mandate on playing the national anthem in cinema halls.

The Supreme Court order states, “All the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem.” The order does not exempt the disabled. There is no mention of the disabled.

Editor’s note: While pleasure pockets for people with disability may seem like a concept that can only be afforded by the privileged class, the idea is to look at people with disability as complete beings with pleasures and desires and not just beings with physical requirements. That attitudinal shift will happen only by having conversations around making all public spaces, (government buildings, malls, parks, super markets, hospitals, banks, schools, colleges, roads, pavements) basically any structure inclusive with access to all. While the government and other bodies (hopefully) work towards making spaces more accessible and (hopefully) passing the Disability Bill 2014, let’s have more conversations around making all spaces inclusive!

Delhi Pride: A Queer Way to Walk

A Queer Way to Walk

                           “Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.” – Jason Collins                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

जुर्म ए उल्फ़त पे सज़ा देते हैं , कैसे नादान हैं शोलों को हवा देते हैं !

June 29th 2008, a day after the 39th Stonewall riots anniversary, India witnessed first time the queer pride walk in four major cities of the country. Delhi, Bangluru, Pondicherry and Kolkata hosted the coordinated pride events. What is there in a pride that it creates a buzz every time it comes? The pride celebrates the individuals who do not believe in societal way of carving one’s choice in love and sexuality. The heteronormative structure has always been providing two set of frames for us to fit in, and if a person does not fit in the frame then the person does not stand anywhere. Pride walk gives you a space where you queer the entire road and claim it with being the way you are without being judged or looked down.

This year’s  pride walk was my first walk, walking a small distance with thousands of other queer folks left me amazed and speechless. Being open and out on the road, will give a person the sense of liberty which we always crave, no matter how young or old we are, we all yearn for that liberty. Individuality is bliss, pride provided a platform to every single person to come out in the open and express their feelings. The pride was a unique mixture of current radical right wing politics and the message of love. ‘Personal is Political’, the slogan created the bridge between personal life and political life. We may often think that the pride is just for LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Interrex and Asexual) community and it is personal matter rather than a political one.

But we have seen in recent times that how in India, a personal life is no more there and politics is affecting every single aspect of our lives, from what to eat, what to wear, what to listen, what to watch, what to write, what to read, what to say, whom to love, whom to have as a sexual partner etc. everything is being forced on us. In this hard time, it is really good to see that a lot of people understand the presence of politics in our lives. From politically motivated commentary on the posters to the simple requests to spread love; everything was mesmerising. The beautifully decorated banner with the long rainbow flag and people shouting slogans and singing along while dancing on Maharashtrian Dhol created an environment consisting of joy and energy. During the walk another thing very visible was the inclusiveness of this year’s pride, asexual people’s groups were vocally and physically present there, and some families of queer folks also come to support their family members. Even at few points while people in the parade were playing along they even made the serious looking security folks smile.

The pride for me was important for a number of reasons, it made me smile and I was overjoyed with the welcoming nature of everyone, I danced on the road with a of people, the people present there were judgment free and diversity was welcomed. The pride walk ended near the Jantar Mantar and then some individuals took the stage by storm with their power-packed performances. The beauty of the parade is beyond the wordily enactment of the tale which I experienced. Every individual who thinks that the queer walk is only for those who put themselves in the LGBTQIA community, have not experienced the thrill of walking down the road and shouting your heart out. I was overjoyed, at the end of the day. The pride parade then becomes the ultimate way to celebrate your individuality in a non-violent way. In today’s circumstances where hatred and violence are rising everyday, we all need a queer walk.

A queer walk will tell us that the being hateful is not fun at all, but if you are “gay” (pun intended) you can make everyone around you happy. The pride is a carnival of joy and love. If you have missed this time, make sure that you take part next year. It is a beautiful feeling to walk and you do not get to dance on the roads everyday.

Article by: Jitender N. Bhardwaj

Noida established a Cyber Cell, will that help?

Cyber Crimes have been on a rise in recent years. NCRB has indicated a rise in number of complaints that have been registered under IT ACT 2000. The increase in Online crimes have also reflected the changing nature of technology and sexual assault as well. There is a greater tension between the fine line between freedom of speech and obscenity, and it becomes even more difficult when women become victim of such crimes.

With advancement of technology and more and more transactions and conversations happening via the online mediums, providing crime a more digital format. In such a scenario, pronouncement of Cyber Cells in cities seemed like a next feasible step.

Cyber Cells:

In India, there are 10 Cyber Cells with the one in Noida in Uttar Pradesh, being introduced recently. The other Cyber Cells in India are located in the cities : Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Thane, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gujarat and Gurgaon. Complaints can be registered in any of the Cyber Cells.

The recent case of Rape Videos which was reported in Al Jazeera brought back the issue of videos being passed around in Whatsapp and other Social Media platforms. Al Jazeera reported that many villages and towns of Uttar Pradesh have been selling and buying these videos.

There are legal protections against such acts,and victims of such abuses can come forward and lodge against the perpetrators and trace them through these Cyber Cells.

Options with the Victims:

Cyber Cells are established to make it easier for victims to report the complaints, however the experiences have not been good. Very few officials working in these cells are aware of the legal provisions. Cases around sexual harassment are often not reported and there is lot of pressure on the victims to drop the complaint.

There is a perverse action of getting details of the video /SMS/MMS itself, which further demonizes the victim. Since the crime is digital in nature, it keeps replaying for the victim.

With Noida establishing the Cyber Cells, there is a hope that people in Uttar Pradesh would find it more accessible to go and report some of their complaints.

It is a nice effort on the part of the establishment to provide citizens with such amenities but it is equally important to realize that the nature of these crimes are very sensitive and there needs to be a great deal of sensitization both on the sides of the victim and the people inside the Cyber Cells. For victims, to come forward and lodge their complaints, it is important for the victims to feel safe and the fact that the digital traces of the act, would be removed to the maximum extent from the internet space.

The sad part is that some scenarios like online harassment like trolls on social medias are still not covered under legal protection. 

 

Where should I go to get an abortion in Delhi?

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Finally I found it !

FPAI –Family Planning Association of India. Ladies!!! Have you heard about it? If yes, then I am happy for you, if no then get ready to receive an amazing information that I am going to give you. For those who are not aware of FPAI, FPA India envisages sexual and reproductive health for all as a human right, including gender equality leading to alleviation of poverty, population stabilization and sustainable development. They have clinics around India. Few of the cities are Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai. Recently, I got a chance to visit the FPAI clinic in Delhi and I was amazed to see how approachable they were.

The clinic is situated at RK Puram Sector- 4, New Delhi -110022, Opposite Capital Court, Munirka, Near HDFC Bank and Methodist Church. It is easy to locate the clinic. As I went inside the gate the surrounding of the clinic had positive vibes. The plants and trees added to the calmness. I dint feel as if I am standing in front of an abortion clinic. I went and met the Doctor who was all excited to meet us and show around the clinic. As we entered I saw the counsellor’s room. The counsellor had a huge smile on her face. I felt safe and welcomed.  We went and sat with the doctor in the examination room where the patients were examined.

“Privacy and confidentiality is the most important aspect that FPAI follows”, told the doctor.  Whoever comes to the clinic needs to just register with one’s name. This is required, to keep a count of the patients. It is not for public to examine.  Let it be a married women or unmarried women, the information of the patient is kept highly confidential. Nobody asks the patient uncomfortable questions like are you married or not? Where is the husband? Everybody is treated with dignity at FPAI.

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FPAI follows no refusal policy, this means nobody is refused or sent back without providing medical services and help.

 

As soon as one walks inside the clinic, the person is sent to the counsellor’s room. The counsellor makes sure that the person is comfortable. Privacy is given utmost important. The counsellor discusses what all happened and what can be done. Later the person is sent to the examination room and is examined by the doctor who later provides medicines or performs the operation accordingly. For abortion or also known as Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), the woman needs to fill a consent form called ‘Form C’.  Only the consent of the women is required for performing the medical termination. The main aim of FPAI clinic is to provide quality services to their patients. The woman is provided with a medicine kit containing mifepristone and misoprostol.  These medicines are best helpful in first 12 weeks (1st Trimester of abortion).

 

The doctor properly explains how to utilise these medicines as it is important to take these medicines in a proper way and under the doctor’s guidance

miso-and-mife

Procedure:

  • Day 1:One 200 mg tablet of Mifepristone is taken
  • Day 3 (between 24 to 48 hours):Misoprostol pills of 200 mcg each (total of 800 mcg) are given orally or vaginally.
  • Day 14 – 15:Person returns for a post-treatment examination to affirm that a complete end of pregnancy has happened.

 

The doctor would recommend to come back for an ultrasound check up after 15 days. As per the doctor if it is difficult to come back to FPAI, then get an ultrasound (abdomen) done because it is important to find out if the abortion is completed and women is safe.

The doctor told me these medicines don’t have any side effects but should be always taken under the doctor’s guidance.  It is always better to see if the clinic has displayed the certificate for medical termination practice. One needs to be careful from quacks or unregistered doctors.

After we spoke to the doctor, we took a small stroll around the clinic.  FPAI also does HIV testing, Cervical cancer test (compulsory for women above 30 years), Vasectomy, tubectomy and test for breast cancer. The tests are done after the consent of the patient only. They have ultrasound room, operation theatre and around 10 beds for patients.

FPAI uses MVA (Medical Vacuum Aspiration) method for medical termination. It involves using a specially designed syringe to apply gentle suction to remove the pregnancy or pregnancy tissue from the womb. It can be done with or without local anaesthetic (you will be awake), and takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. This method is legal, less expensive and more comfortable than Dilation and curettage (which is an old method). It is also safe.

FPAI also has a women empowerment segment (in the basement of the building) where classes related to computers, tailoring, beauty parlour is given to women so that they can build on these skills and earn a living.

Let me tell you ladies, I found FPAI very friendly and approachable. If required, kindly try utilizing this clinic. It’s friendly, non-judgemental, safe, clean and affordable. The whole facility would cost around 500 INR. Kindly utilize this amazing clinic. Try it out and refer it to the ladies around. Let us all promote safe abortion and health care around us.

PS: “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs. However, all FPA India clinics also have a “NO REFUSAL POLICY”, which states that no client walking into any FPA India facility is denied any service, especially if he/she is unable to afford even the subsidized fee. Thus, poor and marginalized clients can also access quality services in FPAI clinics. Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

please write to us and let us know how did you find the services : write to hiddenpocketsinfo@gmail.com.

 

Research and article written by : Aisha Lovely George

Heritage trees: Delhi government’s eco-friendly initiative

Famous Welsh historian Jan Morris once said “Delhi is a soldier’s town, politician’s town, journalists’, diplomat’s town.” And for the first time in its centuries old history Delhi now is also a tree’s town. A list of 16 trees native to the Aravali region and the NCR has been deemed as part of Delhi’s ‘natural heritage’ by the present AAP government. According to a report in India Today, the list includes: Burma Mission/Ashoka Mission ‘Peepal’ in Mehrauli, Dadabari Jain Mandir ‘Neem’ nearby, Chirag Dilli Dargah ‘Khirni’ near Greater Kailash, Teen Murti Bhavan ‘Semal’ near RCR Metro, Jawaharlal Nehru University ‘Amaltas,’ Lodhi Gardens ‘Mango,’ India Gate ‘Banyan,’ Raj Ghat ‘Ashoka,’ Gandhi Memorial ‘Arjuna’ and Nehru Park ‘Ailanthus.’

A visit to the Yamuna Biodiversity Park as a college student left me in awe of the variety of trees that the Aravali region has. The in-house scientist who was taking us around did inform about the endangered kadamb and phirni trees once abundant at the Yamuna Banks and the Aravali region. The instant connection that I could draw between the Yamuna and the Kadamb tree was that of a famous hindi poem Yeh kadamb ka ped by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan. It starts with the line ‘Yeh Kadamb ka ped agar ma, hota Yamuna teere, Main bhi us par baith Kanhaiya banta dheere dheere’ (Mother if at all this Kadamb tree would have been at the banks of Yamuna, I too would have gradually been able to become Kanhaiya then). The very mention of Kanhaiya (Lord Krishna) here does tell us how rich a heritage does the Kadamb tree has.

According to the Delhi government’s website, the green cover of Delhi has increased to about 296.20 sq km in 2009 from 26 Sq. Km in 1997 (latest Forest Survey of India report 2011). The website also claims that a total of 14.5 lakh saplings have been planted by various departments / agencies / organisations during under City Plants a Million Tree Campaign conducted in 2011.

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AAP’s cabinet minister Kapil Mishra who took interim charge of the Environment Department said “This city has seen continuous habitation since the 6th Century BC. It has been ruled by Lodhis, Khiljis, Tughlaqs, British etc., who built several temples and mosques. These are home to ancient trees and we must give due respect to them. Also, the native trees of Delhi like jamun, pilkhan, shahtoot, kadamb are getting lost. The ones which survived, and have served an increasingly urbanising Delhi for 100-200 years, deserve protection.”India Today 

The Minister further added, “The WHO has ranked Delhi as one of the most polluted cities in the world. As such, it is imperative to protect the green cover of the city,” he said in a statement. “The trees will be adorned with descriptive and informative signboards – which will tell people of the ecological and botanical value of these tree. It will also tell about historical stories surrounding the tree and also warn people against damaging them,” he said.Indian Express

This step has not only reminded us how integral are the trees to the environment but also form the ‘natural heritage’ of a city. The informative signboards add a sense of knowing and belonging for the people. Monuments are easy to sight but trees which have its own historicity are rarely known. This step thus also brings one closer to the ecology as well. It is an inclusive step that has the potential to make the city dwellers environmentally sensitised, to think about trees and how they bind the past to the present.

And with a list of heritage trees we hope that the green cover increases by leaps and bounds! Meanwhile eagerly waiting for the informative signboards to go up so that I can quench my thirst of knowledge!

Photo Credit: Pallavi

5 obstacles that make pedestrian lives difficult in India #makeyourcityinclusive

25 seconds to cross the double lane road at the signal near the Qutub Minar metro station? How illogical is it? And there’s definitely no thought given to a disabled or an elderly who might have to cross the road. The thought is scary because it is heavy traffic road with cars zooming past you in jet speed. The city roads are only for vehicles it seems. The pedestrians do not even cross the minds of the urban planner.

The more I walked, the more I got to know of the roads where you can walk and where you can’t. Meaning there are stretches where there are footpaths for us pedestrians. Some are broken with potholes and then there are no footpaths at all.

Here are some of the observations that hinder walking in cities based on the roads that I have walked on.

1.Lack of proper Parking. Roadside car parking reduces walking space.

To walk freely you need space to walk. When footpaths are difficult to reach due to the way the cars have been parked, you end up walking on the road. With parked cars taking over the roads, there’s little space for the moving ones. Walking becomes a daredevil act since your chances of getting hit increases.

 

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2. Maintain the Footpaths, clean it so that it’s a smooth walk.

The sight of a footpath is a happy feeling but walking on it is no less of a trauma. The rugged footpath will make you walk on the roads anyway, because the pedestrian paths are filled with everything else other than the space to walk. And then there are the hidden stretches behind the cars! I once managed to reach it and the filth over it made me go back to the road. I did manage to find a by-lane which was meant only for pedestrians but two-wheelers and autos had even reached there.

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3. Not Disabled Friendly

There are no paved or tactile paths to guide a visually impaired person. In Delhi University’s North Campus region the footpaths do have a paved path but get discontinued all of a sudden as an obstacle in the form of a tree emerges. The ramps in most places are broken which make it inaccessible for wheelchairs. “A student of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), who uses a motorised wheelchair, said: “The footpaths are just not accessible. They are broken at many points and ramps are not constructed properly. Most importantly, there is no space on the footpaths for a wheelchair to move. People park vehicles on the footpath and obstruct it.” “- The Hindu (2014)

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Tactile or paved paths on foothpath Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia

4.Crossing the road in limited time: Get set, Go!

At the road near the Qutub Minar metro station, the traffic signal goes red for less than a minute to cross both the lanes. It sounds insane. It was around 9pm at night and the pedestrians had to run past it, with our hearts pounding hard with anxiety. It only left us thinking are we pedestrians even thought about while planning such minute and important issues.

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Representational image Photo Courtesy : www.mapsofindia.com

5. Water clogging after rains makes footpaths inaccessible

With roads turned into unidentified water-bodies, you cannot avoid stepping into dirty water. The clogging is such that reaching the footpath becomes an impossible task. We do await rains to relieve us of the hot weather but once here, we just wish that it stops. Not only pedestrians but also the traffic comes to a standstill. It was only a few days back that #DelhiRains was trending on Twitter because of the traffic issue.

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Making the road inclusive for all would require infrastructure like a well-maintained footpath, a zebra crossing and sensible traffic signal clock.

What we also need is civic sense! The pot holes can be mended by the authorities but we need to keep the sidewalks clean. A zebra crossing can be provided but we need to stop our cars behind the zebra crossing and not on it.

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To me, walking is a leisure activity which I choose to do. But the cities need to be made walkable because there is still a major chunk of population who are bound to walk because they have no other alternative. #makeyourcityinclusive not only in thought but also in practice.

Tell us what are the obstacle you face as pedestrians in your cities in the comments section below. Making roads inclusive will be a step further to #makeyourcityinclusive.

Have stories to tell about your city? Tell us here – https://form.jotform.me/62413021206438

Photo Credits: Pallavi (Instagram: @aabra_ka_daabra)