HuffPost: The One Thing Every Activist Should Know By Ariel Nessel


June 26, 2017

Read the whole article here. By Ariel Nessel, Contributor.

A major catalyst for positive change involves understanding an issue and those whom the issue affects. Through deep understanding and dialogue we can dismantle the beliefs that created the problem to relearn new solutions. Since there is no better person to understand a problem than those affected by that problem, the most impactful and sustainable solutions involve community-driven grassroots action.

Great activists know that communities need to drive the conversation for change, not just be a part of it. Activists rooted in the community they are helping are the most effective people to drive the conversations that address taboo issues.

The Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi in 2012, which shed light on women’s struggles to end the rape culture in India and the denial of its existence, inspired Purvi Yadav into action. She became dedicated to ending gender-based violence in India and decided to tackle it at the root.

She knew that puberty, menstruation and sexual health are not topics regularly discussed in India, and that these taboos harbor sexual abuse, sexism, gender-based violence and shame. Purvi, along with Mona Yadav, co-founded the initiative Sahas, which provides adolescents with information they need to understand the shifts their bodies are going through as they become adults.

Mona and Purvi believe that youth who are aware and well informed about their bodily changes and functions become adults who are sufficiently empowered to challenge injustice and the corresponding shame many victims endure.