India's youth are staking claim in cyber space across causes that can help make a difference to society
Gone are the days when one had to write to an Agony Aunt and wait for a solution to your problems. The Internet has made space for fast and easy dialogue through various platforms that cover a wide range of subjects. Built with empowered and independent perspectives, including feminist views and breaking free from stereotypes, these youth-oriented blogs are ensuring that diverse voices are being heard today.
The Ladies Finger
Team — Nisha Susan, Poorva Rajaram, Gaurav Jain, Jugal Mody and Deepika Sarma www.theladiesfinger.com
This platform, started by a group of youngsters, talks about a range of subjects such as pop culture, health, sex, books and cinema. Articles are also contributed by guest writers. ‘Ask Iron Maiden’ — The Ladies Finger’s modern agony aunt is rapidly gaining in popularity. The site also performs the Bechdel test on films to examine gender portrayal (see box on Bechdel test).
Team — Aarti Mohan, Kalpana Aravamuthu, Vikram Rai, Savitha Suresh Babu www.thealternative.in
The platform offers expert commentary on the development sector in the country while stressing the need for sustainable living. It also provides a space for constructive conversations on a better tomorrow. The Un(t)ravel section is an interesting feature of the website. It helps find information about relatively unexplored regions of the country.
Team — Aditi Gupta, Tuhin Paul, Rajat Mittal and Dr Mahadeo Bhide www.menstrupedia.com
The platform is a user-friendly guide to menstruation to ensure that women and girls remain active and healthy during their periods. Their use of simplistic sketches and illustrations makes the user’s experience even more engaging. Not surprisingly, the team is presently working on a comic book for the same cause.
What is the Bechdel test?
It checks whether the film is women-friendly by asking three questions:
1. Does the movie have at least two female characters?
2. Do they talk to each other?
3. Do they have a conversation about anything other than a man?