team
Love Matters India

Introduction

Love Matters is India’s leading digital Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information platform catering to the needs of young people. We provide open, honest, non-judgmental and science-based information on love, sex and relationships using innovate media formats.

We operate at the intersection between media and public health, specializing in media for social change. Harnessing the power of technology, popular culture, design thinking and storytelling, we seek to bridge the gap between young people, SRHR organisations and experts and service providers. 

Using websites, social media platforms, Discussion Boards, campaigns, podcasts, radio programs, videos including animation and virtual reality, augmented reality; the aim is to give complete and unbiased SRHR information to young people. Our platforms are publically available and are free of cost.

History 

Love Matters began in India in 2011 has since scaled to five other regions and is now a part of the Love Matters Global Network. Love Matters has country specific platforms in China and India (with a bilingual Hindi and English platform). Other Love Matters websites include Love Matters Arabic, Love Matters Africa , Nigeria, Love Matters Hablemos de Sexo y Amor (Spanish) and the French- language  platform  Amour Afrique

Presence 

Love Matters has a visitor base of over 20 million people. Our prime audience geographies include Delhi, Maharashtra, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Karnataka. 

We have a 1.4 million strong family on Facebook making us the biggest SRHR page in India. 

We are also present on WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter with a combined audience of nearly 50,000. 

Love Matters also works on ground and has a programme in Bihar. Love Matters has done workshops, events and training programmes across the country.  

Love Matters focuses on the needs of young people between the ages of 18-30. Love Matters produces right-based, gender-sensitive and pan-sexual information on SRH issues to suit the needs of ALL young people. 

What we do 

We provide open, honest, non-judgmental and science-based information on love, sex and relationships using several media and innovative formats. 

The Love Matters websites in Hindi and English are our resource hubs, with the most comprehensive information on love, sex and relationships. The Love Matters Hindi website is by far the biggest resource in Hindi available on these subjects. 

The website uses several formats such as top tips, personal, stories, myth busters and advise columns to share knowledge on love, sex and relationships. Our advice column, also known as Auntyji, is the most loved column in the country, with almost all communication from readers to Love Matters being addressed to their dear Auntyji!  

We also run a 24X7 online helpline on all things love, sex and relationship called Let’s Talk. At Let’s Talk users can post your questions, doubts or queries in Hindi and English language and our sexperts (experts on sex education) get back to them with a solution within 24 to 48 hours. 

We are also active on several social media platforms to spread awareness and have fun conversations.

With 1.4 million followers, Love Matters India’s Facebook page is the biggest SRHR page in India. A new entrant to Instagram, our page already has nearly 16000 followers and counting. Love Matters has also produced several short films on love, sex and relationships. Check them out on our YouTube and TikTok channels. 

On Twitter, we talk about all the issues that are important to us. We also regularly take part and host Tweetathons and Twitter chats engaging with online communities on wide ranging topics and building collaborations on the way.  

Nearly 8000 users are connected to Love Matters via WhatsApp where we share with our subscribers tips on love, sex and relationships. For content in English/Hinglish, you can join our Pan-India WhatsApp list by messaging us on +91 9650041107. For content in Hindi, send us a message on +91 9650041109 to subscribe to our feeds.

Leadership

Vithika Yadav, the co-founder and country head of Love Matters India, is a well known human rights activist who has worked on human trafficking, slavery, gender rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). 

She is an alumnus of THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam. She is also an inspiring leader and has delivered talks at IIT Roorkee, TEDx Dubai, Switchpoint USA, JoshTalks, TEDxJIET,  SIMS Pune and The Hague Academy among many others. Vithika has worked as a fellow and as a consultant for Free the Slaves. She worked as a consultant to the United Nations office on drugs and crime for anti human trafficking. She worked as the project coordinator for BBC World Service Trust.

Vithika featured in the award winning 2018 Swiss-German documentary film, Female Pleasure, directed by Swiss director Barbara Miller. The film portrays five courageous, smart and self-determined women, breaking the silence around female sexuality in their patriarchal and conservative societies. The film has won several awards in various film festivals around the world. 

Vithika is also one of the first 40 founding members of the Indian Women Social Entrepreneurs Network (IWSEN).

In 2016 she received the honour of being one of the Top 120 under 40 New Generation of Family Planning leaders in the world.

In 2012 she was awarded as one of the Top 99 under 33 young foreign policy leaders in the world by Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in the USA. 

In 2007 she was awarded the Atlas Corps Fellowship

Over the years, she has worked for premier organizations such as the United Nations office on drugs and crime, BBC World Service Trust, Free the Slaves and MTV EXIT. Vithika is seen as an expert on survivor care and protection services and in this context she is focused on advising NGOs/INGOs regarding how to create rights based programs of recovery through which women and girls can emerge from being victims to being human rights advocates in their own right.

Donors and funders 

Set up in 2011, with support of RNW Media, Love Matters India has been supported by some of the biggest SRHR, family planning and gender rights donors over the past decade. These include The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ideas 42 and Amplify Change

You can see more detailed information about our donors, funders and partners here

Love Matters programme in India is implemented by Development Consortium.

Awards

  • Love Matters Love Matters won the Award for Excellence & Innovation in Sexuality Education for being the most innovative sexual health project in the world in 2013, from the World Association for Sexual Health(WAS). The World Association for Sexual Health is an international umbrella organization representing sexological societies and sexologists worldwide.
  • In 2016, Love Matters was recognized as one of the Top 5 Digital projects in the world under Freedom of Expression Awards, UK. Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression Awards exist to celebrate individuals or groups who have had a significant impact fighting censorship anywhere in the world.
  • Love Matters won the mbillionth 2017 South Asia award for innovation in technology for social impact in the category of Inclusion and Empowerment. The awards seek to not only reward all those who are taking initiatives to bridge the digital divide, empower people and bring about greater socio-economic equality but also create an ecosystem and network of such innovators and developers so that they can learn from each other, collaborate and scale up.
  • Love Matters won the Social Media for Empowerment Award 2017 for #BearNoMore campaign on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). #BearNoMore was the first of its kind online campaign launched by Love Matters India which aimed at raising awareness on ‘Intimate Partner Violence’ among young unmarried couples in India.
  • Our online campaign #NotMusicToMyEars, a campaign against sexism in Bollywood music, won a Bronze Lion in the radio category of Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity in 2017.  The campaign #NotMusicToMyEars. address how Bollywood has been unwittingly propagating sexism through lyrics of their songs. Thereby, waking audiences up to this reality. And through them, getting Bollywood to take a stand against including demeaning lyrics in its songs. The campaign also won Asia’s Kyoorius Award 2017
  • In 2018, our #LforLove campaign that tackles homophobia against lesbians won the DMA Asia Award
  • Produced by Love Matters, India’s first VR experience about intimate partner violence (IPV) – that focuses on the issue by asking the viewer to step into the shoes of a young Indian woman – was chosen as a finalist for the SIMA 2018 Award.
  • Vithika Yadav won the prestigious 120 under 40 award by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  120 Under 40 recognizes and highlights the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide; it is led by the Gates Institute with support from Bayer
  • In 2018 Vithika also won the Digital Women Awards - that celebrate women entrepreneurs and their stories of success - in the Social Impact Segment for being the driving force behind Love Matters India. 

Innovation 

We constantly experiment with novel and innovative ways to share SRHR information with young people in manners that will be engaging for them. 

Virtual Reality films 

In 2017, Love Matters produced India’s first virtual reality film on the issue of intimate partner violence named #KyaYahiPyarHai/IsThis Love? The film used virtual reality technology to make the audience step into the shoes of a young Indian woman Anuja’s dilemmas as she wades through the ups and downs of her relationship with Manoj. Produced by NowHere Media for the media NGO Love Matters India, Kya Yahi Pyar Hai breaks the taboo around intimate partner violence by using virtual reality/360° in public installations to narrate a powerful story and connect with young people.

The film was short-listed in the VIRTUAL REALITY Category and moved to the final round at the 5th annual Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA Awards).

On 27th of September, 2018, Love Matters released India’s first 360/VR film on the issue of abortion.  The film ‘I Am Not Alone’ used virtual reality medium to narrate the powerful story of Mehak - a young girl, who described the support she got from family and the society when she made a decision to abort. The short film is conceptualized, scripted and produced by Love Matters India and directed by Gayatri Parameswarn from NoWhereMedia

The film called on partners, family members, friends, colleagues, doctors and media to wsupport women when they take a decision to seek abortion and for women to step up and share their abortion experiences, enabling other women to take decision their bodies, health and lives.

Augmented Reality app

In 2019, Love Matters India launched an Augmented Reality app prototype featuring interesting and relatable animated characters who provide sexual education comprehensively in a fun and blush-free manner. 

This app correlates and engages with an existing commonplace school textbook, and allows students to scan certain sections to reveal important omitted information. The app prototype was widely tested across 6 cities in India with 155 students and currently the full version of the app is under construction. 

Offline programmes

CSE programme in Bihar 

Love Matters runs a comprehensive sexuality programme (CSE) in three districts of Bihar. As part of the programme Love Matters India has created a network of peer educators who work on ground to spread awareness on various taboo topics like masturbation, menstruation, safe sex, early marriage by conducting workshops in various villages in the areas. 

The peer educators have been trained by using two digital tool kits produced by Love Matters India. Titled 'Baat karne se hi Baat banti hai', the toolkits consists of information on comprehensive Sexuality Education topics such as early marriage, love, attraction and friendship, dealing with rejection, consent, sexual harassment and safe sex. 

The toolkit content is available in the form of booklets, videos and podcasts, which are used to train our on ground advocates to talk and discuss the comprehensive Sexuality Education topics with their peers with ease. 

As part of the programme, Love Matters is also connecting young people to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive healthcare services near them in Patna, Bihar through a Find A Clinic feature on the Love Matters website by the name - ‘Doctor Near Me’/'Nazdeeki Doctor'. 

The doctors/clinics/ healthcare available via the clinic have been specially trained by Love Matters India on the concept of providing youth-friendly and non-judgemental SRHR services. 

Research, training and workshops

As a leading platform for Sexual and Reproductive rights, Love Matters regularly India conducts research, workshops and training to promote SRHR for all young people. Our research and workshops have focused on a range of topics under SRHR. and Love Matters has trained young people and professionals on pleasure positive approach to sex over the last few years. Please read more about our research, training, publications and workshop here

Events and campaigns 

Operating at the  intersection between media and public health and with a pleasure-positive approach to sex and sexuality,  Love Matters regular organises offline and online events and campaigns to engagement on issues related to SRHR. Some of our campaigns such as #LforLove and #NotMusicForMyEars #BearNoMore have made widespread national and global impact. Please see more details on our events and campaigns here. 

Our team

Arti Shukla: Creative Director

A BBC-trained editor, with expertise in story-telling for social change, Arti Shukla is the Creative Director at Love Matters India. She develops and implements creative vision and drives the content strategy for Love Matters India.  

Nidhi Sharma: Associate Editor

Website editor, with 18 years of experience in print and online media, journalism and news, features writing, story telling, interviews and research. She also has expertise in various tools like Content Management System (CMS),  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Analytics. 

Anu Shakti Singh: Copywriter and Social Media officer

An award winning poet and novelist, movie buff, bookworm and internet junkie Anu manages social media and writes copies for Love Matters India. 

Jahnavi Sharma: Project Manager

Jahnavi has a seven years of experience in the development sector and development communication field. She leads the projects by developing, planning, executing via coordination, monitoring project activities within budget on the ground in the state of Bihar as well as on Love Matters India's online platforms.

Neha Passi: Creative designer

With 12 years of experience in print and digital media, Neha works on a diverse range of projects and media, using various computer software to visualize and develop innovative graphic designs that meet organisation goals. She has an expertise in designing a wide range of materials that may include web pages, presentations, storytelling videos, infographics, newsletters, and marketing/campaign materials.

Niyanta Sarkar: Project Associate

Niyanta has an expertise in handling office operations and event management. She also helps in assisting in content writing and editing for the website using Content Management System (CMS). An enthusiast by heart, she loves to learn through new experiences and skills.

Prem Kumar: Field Coordinator

With 10 years of experience, Prem specializes in community health work. He  is an expert trainer in mother and childcare and adolescent healthcare. He also works extensively on rural poverty alleviation and community-based grass root work.

Gunjan Sharma: Consultant "Sexpert"

Gunjan Sharma is a sexpert and the supervisor (for interaction with users) on the Let’s Talk Discussion Board, Love Matters India website and Facebook. Gunjan has also authored Auntyji advice columns on the Love Matters India website and helps run training and workshops organised by Love Matters India. 

Chinmayee Dave Subash: Discussion Board Moderator

Chinmayee works on our discussion forum Let's Talk. She has a degree in Social Work and experience working in health, hygiene and access to abortion. 

Kiran Rai: Discussion Board Moderator

Kiran works on our discussion forum Let's Talk. She has also written for the Love Matters website. 

Ranjeeta Kumari: Moderator 

Ranjeeta Kumari responds to users on the Love Matters website.