To Vithika Yadav, Love Really Does Matter


India is successfully breaking down taboos that prevent people from openly talking about sexuality, according to sex education advocate Vithika Yadav.

Yadav is the Head of Indian Operations for Love Matters, a web platform that challenges the idea that sex cannot be discussed in public. Created by Radio Netherlands Worldwide in 2011, the Love Matters web and mobile sites provide easy-to-access information and news on sexuality and sexual health for teenagers and young adults.  

Love Matters is making strides where others have stumbled, Yadav says. The Indian government created the Adolescent Education Program in 1999 and the National Population Education Projects in 2005. Both programs failed to capture national attention as sexual topics were addressed in an academic tone, with heavy emphasis on abstinence and monogamy.

The informal, non-judgemental approach taken by Love Matters is proving more effective, allowing people to anonymously engage in dialogue and asks questions about sex and sex-related issues. “Love Matters offers a lifeline to thousands of youths who, up until now, have faced a wall of silence,” says Yadav.

Progress is uneven in the patchwork of cultural and religious groups that make up India. However, the growing number of people seeking information about sexual issues illustrates nationwide progress, Yadav adds.

In her view, sex education is not a privilege reserved for certain countries, cultures or communities, but an inherent human right. Yadav names her father as a “lifelong inspiration” who instilled in her values of advocacy and volunteerism.