Let’s Go Beyond The PadMan Challenge And Not Behind It

Of course it’s natural. Period.

But what isn’t nature-friendly or body-friendly are disposable sanitary napkins. I’m using the #PadManChallenge to display reusable menstrual products that are trash free, rash free and cash free. Join me in raising awareness – about menstruation and environmental sustainability, not just the film.

Disposable napkins are made of toxic chemicals. They don’t decompose for 600 years and create tons of bio-medical waste. #DitchDisposables

A menstrual cup, on the other hand, lasts over 10 years and is more convenient than any other menstruation-related product you could use. And cloth pads don’t cause cancer.
#GreenTheRed #CupAndCloth

Challenging more powerful women and men to show support to #SustainableMenstruation. Post a picture with a reusable menstrual product on your public profiles, and get your environment-friendly friends to do it too. Let’s get this through to influencers/celebrities who mean to support period talk and not just promote a film.

The #PadManChallenge
The #PadManChallenge with a twist. This is my #CupWomanChallenge

Please don’t stop the conversation here. Take it further. Educate yourself on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ill effects of birth control/hormone pills to manage one’s cycle, dysmenorrhea. Un-learn that period blood is impure, and dismiss the taboo around period sex.

I’m glad we are finally making films about menstruation and are sharing the story of a man who did unconventional things. But in the process, let’s not glorify a problematic product – that is, disposable sanitary napkins.

You can visit this site to learn more about the ill-effects of sanitary napkins on our bodies and the planet. We aren’t just asking you ditch dirty disposables but also offering several reusable solutions. Be wise and make the switch.

Stop adding to the 120kg of non-bio degradable (hazardous) waste you’d generate if you used sanitary napkins throughout your menstruating lifetime.

And if you want to donate someone’s 10 years worth of menstrual products for ₹600 while getting yourself one, check this out. Environmentally disastrous and monetarily expensive sanitary pads are not the only solution.

Let’s go beyond the #PadManChallenge, not behind it.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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