#PeriodPaath: Awareness Campaign On Menstruation

Editor’s Note: This post is an entry for the #Periodपाठ writing contest, a unique opportunity for you to write a letter and stand a chance of winning up to ₹30,000! The contest is organised by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC. Find out more here and submit your entry!

To

The Chief Minister

West Bengal,

Sub- Campaign on Menstruation

Dear Madam,

This is a letter to our first lady from any anonymous woman of Bengal. With due respect to you and with your permission, I want to raise my voice on such a topic which is considered best if kept hidden and under the carpet. The subject is “menstruation.”

I know that with the mention of this very topic, everybody becomes uncomfortable. But as you know, this very much hidden and whispered topic is the reason behind creation. I, me and any other citizen of Bengal is present in the world because our mother had menstruation. Yet this topic is so much ignored.

I will request you to remember the time when you had your first period. I am sure that even you had no knowledge of menstruation when it started just like most of the girls in your respected state. Our mothers had always said that it is because we are woman, we have periods. And with periods, we were made to follow a series of taboos.

We were not allowed to pray or do pooja. We were not allowed to take head baths We were not allowed to enter kitchen. We were not allowed to touch pickles or tulsi tree and many more. Those four to five days we were kept separate, we were denied a normal life as if “menstruation” is a curse.

With my due respect to you, I am sure that our first lady also had similar experiences when you were a adolescent girl. The men & boys were kept aloof & not allowed to know any of these facts about this very much hidden truth.

Now time has changed, and our state has seen new developments under your reign. Now, there are funds which allow to install vending machines and incinerators in schools. But one thing, which is still lacking behind all this initiative is the true knowledge on menstruation. I would request you to end this stigma for ever which is passed down through generations and this could only be done by designing & creating an awareness generation campaign on menstruation which would reach each nook & corners of our beloved state.

We all remember the famous “Buladi” campaign which became a household name soon after its launch because of its unique style & designing. I request you to design a similar campaign on menstruation alone and spread it across districts. I would request you to create a new “Buladi” which will help the present generation to come out from this century old stigma & myths around menstruation.

Just think my lady, if our men & boys are made aware about menstruation, they will not make mockery of a girl if her skirt turns red. Instead they would lend her a supporting hand. Please think about the idea My lady. Your one step would help millions of girls & women to lead a normal life during those four or five days of a month. Because of your campaign, they well understand the reason behind menstruation & for once will believe that they are not cursed because they are woman.

Thanking you

Your faithfully

Namrata Karamchandani

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