#PeriodPaath: Menstrual Hygiene 3

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!

I am Maanya Sinha of Delhi Public School, Indirapuram.

An author very apparently said,” We live in a society where, we were taught mensuration should be kept hidden and whispered. But the question is why a natural process should be zippered!”                                          

Today, we all are well educated and know the importance menstrual hygiene. But today also there are many girls all over country who feel ashamed of talking about menstruation in public and hence to avoid this there should be workshops in the school for the girls of 6th and 7th standard to tell them how to deal with periods if it comes in public. And yes there should also nice public facilities to deal with the biological problem. I have come across many washrooms even in my school and even in other public places where there is no dustbins inside the washroom, that leads to so much of inconvenience to dispose off the used pad. Now let’s talk about the school.

Today approx. 60% of the girls are going to the school. Thanks to our education system. As I said before that there should be workshops for the girls in the school. With addition to that I would like to say that all the schools should have a clinic and there should be all facilities required. For eg. a pair of  school uniform of all the sizes so that incase the pad leaks the girl don’t need to feel all that shame of stains on her uniform and hand wash soap for hygiene. And at the end our conversation I would like to say that,”Don’t be shameful that you are girl and don’t follow the limits that society has set for you. Follow the limits that you have set for yourself.”

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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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