#PeriodPaath: Addressing Barriers For Those Who “Bleed”

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!
Manish Sisodia
Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi

Respected sir,

I’m writing to bring your kind attention towards an issue that “MATTERS”. Even after several efforts a problem that continues to go unaddressed properly is menstrual health, wellness and hygiene.

Menstruation is unavoidable reality. It is natural biological function that about half of world’s population experience during their lifetime. During menstruation a women suffers a lot and better menstruation hygiene management can be a matter of life and death. Menstruation hygiene management were affected by – availability of resources, socio-economic status, cultural traditions and beliefs, education and last but not the least privilege that translate into wilful ignorance and harmful policies.

There is a need to advocate for better menstrual health for every women especially for underprivileged and demand action on multiple fronts:

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Menstruation makes the need for safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Access to safe sanitation is extremely important as unhealthy menstruation management increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome, RTI (Reproductive Tract Infection), cervical cancer and other dangerous diseases.

Management of menstrual waste

Disposal of menstrual waste is major concern as it directly affects health and environment. There should be a separate collection system for the menstrual waste. Gloves and safety gears should be provided to the sanitation workers so that they are not exposed to pathogenic diseases.

Gender sensitization

Education plays a key role in menstruation hygiene management. Due to unwillingness, myths, prejudices and misconceptions it is difficult to talk about menstruation with men and boys. By educating both we can overcome false beliefs and taboos. This will not only break the barriers but also encourage a dialogue on issues related to menstruation health, wellness and hygiene.

I appreciate what steps you have taken so far and looking forward to seeing positive and solid changes.

With regards


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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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