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#PeriodPaath: Nature’s Way Of Saying We Are Growing Up

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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!


Yogi Adityanath

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh,

I would like to thank you for all the development and changes you have brought in society. I always felt proud that I am born in a country where Goddess is worshiped. Yet, I assume that it was an illusion because when I stepped into my adolescence, I faced the harsh reality of society.

I started feeling that periods are a curse and I will be infected for a lifetime. As I grew up, I understood that it is not a curse, in fact, it is a beautiful blessing that God has given to women. It also signifies that now we as adults can play our part in society.

But I don’t want the young girls to undergo the torture which other fellow females have gone through. I want them to be proud of the fact that they have got their periods and can celebrate their womanhood. We all are well aware of the fact that we still live in a society that is male dominant and women are still dependent on them. Females still have to look up to the man and they are the ones who have the authority to decide what is best for the ladies.

People pray and worship Goddess in public but abuse the same female in their houses. Our honorable PM Mr. Narendra Modi started a campaign “Beti Bachao! Beti Padhao!!! But I want to ask you this question, are we really following it? There are still so many places where girls are not allowed to attend schools.

We are in the 20th century but for females, it still seems like the 10th century. Even now the women are facing the judgmental face of society.  Girls still have to think twice before going on road trips during their periods because there are still no washrooms for ladies. For boys, it is a privilege that they can go to the washroom anywhere they want, but girls don’t have that right.

Sorry to say, but we often compare our country to other countries. But we are far behind because of the discrimination based on sexes that we still have in our nation. Even though the women are given reservation in jobs, reservation in buses, metros.  But why is it so that we still feel shy to discuss anything about periods to our father, brothers or friends. Why can’t we discuss all these things with them?

The reason is simple, from the day we attain puberty our grandmother and mother start teaching us that all these things should not be discussed with the male members of the family.

Also, there are restrictions that girls should not enter the temple or kitchen during their periods as they are not sacred during monthlies.

From our school days, we have been taught that our government is the democratic body that is elected by the people and for the people.  “Desh ka Vikaas, sabke saath” is the prime motto of our PM, but are females not part of this progress?

As per my understanding, progress will only be achieved when women will feel comfortable in presenting their views in front of anyone without the fear of being judged.

To attain this comfort level, we need to educate young girls about the importance of good sanitary conditions and what is menstrual cycles and its importance in our lives.

There are a few NGOs that are working towards it being a part of the government you can promote them and give them more recognition, so they can achieve their goal of educating young girls.

Some NGOs are giving free pads to girls so that they understand the importance of hygiene. In our country, sanitary pads are quite expensive as compared to other good items which are not even a basic necessity.

I would really appreciate it if you can remove the extra taxes that we have to pay to buy a pad.

For girls, toilets can be constructed with proper hygiene and maintenance, so that while going on trips women will not feel shy or worried before leaving their houses during periods.

The Government can also consider installing pads dispensing machines, which will dispense pads when a girl inserts 1- or 2-rupees coins. Also, the washrooms should have mirrors so that girls can check if there are any stains on their dresses or not.

Every school should ensure that they have a sick room or a separate doctor room, where doctors would be available during school hours and they should be well equipped with medicines and sanitary pads.

Last but not the least, I understand that awareness starts from our homes and we have an equal responsibility to discuss each and everything about “Periods” with our daughters, mothers, sisters, and wives without any hitch or any inconvenience so they feel ashamed of it.

We all should come together and we should take a pledge to give better tomorrow to our young girls so that they will never feel ashamed of their periods and can proudly enjoy their womanhood.


Aditi Sahai

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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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