#PeriodPaath

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 ,

Dr C  Vijayabaskar

Health Minister

Tamilnadu

Dear Sir / Madam:

I am here to highlight  an confluence issue faced by our community women in the context of Menstrual health and hygiene . Good menstrual hygiene entrust good heath, confidence among woman, Presently, Chennai is facing paucity of water facilities and facilities for disposability are also limited, this has certainly had an adverse effect on heath and hygiene of the  people .One of the most important issue that has an adverse effect on women as well as the environment is Disposability infrastructure – Limited capacity. Women usually use sanitary pads which contain solid able waste such as plastic and on an average the amount of sanitary pads disposed off into the environment is huge. The consequence of this act has had an harmful effect on the environment  .An , Alternative solution to approach this issue is thinking of a long-lasting ,reusable replacement and one such solution is the most evolving product called the Menstrual  cups . This is one of the most refined solutions this product  is  made of rubber and silicon, they are long lasting ,reusable and ensures health and hygiene to women during that phase .

It is certainly hard to extrapolate on this solution as; the implementation of such initiatives has to be backed up by a lot of research propaganda on the usage of such products. Even today, in India sanitary pad is categorized as an item of luxury and this mindset should be compromised by the initiatives of the government in producing good quality products at an affordable price.

Initiatives taken by the government should reconcile the needs of the pragmatic environment and that of  when it serves the purpose .Menstruation is a biological process which is a catalyst behind the power of procreation and issues faced by women is in  need of realistic and reliable remedies.

I kindly request you  to reconcile the issue and its solution and take corrective measures from your end.

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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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