My name is Sparshika Tripathi and I am from Indirapuram Public School.
“Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced. Yet in modern society, this is the most hidden blood and the most disgusted one.”
This quote by Judy Grahan clearly suggests the sick thought process of people around the world. In India, even after so many years of independence and the presence of a lot of so called ‘educated people’, menstruation is a still a taboo. What is the soul reason that this mindset of people continues to prevail?
The answer is quite simple but a bit scary. It is because people are not aware of the facts. In a recent study it was found that 71% of the girls in India report having no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. Furthermore, 71% of women report their incapability to afford sanitary pads. Many girls and women follow cultural practices and perpetuate taboos and regard period as dirty.
Sir, it is quite funny how we worship women and yet don’t provide them with adequate and sufficient facilities for something as natural as periods. Not only this, but also periods are thought of as a concern to only women and not men. I, as a student firmly believes that it is high time now that the government along with the youngsters should take necessary steps towards removing menstruation as a taboo and a better menstrual hygiene.
Starting off some schemes similar to ‘Beti Bachai, Beti Padhao’ could be a great step towards the problem. Advertisement about various types of products used during menstruation and how it is very normal and natural should also act as a bridge between the distant mindsets of people. Women should also be made aware about the Menstrual waste disposal techniques such as burning, buying, waste segregation etc.
Considering another dimension of this problem, the boys should also be educated on such topics, the reason being that the single parent fathers, husbands ,brothers will be able to help their girls with the same. Due to myths, prejudices and discrimination it definitely is difficult to talk about menstruation with men. However, by engaging them into group discussions and regular meetings it is possible to change their perception and make them aware about their roles regarding this issue.
Proper sex education in schools can also help adolescent girls and boys to discover their sexual identity and protect themselves from sexual abuse, STDs and make them aware about how to take care of their personal hygiene.To overcome these issues male teachers and members of the house should also support women by providing them a safe environment and privacy.
Sanitary pads should be distributed for free to encourage families to buy them and also to make them aware.
As a citizen of this country who will have to vote in some years, I firmly believe that menstrual hygiene should be promoted by implementing a course of menstrual hygiene management. Also, adolescents should be encouraged at school levels to practice safe and hygienic behaviours.