#PeriodPaath: Understanding And Accepting Menstruation

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 ,

The Common Public

Subject : Understanding and accepting menstruation.

Dear People,

We are breathing in a very modern century where talks of gender equality and women empowerment are often discussed with pride. But why we still lack behind holding the same pride while seeing a stained cloth in a public transport. We happily send our girl children to school giving her the liberty to gain education. But when these girl children enters the menstruation phase or reads their much needed Reproduction chapter in Science , why they are asked to not discuss  it with anyone and keep these facts concealed within themselves or share it only to their female dear ones. Why they are asked to check the back of their uniform every minute while on periods. This is not the end, also women in the workplace won’t take out their sanitary pad in front of everyone and will cover it up till the bathroom. Even , buying a sanitary pad in the pharmacy is the same way like covering or wrapping it so that nobody knows “She is on periods”.

The main concern is for the girls living in remote villages who are far away from menstrual hygiene and sanitation facilities. Neither they receive proper education nor the confidence from their parents to rejoice Periods. But, common public do have the strength to talk about the issue and raise awareness. Social media is a very strong platform for us to raise our voice. This can help us to reach mass and communicate the problem of girls living in villages. If we unitedly take this issue to the Government’s. Women Welfare Department, then our voices will definitely be heard

Dear people, it has been a long time. We need to upgrade ourselves and take our minds out of the conventional myths of having Periods. There is nothing to hide it from the male population. When girls in schools enter the adolescent phase , our primary concern as a parent should be to educate our girl about it and give her the liberty to speak in her class about her first phase of periods without hesitation. Each and every adolescent girl must get the confidence to speak about her periods and leave fears of stain behind.

Therefore, I request all the common public to accept, rejoice and understand the phase of menstruating women. This is a natural process which makes the women unique and it needs to be embraced with love and care. Please provide menstrual hygiene and proper sanitary pad to your budding adolescent daughter, your sister, your lovely mother, your female friends or any female you come across with the periods issue. Raise your voice for the women undergoing hard time with menstruation and make the society a friendly place for Periods.

 

Your sincerely,

A proudly bleeding daughter.

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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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