PERIODS…. What !!! aaram se bolo. This is what many of us have been going through. There is a taboo and it is only in India where women are seen as the culprit. Let’s come together and not murmur about it anymore and speak about the period openly. Women bleed every month for approximately 45 years of their lives.
Menstruation- Maasika Mahotsav -is a week-long festival to celebrate and break the taboo around menstruation. An initiative started by Muse which was founded by Amritha Mohan and Nishant Bangera (who is also the president) in 2012,in association with Muskurahat Foundation for debunking prohibition and spreading awareness about Sustainable Menstruation.
India’s first menstruation festival, Maasika Mahotsav commenced on May 21 and will come to an end on World Menstrual Hygiene Day – May 28.
Various activities are conducted across different parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. It aims to invert the negative attitude towards menstruation. The issues range from untouchability to infections caused by lack of access to the right kind of menstrual products.
Activities like Poetry, awareness sessions, skits, dance are performed to encourage women and break the stereotype.
“I have come across women and girls who have said that they use ash, jute and dry leaves when they bleed,” said by 24 year old Anurag Chauhan grievously.
As unhygienic as that may sound, it is the sad reality for a number of Indian women, still who either fail to afford acceptable menstrual hygiene products or it isn’t accessible to them.
The Survey done in 2015-16 shows an increase in the number of women using sanitary napkins for hygienic means in India.
“Today, 60% of women have access to disposable sanitary napkins in India”.
While it is a good thing that menstrual hygiene has increased, these disposable napkins are actually quite dangerous. The maximum danger is posed to:
Garbage cleaners : Chemicals found in the sanitary napkins are very unsafe.
The Environment : Sanitary napkins contain non-biodegradable materials that pollute the environment. The chemical exposure also has an impact on countless animals.
Awareness of Sustainable Menstruation is the need of the hour. We have been hearing so many misconceptions over the years. Now is the time to eradicate.
A Period Of Sharing
It started off as a drive to donate sanitary napkins in Dahanu by NareshwadiSchool and has since then diversified to tackle other issues related to menstruation. They aim to reach out as many women as possible, POS has started organizing sessions in institutions, societies, and schools about menstrual cups and cloth pads.
“It is very important for men also to participate in such causes. If they support women in the larger conversation about periods, it goes a long way in helping them get out of their comfort zone and be more open about it.”
I wish to see many more changes in the upcoming era where the word “PERIOD” will be as normal as cold and fever.