Women entrepreneurs in the present world are increasing day by day. According to the Sixth Economic Census released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneurship which means 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs. Today, we are going to talk about one such entrepreneur who has tried to educate several girls and women about the menstrual cycle and the matters pertaining to the same.
Also read: Women Entrepreneurship: Riya Sinha
Source: Indian People Times
Aditi Gupta is an Indian Author, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Menstrupedia Comic. She is a 34 year old engineering graduate and a New Media Design post graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She was born in Garhwa, Jharkhand, India.
Also read: It's all related to Periods
Aditi started menstruating at the age of 12 but only learnt about it at the age of 15 when she was taught about it in 9th standard in her school. Aditi’s family belonged to an old school. She had customs which had no logic. She had to sleep separately, wash the clothes separately, wasn't allowed to touch place of worship in her childhood. Moreover, she was also not allowed to buy sanitary napkins for the fear of loss of the family's dignity. She was told to use old clothes. The lack of awareness and education about menstruation motivated her to undergo research on the subject for one year. And this way Menstrupedia was born.
Source: Feminism In India
It was during her post graduation when she already had started researching on this topic and also met her present husband and the managing partner of Menstrupedia, Tuhin Paul. Tuhin has always been supportive to Aditi. The painful menstrual days of Aditi prompted him to study on this subject in order to provide her with the best and comfortable solutions to ease her pain.
Menstrupedia is a colorful, fun, friendly and an accessible guide to periods which help girls and women to stay healthy and active during their periods. It aims at delivering informative and entertaining content through different media. It is a step to shatter the myths and understanding pertaining to menstruation. Its story revolves around 3 girls: one who hasn't yet started periods, one who has just started their period and one who has had period for some time. It talks about their experiences with period. It aims at girl aged 9 and above. Both the online and comic book content has been reviewed by medical professionals to check its accuracy.
Tuhin Paul and Rajat Mittal are the other Co-founders of Menstrupedia. Tuhin is an artist and storyteller of Menstrupedia and husband of Aditi. He and Aditi together started Menstrupedia. Rajat is the technology juggler of Menstrupedia. He performs to keep Menstrupedia sparkling whereas Tuhin ensures that visitors have a fun, engaging and a memorable experience.
Menstrupedia comic has been integrated into the curriculum of 70 schools across India, used by more than 6000 schools, 120 NGOs like Protsahan, Munshi Jagannath Bhagwan Smriti Sansthan, Instincts, Kanha along with two Buddhists monasteries in Ladakh and 2,50,000 girls. It spreads knowledge in 18 different countries and has been translated into 11 languages.
Aditi is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and made it to the achiever's list of Forbes India 30 under 30 in 2014 for her work towards breaking the taboo around menstruation. She is an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and BBC.
“Our plan is to build an educational infrastructure, not only for girls but for everybody, to talk about periods in a friendly, free way. I know it’s going to take decades, but eventually, I want to raise a generation of girls who are period positive when they become mothers. When they raise their own girls, period taboos would just vanish from that generation — they wouldn’t even know such a taboo existed.” - Aditi Gupta
Aditi received a lot of criticisms in the beginning. But today she has been acknowledged by several. Many Hindu religious leaders say that they might be doing good but they don't know anything about religion.
According to one article, 23 million girls in India drop out of school when they start menstruating. And till date it is a rarely discussed topic in schools and colleges. Girls are still told to keep it a secret even from family members and are considered as impure. Several girls are still living their lives in embarrassment of the illogical menstrual beliefs and customs. And if any girl tries to raise a voice against it, she is also criticized just like Aditi.
I would request all the readers to share their views or solutions to solve this problem.