Written by Sumedha Sharma
Around 70 volunteers, comprising college students, led by two NGOs, held an awareness march in the city Saturday. Termed as “Stain campaign”, the march was held with an aim to raise awareness against taboos related to periods and sanitary pads.
Social activist and founder of NGO, ‘Zenith’, Dr Renu Mathur and Renu Goyal, founder of NGO, ‘Nanhe Kadam’, along with students from various colleges, participated in the march.
“For decades, we have been living in a male dominating society. The issues related to women hardly get highlighted on a bigger platform because of the social setup of our society. Women, being the second sex, have their own personal problems that always feel shy to share even within their families. Somewhere it has created a big gap that needs to be bridged. It can only be through such awareness campaigns, where people are free to talk and share about menstrual cycles and sanitary napkins in public”, said Satyapal Jain, Additional Solicitor General of India and a senior BJP leader. He flagged off the march in Sector 6 of Panchkula. Volunteers marched and covered a stretch of around one kilometer.
“I have been visiting villages across the Tricity since five years to teach women how to make make pads using normal cloth, which is relatively safer to use as compared than pads available in market. The plastic material, which is used to make pads and the chemical to convert blood into gel can cause cancer in long term. Our mission is to educate and aware women not to uses things as it can cause serious health issues”, Dr Renu Mathur told Newsline.
The biggest challenge is young girls and ladies who feel embarrassed in villages when they hear about periods. There are number of myths that still survive in these areas and it involves a huge struggle to convince them to overcome these practices. Dhanushand, a student of Panjab University shares, “I come from Rajasthan. In our community, girls are made to follow 29 strict rules when they are on their menstruation days. I once tried to talk to my sister regarding this but she felt so uncomfortable that I had to stop it”.
“In our village in Haryana, women are hardly aware of the true facts and reason behind periods. They still consider it as a disease. They barely use sanitary pads during periods,” said Constable Mandeep Kaur, who is currently posted in the Durga Shakti squad of Haryana Police in Panchkula. She was also deployed for the march.