Menstruation is taboo in India. Recently, it was cited as the reason why women were not being allowed into certain places of worship. Now, a few NGOs, hope to break a few myths surrounding it on May 28, observed as World Menstrual Hygiene Day in around ten schools of Punjab.
One such organisation is Khwahish Sewa Society, which has installed sanitary napkin incinerator and dispenser in five senior secondary schools of Punjab and has provided lockers to six schools for girls to keep personal belongings like sanitary pads, observed the World Menstrual Hygiene Day this week in various schools of Punjab.
“Over 80 per cent of women carry napkins in brown/black bags and talking about them in front of men is a taboo. So male headmasters also gifted sanitary pads to girls in schools as we want to shun this practice,” said Gyandeep. As part of the day, students were asked to make posters and discuss the issues surrounding menstruation.
“Starting November, we will be providing stock of 15-20 panties as teachers have brought to our notice that girls do not wear panties and then even if pads are provided free of cost, it is of no use,” added Gyandeep.
Meanwhile, an audio-visual comic ‘Menstrupedia- Friendly Guide to Healthy Periods’ was released online Friday. It can be read by anyone free of cost. The comic, through interesting illustrations for girls aged nine and above, explains menstruation, its significance and most importantly, how this is a normal cycle and is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Aditi Gupta and Tuhin, co-founders of Menstrupedia say,” The major issue is not that women use clothes, the issue is cloth is not properly cleaned and is re-used in an unhygienic way. Clothes are not dried in the sun as women fear and are ashamed. This will lead to major infections.”
“In India some schools in Chandigarh and Haryana are using them apart from remote village schools in UP, Jharkhand etc,” she added.