Menstrual blood — it’s the only blood not traumatically induced. And yet, our modern society makes it rare to speak of or see it, except privately by women.
The taboo and stigma associated with women’s health and menstruation are global. In India, it has coupled with poverty to create an environment that is unsafe and inhospitable for women.
Did you know that several women use rags during their period? Most of them are unaware of periods, health, and hygiene until they come of age. . One in five girls ends up dropping out of school because she has attained puberty.
In the face of these grave realities, we thankfully have some voices that have come forward to educate and help these girls:
We Are With You: This is a movement of women with the Adivasis and underprivileged girls in the Telangana district. They have already distributed several kits, meals, and mobiles to them. Their current endeavour is to raise awareness and help provide sanitary napkin packs to the girls and women of the area so that they can endure their periods with less discomfort and better hygiene.
Pad Squad: The Pad Squad has committed volunteers who personally travel to slums and pockets that are in need of awareness and sanitary products. They distribute supplies and also teach women how they should be used and disposed of hygienically. They are currently operating out of over 22 locations and look to expand further.
Prerana Foundation: This group has done amazing work in helping, guiding, educating, and rehabilitating women in Hyderabad. While they have worked magic in helping during Covid, they are now looking to help girls studying in government schools by supplying them with sanitary napkins. They hope that this will help girls attend school more regularly, save them discomfort and provide better hygiene.
Periods should not be an uphill battle of negativity, contempt, and disgust.
Let us all pledge to convert period poverty into period power. Every pack of sanitary napkins that reaches these girls will give them more power and more confidence. You can support this cause here.