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BREAKING MENSTRUATION TABOOS ONE AT A TIME

Menstruation is considered Taboo

Menstruation is a word that is mired in taboo. Even today one gets to hear stories of atrocities committed on girls whose only fault is they attained puberty. Why is something so natural made into something bad?

Creating Awareness

One of the greatest problems is creating #AWARENESS AND #REDUCINGSUPERSTITIONS on the subject of Menstruation.#HEALTH AND #HYGIENE is very important, especially for younger girls.Recycled cloth and other materials used cause infection that usually leads to other Gynaecological problems.

Many Indian women still use scrap cloth from old saris and towels, the traditional method for managing menstruation for thousands of years. This is a good practice as long as the cloth used is washed and maintained hygienically.

Sanitary Waste

 On an average, a single woman generates 125 kg of sanitary waste during her menstruating years when she uses disposable sanitary products. This is an avoidable waste.

A problem of accumulated menstrual waste is the fact that menstrual blood on napkins stagnates for a longer duration, thus allowing pathogens to thrive in it. Stagnant menstrual blood accumulates a lot of bacteria such as #EscherichiaColi, which rapidly multiplies at an exponential rate.

Improper Disposal of sanitary napkins

The red blood cells in the menstrual blood nourish the bacteria and emit a foul odor when they die.Heaps of sanitary napkins with a large amount of disease causing bacteria on them pose a significant threat to the hygiene in the surrounding areas.The #improperdisposal of sanitary napkins is a problem that needs to be dealt with right from the grass root level.

The process of menstruation is considered taboo, and people refrain from talking about it openly. Young girls and even certain older women are not aware of the hygiene problems caused by the improper disposal of sanitary pads.

 Efforts are being made to create awareness by an organization like Kshitij Foundation, about the importance of menstrual hygiene and the problems caused by the lack of it.

 Already an alternative to plastic sanitary pads that is biodegradable is being made in India.

Young Girl from a Small Town

 A young girl from a small village in Washim district (Maharashtra) named Snehal Dnyaneshwar Chaudhari and her NGO the #Kshitij Foundation aims to give women a platform to open up about their experiences regarding Menstruation.

 

 

Snehal Chaudhary - Kshitij Foundation

Snehal is an engineer by profession but her interest in social work made her tackle a topic that is talked about in hushed tones.

“Menstruation”, a topic which every woman deal with it every month. It is as simple as breathing. The awareness drive is a much-needed initiative as the not only majority of women in India lack access to menstrual hygiene products but there is also lack of understanding on the subject that gives rise to several misconceptions.

Growing up in rural Maharashtra, Snehal had to deal with the shame associated with an act of talking on menstrual health, act of buying #SanitaryNapkins and had to resort to using clothes, waste cloth, pieces torn from Dhotis etc.

Awareness Talks in Rural Area

She realized Menstruation was one topic nobody was willing to talk about.Even the teacher found it awkward to discuss it in the class room.                 

 “It is not only the problem of health and hygiene but also communication gap.Most of the girls consider menstruation is a disease and stay out of school at that time and it results in heavy drop out of girls from school,” she says.

 Snehal Chaudhary-Holding Discussions in ZP Schools

So Snehal started conducting lectures and holding discussion sessions in  Zilla Parishad schools, slum areas and tribal areas in Maharashtra.

It was then that she fully understood the inconvenience that woman undergo each month during their periods and how often she is treated as an impure being.It was not hard to imagine what a young girl goes through in absence of proper source of information and being called impure by her own family.

 “When women are going through, that time of the month, she must not step into the kitchen, she must not touch pickle or curd since periods is supposed to make women impure. Like millions of women across the country, these myths are passed down from mother to daughter and to next generation,” she feels.

 Snehal Chaudhary-Holding Discussions with Women in Rural and Tribal Area

 

Appeal To Mothers-Break the Silence about Menstruation

Snehal started requesting all the mothers to talk openly on this issue with their daughters. It was not a matter of shame but a gift that we should be grateful for.

As Snehal Dnyaneshwar Chaudhari says “We need to break the silence about menstruation and it can start with Ladies only”.

#AWARENESS #REDUCINGSUPERSTITIONS 

#HEALTH  #HYGIENE #SanitaryNapkins  #Kshitij Foundation #improperdisposal  #EscherichiaColi

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