Every year, the world observes May 28 as Menstrual Hygiene Day to call attention to and ‘normalise’ menstruation. The day was also observed at Baank-e-Loom in Saidanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in collaboration with Water Aid and FICCI Lucknow-Kanpur. Just like the rest of the country, especially rural India, young girls’ and women’s potential in Saidanpur, too, is squandered because people are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world. There are several myths, superstition and taboos associated with menstruation, which is rarely talked about in urban India, let alone rural India.
Baank-e-Loom staff wanted to tackle this issue and encourage a dialogue around menstruation. And so it observed the day with a #NoShame workshop. During the awareness workshop, more than 100 adolescent girls and women were informed about the biological process of menstruation and taught to make homemade and hygienic sanitary pads. They were also asked to create peer groups where they could open up to each other and build an understanding of menstrual cycle and methods to tackle taboos. Conversations throughout the day enabled women to talk about the discomforts they face due to menstruation and learn about the various health-related hazards they are unaware of.