By Digital Empowerment Foundation
Published on: November 27, 2023
Poonam goes door-to-door in her village to break the stigma with menstruation.
In the village of Batesra in Alwar, Rajasthan, resides Sapita with her parents-in-law, husband and three children. Belonging to a modest family, she is heavily reliant on her husband’s income that comes through working on the hills. Despite financial constraints, Poonam ji, who is a Digital Didi, came to her home committed to dispelling myths and transforming traditional practices surrounding menstruation.
Poonam ji’s visit was a turning point as she indulged in a discussion about menstruation, aimed at breaking the shackles of misconceptions surrounding it. Sapita’s mother-in-law also participated in the discussion as Poonam explained the dynamics of the menstrual cycle, explained the purity and general nature of the period blood, and how it is an important part of humanity and childbirth. Before this session, Sapita always refrained from performing pooja/worshiping the deity because of the myth that stops menstruating bodies from deity worship.. But as her mother-in-law also was a part of the discussion, she understood that the imposed restrictions were not necessary. From then onwards, Sapita could participate during pooja at home, Sapita’s mother-in-law took it in her stride to communicate the same to her father-in-law citing that periods are necessary for childbirth and is directly linked to the existence of humanity. She simplied the conversation for the men of the household, asserting that the happiness that they all cherished, their children, would not have been possible without the very menstrual cycle they had misunderstood.
She received a packet of SmartPads from Poonam ji. These pads, made entirely of soft cotton, brought her unparalleled comfort, shattering the discomfort and rashes that the market-bought sanitary napkins had inicted. Sapita was further enlightened about the health hazards posed by commercial sanitary pads and she made the decision to switch to SmartPads.