Nearly 23 million girls drop out of school every year because of menstruation
From cloth pads to sanitary napkins, tampons and now menstrual cups. It has been a long journey or so we would love to think. Why menstruation still a taboo to discuss? Why are sanitary napkins still packed in black plastic covers? Why do advertisement still show a blue liquid soaking the pad instead of blood?
Let’s take a look at how much a taboo Period still is. According to a report, nearly 23 million girls drop out of school every year due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities. It includes availability of sanitary napkins and general awareness of menstruation.
Awareness Is The key
Lack of awareness is a major problem behind India’s crisis with menstrual hygiene. Menstruation is considered dirty and hence a taboo. Myths attached to this has made the normal phenomenon dirty, which has led to poor living conditions for women during their menstrual cycles. Women even find it difficult to seek medical advice. Cervical cancer, anemia, irregular and erratic periods, infections of reproductive tracts, and even mental health issues like anxiety, embarrassment and shame.
In 2015, A survey by the Ministry of Education revealed 63% of schools in rural areas do not address this topic. This leads to apparent lack of awareness. And this lack of awareness is carried forward through generations as one unaware mother leads an unaware daughter and the cycle continues.
Hardly 2-3% of the rural female population have access to sanitary napkins. They are still relying on cloth, soil or sand. Making sanitary napkins available to over 300 million women in India is definitely not an easy job. It requires the involvement of various stakeholders at different levels.
Goonj…The Harbinger Of Hope
Goonj works tirelessly towards better menstrual hygiene conditions. They try to ensure that a normal phenomenon like menstruation doesn’t end up becoming an unbearable trauma for women who cannot afford to or lack the awareness of using sanitary napkins. Goonj’s Not Just a Piece of Cloth initiative has made Periods an easy affair for many women in the rural areas. Through this initiative they distributed the ‘’My Pad’ kit which came with 10 reusable pads, one undergarment and a menstrual hygiene awareness brochure.
Cloth pads are easy to use and procure and also environment friendly. Through this initiative, Goonj has been able to distribute 4 million cloth pads across the country and they have created awareness on menstrual hygiene in the remotest and most backward places of the country.
Spare A Moment…Think!
There is no shame in Periods. I was lucky enough to know that while growing up. If you and I can have a healthy and problem free period then why can’t the millions of other girls who are suffering every month? A simple act of kindness can bring the lives of many devoid of taboo and shame. There is joy in giving and especially when you are giving someone a better quality of life, a life that we have had the privilege to enjoy. By donating to Goonj you can directly help women get access to reusable cloth pads. Donate now, to help Goonj to help others. Let’s pledge to put an end to this taboo. Period.