A natural biological phenomenon that every women goes through every month for almost half of her life, a process that is very important for the propagation of our species. Yet, we consider it a taboo. It’s true: talking about it makes many people uncomfortable.
Many girls are told not to share when they get it. When such chapters occur in the Biology textbooks- teachers skip the chapters. And so girls learn to be ashamed of it, ashamed of their own bodies.
3 out of 10 girls in India are unaware of periods. Even in some cases, girls at the time of their first period thought that they have got blood cancer and so they are going to die soon.
A friend of mine didn’t know about it the first time. The next day, she shared it with a friend and came to know a bit about bleeding and sanitary pads. Her friend got sanitary pads for her every time she bled. This lasted for a year till one day, her mother asked to visit a doctor. “Why to a doc.? I am perfectly fit and fine”, she asked. To which her mother replied nothing. The doctor asked for some tests to be done. When they came out of his cabin, the girl asked the same again. This time the mother replied- “Arre! Teri age hogai na, jesa doctor sahib ne bola, tu abhi tak aurat nahi bani. Tereko periods nahi ho rahe.” The girl said- “1 saal se horahe hain!” and went away, which created an awkward moment between the mother and daughter.
Aditi Gupta (co-founder, Menstrupedia) uses storytelling and art to educate young girls about menstruation.
Menstrupedia Comic is a complete guide on periods by Menstrupedia team being used by more than 30 schools across in India.
Gupta has made it to the Achiever’s list of Forbes India 30 under 30 in 2014 for her work towards breaking the taboo around menstruation. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and BBC. She aspires to create future where menstruation is not a taboo but welcoming change in a girl’s life.