Author: sarika

Workshop at Kamathipura, for girls and women associated with the NGO Oasis India

“Safe N’ Happy Periods” was invited by Rave Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. (an IT software and services company based in Worli, Mumbai) to conduct a short workshop as part of their Women’s Day initiative for social awareness.

The workshop was held at Kamathipura, for girls and women associated with the NGO Oasis India. Oasis India is an NGO who work for the betterment of underprivileged women and children. At their Kamathipura centre they are involved in providing safe shelter and homes for children in an unsafe environment, engage them in after-school education and activities and help them find appropriate employment. This way they help girl victims of human trafficking and daughters of the sex workers in Kamathipura to achieve a bright future.

The workshop went very well. The girls and women were very interested and listened carefully. They learned about the biological importance of menstruation, the right menstrual hygiene practices, the different sanitary products they could use and the right way to dispose sanitary napkins. Besides this, they learned ways to reduce pain through yoga and the need to discard superstitions and myths surrounding menstruation. Educating these girls and women about the importance of menstruation and menstrual hygiene is all the more important as most have not had access to the right information and resources, until now. This workshop provided them with vital information, while also helping them to feel more secure about their menstrual cycles and bodies, which is an important step to empowerment.

We were very happy to conduct this informative interactive session for these girls and women. This workshop has been an exciting and inspiring event for both the attending girls as well as for us and our international volunteers. We hope to work with Oasis India and Rave Technologies in the future to reach even more girls and women in the same situation.

To put it in a nutshell, my volunteering experience with Safe N’ Happy Periods was one of the most rewarding and mind-opening experiences of my life. Right from the start, Sarika – the founder and good spirit of Safe N’ Happy – encouraged us to challenge the structures that we found and to come up with new ideas of how to improve the work of the initiative. Apart from administrative work, my tasks included meeting school and university officials to arrange workshops, writing blog entries and reports and assisting Sarika in delivering the workshops.

The most memorable experience was to accompany Sarika to MIJWAN, an NGO run by Bollywood celebrity Shabana Azmi Ji in a small village in Uttar Pradesh. Staying and working in this rural setting was a challenging, but extremely rewarding experience. To see with how much curiosity and gratefulness girls and women followed the workshops, how they practiced the yoga asanas and how they started talking more openly motivated me throughout my entire stay.

The longer I work with Safe N’ Happy, the more I realise how invaluable this initiative is in making women feel more confident about themselves and their bodies. To create awareness and adequate knowledge about menstruation and to ensure that women are no longer disadvantaged in society, there is still a long way to go, but Safe N’ Happy is taking a great step towards these goals and I am proud to be part of this journey.

If you want to contact Isabella about her experience with Safe N’ Happy Periods, please write an e-mail to: isabella.hilber@hotmail.com

I am a German law student and I have worked for Safe N’ Happy Periods for about six weeks. First, other volunteers and I interviewed Indian girls about their opinions on menstruation and the way society deals with the topic. We made a video of it, which shows the extent that women’s periods are still a taboo in Indian society. Secondly, I am happy to say that I was a part of an event for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017. Together we promoted the event and held a workshop about menstruation in a slum in the area of Navi Mumbai. Donating sanitary pads to the Indian women was an important part of it. Personally, I learned that there is a need to talk about women’s periods in India without falling into any superstitions or being shy about it. Women should have the opportunity to know what happens with their body and what can make them feel better. I warmly recommend everybody to support the young initiative of Safe N’ Happy Periods. You soon feel like a proper part of it and you are free to work on the domain you are interested in.

My name is Marine and I am from France. I worked for Safe N’ Happy Periods for 3 weeks in May 2017. I worked on an event which was a menstruation workshop for girls and women in a slum in CBD Belapur, for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017. From the preparation to the realisation, I acted at each step with Sarika Gupta. The event was a huge success, and I was so glad to meet Indian women and to share my experience with them. I also worked on the website and social media, including updating Facebook, Instagram, and creating a Tumblr blog, to help make Safe N’ Happy Periods more well known.