Category: News

MHM Day 2018 at Red Light Area – Mumbai

This MHM 2018, we continued with the efforts on creating menstrual awareness and education.  Safe N’ Happy Periods again reached out to women sex workers, this time the workshop was held in the Grant Road Centre of OASIS (a NGO that focusses on rehabilitation of men and women in the red light area).

Amongst all the pains, challenges and discomforts in which the women live there, we brought a smile to their faces. Like the previous workshop held in Kamathipura on the women’s day, this workshop was held in a small group of about 30 women. Being a delicate target group, having only a few participants creates a safer and more trustworthy environment for the women, which gave Sarika the opportunity to communicate directly to all of them. Due to this the participants had the space to ask questions and most importantly felt comfortable talking about menstruation.

Picture by: Lorena Guedes

Keeping in mind their lack of proper education and the trade they are in, they are always vulnerable to many diseases like STD’s, HIV, and Infections etc. Hence basics on menstrual hygiene were discussed in length together with answering their questions. Furthermore, Sarika talked about several instruments that help women during their periods, tampons, sanitation pads, menstruation cups etc. Most of the women seemed to merely have knowledge on the sanitation pads, so talking about tampons and menstruation cups created interest among the participants.

The most crucial aspect of the workshop which Sarika dealt with was the yoga poses for easing menstrual pain. There were volunteers from the participation group willing to help Sarika with demonstrating the yoga. There was a lot of laughter among the participants, which created an interactive atmosphere. The yoga was taken seriously and enjoyed too. Overall the participants seemed interested in what Sarika had to say and were looking forward to share this information with their daughters too.

Finally Safe N’ Happy Periods distributed free sanitation pads and yoga belts to OASIS at the end of the workshop. These are then shared among the women in the red light area to help them deal with menstruation properly. The participants enjoyed the workshop and showed particular interest in the topics discussed.

We would like to thank OASIS for giving us this opportunity and looking forward to many such workshops for their women. We urge people to contribute to these women in whichever way they would like to. Although we always try to distribute as much as we can, it is still not enough. A yoga belt does not cost much, and we appreciate everyone willing to donate to our cause.

“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.

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