While the hall buzzed with enthusiastic conversations amongst boys and girls, SafeNHappy Periods held a workshop at IIT Bombay. Invited by AEVENUE, Sarika Gupta looked upon a class of more boys than girls eager to enlighten themselves about the journey of a girl ready for procreation; a girl on her period.

A whole line-up of statistical data and research aimed at breaking away from the taboo that surrounds menstruation, especially among rural women. In an experience shared by Mrs Sarika, she explained how one of the women in a rural area living in a joint family would share one piece of cloth between three women. The sheer lack of ignorance and hygiene prompted Sarika to initiate the campaign and invite people of all ages to join her.

The students with Sarika discussed the role of boys during menstruation and the importance of their knowledge of the same. The demarcating line that separates how women in rural and urban areas respectively live with periods had a shocking impact on the students.

SafeNHappy Periods aims to promote shame-free and joyous periods wherein girls can openly discuss about their cycles, the pain they are going through and can confidently purchase sanitary pads by themselves. While also advising women to practice certain yoga aasanas to relieve pain and rest as much as they want to, SNHP also promotes hygienic and responsible disposal of the same.

The dangers of disposing used pads openly and sharing the same cloth created a sense of responsibility and concern among the students. Despite advancing technology for pad disposal, the rag-pickers who separate the waste with their hands stand a chance of being diagnosed with liver or other diseases owing to the plastic polymers in sanitary napkins.

With conversations ranging from the impact of religion, parenting and accessibility on periods, the students discussed the newer alternatives for sanitary napkins today and the choices for women of different economic backgrounds.

An event of laughter and learning, SafeNHappy Periods, with the students of IIT Bombay, aimed at finding solutions and inviting ideas to take a step further towards stigma-free periods.

Written by Alinda Gupta
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