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.

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Written by Kyri Janssen
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I am Kyri and I am a volunteer at Safe N’ Happy Periods during the months of May and June. I am from the Netherlands and have studied Development studies at the Wageningen University. I choose to volunteer at Safe N’ Happy Periods because I am concerned about the Indian values on women, and I would like to contribute to try to change these values. Also I think India is fascinating, especially Mumbai, and I would like to increase my knowledge on this culture and use this for future research.

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