Dealing with those ‘special days’ of the month is something that all girls are expected to master; it definitely deserves a gold medal! However, the saddening truth is that at least 50% of the girls in India know very little (Sanitary Napkin), if not nothing, before their first ‘red days’. Moreover, 88% of the girls use improper and unhygienic means and materials to endure the task of menstruation successfully each month.
Sure, India considers menstruation a taboo. On the other side of the coin, there is an entire Indian state that embraces these days and celebrates them. There is a 4 day festival in Odisha called Raja Parbha that is celebrated in every June. This particular festival correlates the fertility of harvest to that of a woman. Yet again, it is still only one side of the coin like stated. The whole nation goes blind-eyed about it.
Hence there is no doubt that Deane De Menezes, deserves all the appreciation for initiating a movement as exclusive as the one she chose. One that helps amend the tabooed attitude we have towards one of the most natural processes; menstruation. The 22 year old research associate’s project ‘Red is the new Green’ is attracting all kinds of eyes with its unique selling point of creating awareness about hygienic practices during menstruation. The project, funded by CRISIL, has already managed to install a number of sanitary napkin dispensers and incinerators in various schools of Mumbai.
When asked by Buzzfeed about such a unique yet revolutionary movement, she said that “We want girls to be non-apologetic about [their periods] and we plan to make pouches available for the girls to keep their pads safely and walk to the loo with it, head held high.”
She also added “We want to help them open up and talk about periods, make their own views about it instead of having views and biases imposed on them.”
Deane’s small step surely succeeds in being a ray of hope for a conservative society like ours. We wish Vizag takes the next step to bringing this positive change a trend.
Good on you, Deane!