Red, as the color suggests, it’s the color of love and rage. What else can be this ironic? There is also a crucial thing that this red color signifies, Blood. Blood shed with injuries or death is not only criteria it suggests but also the fight that every girl fights every month with her body and her surroundings. Its biologically normal for a girl to experience it and also it is well accepted by society. But emotionally, practically, physically, it has always encouraged the idea of impurity and un - touchablity. When it comes to Menstrual Hygiene Management, India is still backward in this era of Artificial Intelligence.
Every girl/woman suffers through this biological change every single month. The tremendous physical pain through which she goes for a week every month is dreadful but still she manages to act normal and do the routine. This painful yet normal thing has become a taboo which promotes impurity and un -touchabilty. This further prohibits our society to accept and implement basic menstrual hygiene.
23% school girls in rural areas drop out of schools due to poor MHM facilities like no separate toilets, no facility for cleaning, unavailability of good quality absorbent pads or disposal solutions etc. 70% females in India have reported that they cannot afford sanitary napkins hence, they are bound to use the home-made alternatives. Though they are cost-effective, this has led to a 70% increase in the Reproductive Tract Infections cases.
A menstruating girl is often left feeling helpless and depressed by the restrictions and discrimination she faces. The constant struggle to find adequate material, a safe space to manage her period, and hide her condition adds to her misery. Due to lack of menstrual hygiene awareness, this society ends up behaving the same way as it has been behaving from last many decades. To break this taboo, what we need to do is inculcate the knowledge about MHM to not just women but also men. Secondly, the people of India should understand that it is a natural process and there is nothing impure about it.
Many NGOs and social activists are working hard and spreading awareness in villages but that is not enough.
90% of the MHM problems are preventable, if treated at an early stage. A clean toilet, a washing facility, good quality absorbent material and disposal facility are basic hygiene needs.
The tax applicable to a sanitary napkin has been exempted from all the brands selling them. There are a few options available in the market if a sanitary napkin is not affordable. For example, a menstrual cup can be reused for 10-12 years. The cup should be washed thoroughly with soap and boiled in water to make it fit of reuse.
200 million women in India lack awareness of menstrual hygiene and associated healthcare practices. Before men, a woman should be made aware of the problems, she could face if necessary, steps are not adopted. Only #she can help #he to understand the problem and together we can bring a change.