IDT teachers, students perform Garba dance with sanitary napkins

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AHMEDABAD: The huge uproar in Kerala against the Supreme Court verdict lifting the ban on menstruating women from entering the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala unleashed several campaign to debunk the myths about menstruation.

 

The latest to join the campaign are students and teachers of Institute of Design and Technology (IDT), who chose the week-long Navaratri festival to create awareness about women’s hygiene. They sent out the message by performing Garba dance by holding sanitary napkins in their hands.

“We want to create awareness about the importance of using sanitary napkins. Even though people in some parts of the country are comfortable with the issue, it is still a taboo in several rural regions,” an Event Management student at the institute, Kriti Bucha told ANI.

She said that there are still villages in the country where women don’t know even about sanitary pads.

“We want to spread the message of women’s hygiene through this event. So, over 150 students at the institute decided to dance with sanitary napkins in their hands. Even boys participated in the event because they are also aware of the gravity of this issue,” Ankita said.

Amidst the row over the women’s entry in the Sabarimala shrine, a group of women had launched a campaign called Arppo Arthavam (or Hail menstruation) to debunk myths about menstruation. Many women started sharing their first period experience on Facebook with the hashtag Arppo Arthavam.

The group also organised meeting in various parts of the state to create awareness about the use of sanitary napkins. The response received for the idea has been overwhelming. This led to several other campaigns voicing out against the taboos linked to the biological process that every woman goes through, despite the social stigma.

A US-based IT company, based in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram also joined the campaign by staring a ‘Padpaid” campaign in which they placed pad aid boxes in different parts of the office and encouraged its employees to contribute by dropping sanitary napkins in it. The company handed over the collected napkins to ‘Sakhi’, an NGO working for women.

Another group of youngsters in Kerala teamed up to bring about collective change by setting up platforms that encourage discussions about menstruation in schools and colleges across the state and, more importantly, raise awareness amongst children.

Another campaign that gained traction in the social media was #HappyToBleed, a protest against the patriarchal attitude towards women. The campaign, which was in response to Sabarimala temple chief Prayar Gopalakrishnan’s statement that menstruating women will not be allowed inside the temple until a purity checking machine is invented, went viral with hundreds of women and men supporting it.

Hundreds of young women are posting their pictures on their profiles holding placards, sanitary napkins under the social media campaign.  Activists like poet Meena Kandaswamy, and Menstrupedia founder Aditi Gupta, who use comic books and other means to create awareness of menstruation, have also joined the campaign (With inputs from ANI).

Image Credit: Sify.com

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