Saturday May 25, 2019

Red is the new green- Campaign by a Mumbai woman to educate women about menstrual cycles

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Celebrating Womanhood. Image source Wikipedia

A step taken by Deane de Menezes for a cleaner environment

  • Saving the environment from the non-degradable waste is also a very big factor
  • Deane de Menezes takes steps to educate women about both
  • Sanitary napkin vendor machines and incinerators in schools soon

50% of girls in India had no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. According to Arundati Muralidharan of WaterAid India, 88% girls and women who menstruate use unsafe materials, and 70% mothers think periods are dirty found a study in 2014.

Lacking awareness in this sector worries Deane de Menezes. Whispers along the line, menstruation has always been a taboo. But what w really miss is the bigger picture- The Environment.

Hygiene tips. Image source Menstrupedia
Hygiene tips. Image source Menstrupedia

Deane de Menezes, a 22 year old research associate in international analytical company CRISIL decided to do something about it. She started Red is the new green campaign where they are installing sanitary napkin dispensers and incinerators in Mumbai’s schools and create awareness of hygienic practices during menstruation. Not only providing sanitary napkins is a worry, but the waste generated by it is a bigger problem. “Every day, rag pickers are exposed to infections and other health hazards when handling feminine hygiene discards,” Menezes explained. “I’ve spoken to garbage men who have told me stories about how they have to segregate the waste and touch pads with their bare hands.”

Sanitary napkin vending machines in Japan. Image source wikimedia commons
Sanitary napkin vending machines in Japan. Image source wikimedia commons

“An average woman eliminates about 150kg of mostly non-biodegradable absorbents every year.” a study by periodofchange, a campaign that seeks safe, hygienic and sustainable menstrual hygiene products. Menezes aims to educate schoolgirls about alternative methods of disposing napkins carefully. With funding from CRISIL, she is working to install vending machines and incinerators in the Auxilium Convent High School Wadala, an eastern suburb of Mumbai. The vending machines and incinerators will also be installed in the school’s branch in Bandra’s Pali Hill, Bandra. “Other than that, we would like to give the girls a small pouch to keep their pads in a clean and safe manner,” she said. The vending machine and incinerator will be up by June 17.

She has already conducted sessions with schoolgirls about the importance of proper hygiene and how can they do their bit to save the environment.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle- Vrushali Mahajan 

  • Pritam Go Green

    This is highly appreciable. Still our old generation thinks menstruation as a taboo. In schools proper knowledge should be given in the primary level itself. One shouldn’t feel shy in knowing all this or in talking about it. It is just a natural healthy phenomenon. Nd most imp thing one should know that ” No female becomes dirty during her menstrual cycle.” This is totally a rubbish thought !!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, this type of education should be given at a primary level so that girls know what exactly to be done hen they go through their menstrual cycles.

  • devika todi

    this is a great initiative! the lack of knowledge regarding something so natural is appalling. by educating students about it from a young age, we are infusing awareness and acceptance in the society.

SHARE
  • Pritam Go Green

    This is highly appreciable. Still our old generation thinks menstruation as a taboo. In schools proper knowledge should be given in the primary level itself. One shouldn’t feel shy in knowing all this or in talking about it. It is just a natural healthy phenomenon. Nd most imp thing one should know that ” No female becomes dirty during her menstrual cycle.” This is totally a rubbish thought !!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, this type of education should be given at a primary level so that girls know what exactly to be done hen they go through their menstrual cycles.

  • devika todi

    this is a great initiative! the lack of knowledge regarding something so natural is appalling. by educating students about it from a young age, we are infusing awareness and acceptance in the society.

Next Story

Celebrate Menstruation as Basic Requirement, Says Hindu Scholar

Thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance

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Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
The world cultures covered in the book include Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Pixabay

Hindu scholar and author Nithin Sridhar says menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated as a basic requirement of womanhood, as an integral dimension of feminineness.

Talking to IANS, Sridhar, author of “Menstruation Across Cultures-A Historical Perspective,” said thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance. Most Hindu communities celebrate menarche as the beginning of womanhood and not an event filled with shame.

Sridhar was in the Taj city to interact with women’s groups and offer his perspective on this crucial subject.

Sridhar offered an interesting journey across civilizations and religions delving into a difficult topic. “My book book has come at a correct time too when the Sabarimala issue is dominating our news with misinformed and confused debates all around.”

Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
Menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated. Flickr

He compared the different attitudes to menarche, menstruation, pregnancy and womanhood in different religions and countries.

“Of course the focus is mainly on the Hindu or Sanatana Dharma attitudes but the subject should surely be of great interest to all of us concerned with social, cultural and political issues,” he added.

“In my book, there are detailed reviews of menstruation notions prevalent in India and in cultures across the world. The world cultures covered in the book include Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism; ancient civilisations like Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia and Egypt; and Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” Sridhar said.

Two themes of special focus in the book are: Impurity and Sacrality. While they are often understood as being opposed to each other, the book examines how they are treated as two sides of the same coin when it comes to menstruation. This is especially true in Indic traditions and pre-Christian polytheistic traditions like Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian and Egyptian. Impurity and Sacrality complement each other to form a comprehensive worldview in these cultures.”

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“I have also examined how the understanding of impurity in Abrahamic religions differs from those of polytheistic cultures. As part of the examination of the sacrality attached to menstruation, a special focus has also been given to the deities of menstruation in polytheistic cultures and to what Ayurveda and Yoga say about this essential function in a woman’s physiology.”

Sridhar is a civil engineer by education who gave up his profession for the cause of Hinduism. He is the editor of IndiaFacts, a popular online magazine for sustaining Sanatana Dharma. He has previously authored a book, “Musings on Hinduisma”, a primer for students of all ages wanting to know more about Hinduism. (IANS)