In a country where a majority of female population is devoid of basic facilities to maintain menstrual hygiene and it’s still considered a taboo, disease, sin, curse or a secret by larger portion of the society.
A group of students from Gwalior have launched a campaign by writing messages on sanitary napkins to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to eliminate 12% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the product and make it free of cost.
The students launched the campaign to create awareness towards harassment faced by women and to put efforts on their empowerment. They said that when 1000 such napkins with messages are collected then they will be sent to the Prime Minister. The campaign was started on January 4.
The students believe that it is not only the need of women belonging to Gwalior, but the entire nation is in need of this move and Prime Minister Modi is the only leader who can reduce the cost by removing the GST from it or make it available for free.
In the remote areas of the country, women use traditional means only but because of that, they suffer from various communicable diseases. Sanitary napkins have been placed under 12% GST.
Pune based Spherule Foundation in a first of its initiative has started an awareness program on menstrual hygiene in schools, colleges, orphanages, slums, villages and communities across the length and breadth of this country.
Girls in the society mostly hear negative and outdated information riddled with myths about menstruation from their taboo, disease, sin, curse or a secret family, friends and relatives. They aren’t aware that menstruation is a biological and natural process. Resulting in them believing myths and practice restricting customs imposed upon them.
“We came up with the idea of writing a kids and teenager friendly book called ‘Moon Time’ which will create awareness amongst young girls who are just keeping their steps in puberty or already reached to that age about all the facts they should know about periods & menstrual hygiene”, said Dr.Geeta Bora, Spherule Foundation.
According to a recent survey conducted by AC Nielsen and Plan India revealed that nearly 70% of women cannot afford sanitary napkins and over 88% of women choose shocking alternatives such as cloth, ashes and husk sand during menstruation, thereby causing severe reproductive health problems. . It is high time we speak openly about menstruation in India. We truly need to quash its taboos one at a time.
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The CSR Journal Team