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The informed choice of using homemade biodegradable pads is overtaken by the pad manufacturing MNC’s. Majority women still think that menstrual blood is impure. Many families still refuse seeking gynaecologist’s help to treat menstruation-related infections in their girl child.

Girls doing fellowship on menstrual hygiene in Pune are underling above trends. These girls are working on five points related to menstruation: awareness, accessibility, availability, disposal, and taboo.

On World Menstruation Day, experts say that only when we talk more about it, problems related to menstruation can be solved.

Mrunmayee Kolape is a young ‘period fellow’ from Pune, who works under Sukhibhava, a Bangalore-based organisation. “There is much marketing by some NGO’s that factory manufactured pads are good. Informed choice of using homemade, biodegradable pads or clothes is diminishing. Also, around 99 per cent of women think that period blood is impure. With this, they also think that they should not visit the temple or should not cook, as they are impure during periods,” she said.

She organises community and school four-session module on menstruation-related topics. “Every girl has her own story about periods. When we asked them, we found that the majority of the girls were scared and cried while having their first period. With menstruation, comes curiosity and inhibitions, and one needs to talk about it. The more openly we talk, the more we will be able to bust taboos surrounding it,” she added.

Rupal Deshmukh, another period fellowship from Pune, said, “When we ask the girls that who uses cloth pads in a classroom, nobody would raise their hand, however, when asked privately, they would agree to it. Using manufactured pads is becoming more and more associated with class symbol.”

“Many women neglect infections and hygiene. Families are still not taking their girls to a gynaecologist to treat menstruation-related infections. Even after heavy white discharge, women don’t take it serious enough to visit a doctor,” added Rupal.

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