Divya Mohan

‘Grown up’ ‘ Badi Ho Gayi’, – the statement that pique my ears often when I used to visit my kinsfolk. At that time I was clueless. Never understood what they intended. Mom did not prepared me for “that day” nor did my school. Here “that day” indicated to my big fat menstrual confession. So, I was 11 when I got my periods for the first time. I got panicked and did not understand what was happening to me. The whole night I was bleeding and couldn’t tell my Mom in a fear that she would scold me. I used to put tissues and clothes in my undergarments and kept on washing the stain that left unfading marks. I just went to sleep in a hope that the blood will stop.

But the next day when I woke up, my undergarments were even more stained.With no other options left, I had to tell my mother. She cried and realized that she could have prepared me for this day, she then told me what all I have to use and what all problems I could have during this time. She also said that my blood is impure during this time and I should not entered the house of god. This time I understood the meaning of “Main Badi Ho Gayi Huun”.

Jab Asli Mein Badi Hui, I realized it’s just a taboo in Indian society which is never talked about publicly. Many myths and fear is also revolving around ‘periods’ which must be dissipate. Right from the early stage prior information, workshops or sessions should be proposed at schools and maximum awareness at home level should be conveyed. At the same time education and empowering mothers about periods is also important.

Over 77% of menstruating girls and women in India use an old cloth, which is often reused. Further, 88% of women in India sometimes resort to using ashes, newspapers, dried leaves and husk sand to aid absorption. Poor protection and inadequate washing facilities may increases susceptibility to infection, with the odor of menstrual blood putting girls at risk of being stigmatized. The latter may have significant implications for their mental health. The challenge, of addressing the socio-cultural taboos and beliefs in menstruation, is further compounded by the fact the girls’ knowledge levels and understandings of puberty, menstruation, and reproductive health are very low.

(http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/news/blog/social-taboos-damage-the-health-of-girls-and-women)

Women need to talk about their periods more often. For something so fundamental to the female experience, I believe most women don’t have a good idea of what’s “normal,” and what could be improved by or requires medical attention.

Everyone must accept that every woman in the history of humanity has or had a period. Each month, her uterus sheds its lining, sending blood flowing out through her vagina (unless she’s pregnant, in which case she gets a lengthy reprieve). This process is as natural as eating, drinking and sleeping, and it’s beautiful too: There’s no human race without it. Women do not HAVE TO be ashamed of and should let the discussion flow.

It is time to end period shaming and appreciate the beauty of bleeding!!


Photo Credit: Irshad Hassan

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