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Wed, 19 Jun 2019

Northeast Today

Break the Period Taboo, Talk About it!

Break the Period Taboo, Talk About it!
January 30
14:44 2018

Bloody Aunty, Red wedding, got my P-

These are nothing but euphemisms for the monthly fact that every women go through or has gone through in her lifetime from puberty to menopause. Menstruation has always been considered as something ‘taboo’ or something impure in our society. Once a girl attains puberty, she is plunged into a decade long journey of embarrassment and silence and covertures. This enduring ‘taboo’ surrounding menstruation has been affecting women’s health to a great extent in India.

In most of the rural areas of India, girls are made to miss schools on their periods and some are even made to drop out after they attain puberty, which eventually hampers their studies and future. It’s is pathetic to note that a lot of women are still not able to afford pads and are using rags and clothes in lieu of pads. The problem is- No one talks about it!


Breaking the taboo of menstruation is the upcoming Bollywood movie titled Pad Man-which is based on the true story of a 20-year struggle of a school drop-out from south India to buy sanitary pads for his wife – and ended up changing the lives of millions of women around the world.

The movie casts Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte in the lead roles which is produced by Akshay’s wife Twinkle Khanna, and happens to be a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the inventor of low-cost sanitary pad making machines.

It’s been more than ten years since Arunachalam invented a machine to create low cost sanitary pads and began distributing them to rural women across India. Traditionally, rural women use old cloth, saris or bed sheets as sanitary towels; sometimes also using sand, dirt or ash for heavy days. The use of pads is increasing and now six out of ten womenin India have access to disposable menstrual products.

This varies greatly across states – from as high as 90 pc in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi to as low as 30 pc in rural Bihar. But disposable pads are expensive and the biodegradable pads made by Arunachalam are cheaper and last longer.


Here is a story shared by Kee Sang from UAE where she talks about machines dispatching sanitary pads. In her message, she wishes that similar machines can be of real help for the numerous menstruating women of India.

Kee sang

“Hello everyone!!

It’s a woman, a daughter, a sister. Today I have collected all the courage to speak up for a very significant and I good cause. MENSTRUAL CYCLE is a natural and regular change that occurs in a female reproductive system. It may seem common and negligible but little do men know the problems that women go through during the cycle like – heavy cramps, mood swings, acne, irritation etc.

Thanks to technology that we have sanitary napkins and don’t have to use cloth anymore like our elders did. The problem is we are still lagging behind at adequately providing sanitary napkins band easy disposables for the same.

I have been working in UAE since a few months and what I noticed in the lavatories and washroom’s here is the availability of sanitary napkin vending machines that are coin operated. I was so overwhelmed by it that I felt the urge to share it with my people of the hills.

It is my sincere suggestion to all the schools , government officials and anyone volunteering to make an effort to put up these coin operated machines at all public places and schools for easy available of these sanitary pads by mere inserting a coin and also providing easy disposables for the same.

I am working here in Dubai and I am from Kalimpong. I feel it is one of the most significant ways of empowering women of the hills and making them more confident and forward in the society and world. Can you imagine in India if we had the same technology in the rural and urban areas in school and colleges it would sure bring a big difference in the lives of women here.” 


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