Guwahati: To create awareness on menstrual hygiene and break the societal silence over the “taboo subject” of menstruation, a mural ‘Bleed with dignity’ was installed here on the World Menstrual Hygiene Day on Tuesday. The mural is blood red in colour with small white flowers. The slogan ‘Bleed with dignity’ is written on one side of it. It is the brainchild of a Guwahati-based post-graduate student Bidisha Saikia who has started the #BleedwithDignity Campaign for making quality menstrual healthcare accessible to every girl.
Parijat Academy, a school, has collaborated with Bidisha and the mural, created by noted artist Neelim Mahanta, is installed in one of its walls. Inaugurating the mural, Guwahati Municipal Corporation Commissioner Debeswar Malakar said,
Many girls in Assam still feel shy to ask for a sanitary pad. So, if pads are made available in schools through vending machines, it becomes easy for girls to access it. It also helps break the stigma around menstruation.
Mr. Malakar said it is also important to have similar vending machines installed in public places such as bus stand sand railway stations. Bidisha, 25, has been running a campaign for installation of sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools in the state.
The post-graduate student of social work said,
I find the silence surrounding the taboo subject of menstruation odd and ironic in a land like Assam.
Referring to goddess Kamakhya, she said,
My state has a culture of worshipping menstruating goddesses, and some communities even celebrate a girl’s first period. Through my campaign, I want to end this silence and make quality menstrual healthcare accessible to every girl in my state.
The Menstrual Hygiene Day was initiated by a German organistion in 2013 and it later spread to various parts of the world.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.