New Delhi: With art pieces showcasing blood stains across the hall, posters highlighting everything related to the topic of menstruation, Kolkata’s ‘Pathurighata Pancher Palli’ Durga Puja pandal is celebrating the much awaited period of Durga Puja with its own unique theme challenging societal norms and taboos surrounding the topic of menstruation.
The pandal has adopted a unique theme of Ritumati (Menstrual Hygiene) in bid to celebrate Nari Shakti.
— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2023
Speaking to NDTV, Ellora Saha, Puja Organiser said,
Menstruation has always been a hush hush topic in our society. But it should not be. Durga Puja is about Goddess Durga that depicts Nari Shakti, if we don’t respect Nari in our daily lives then the purpose of celebrating Durga Puja gets defeated. And to change this, we decided to sensitise the public by adopting this as a theme.
She further adds,
Even in today’s day and age, there are a lot of taboos related to menstruation, women are still not allowed in the kitchen, not allowed to lie on the bed during that time of the month and is treatable like a untouchable person. This should not be the case, women should be celebrated in every aspect of life.
Ms Saha also said that menstruation is a normal biological process and we should understand that. She added,
This is the basic system of human civilisation and still we have 100s of taboos associated with it. Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of fanfare in Kolkata and often pandals adopt interesting themes. This time around, we decided to adopt Menstruation as the theme and I am amaze to see the response. From older people to younger generation, men, female and children, everyone is coming to our pandal and is supporting us in this idea of awareness.
Manash Roy, the main artist behind the project, speaking to ANI explaining about the decor and art pieces said, “The idea was to depict the topic of Menstruation in every possible way. We focussed on menstrual hygiene and cycles through various forms of art.”
According to the authorities, the construction of the pandal, installation of art featuring paintings, models, and graphics, took three months and an investment of approximately Rs 18 lakh.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.