By Puja Gupta
New Delhi, May 29: On Menstrual Hygiene Day, marked on May 28 every year, did you know that 28 stands for the average length of a menstrual cycle, whereas 5 marks the average number of days of menstruation? We celebrate this day to mark the importance of menstrual hygiene, break the stigma around periods, raise awareness and change the negative mind-sets, which prevent girls and women from having a safe period.
Many times, a lack of education, age-old taboos and stigmas and limited or no access to hygienic menstrual products can lead to women practicing poor menstrual hygiene during their period. When girls and women apply poor menstrual hygiene, they are more conducive to infections such as that of the reproductive tract, urinary tract, Hepatitis B and more. Not only is this detrimental to the overall health and wellness of the gender, it also puts a dampener on the progress of society as we strive to bring about educational, health and overall status opportunities for girls and women across the country. It prevents millions of girls from achieving their full potential and chasing their dreams.
In order to undo the stigma and negative connotations around a period, Menstrual Hygiene Day brings about an acceptance, thus encouraging young girls and women to embrace their period hygienically. This year, on Menstrual Hygiene Day, several Bollywood celebrities have not just donated sanitary napkins to ensure a safe period, but are also coming together to support the cause and make menstrual hygiene an everyday thing.
Outspoken actor and a champion of health and fitness, Mandira Bedi says, “The pandemic brought our lives to a standstill, but our periods didn’t stop. Young girls residing in the remote areas of Pune lost access to sanitary napkins and had to resort to unhygienic practices such as using pieces of cloth and cotton balls — something that no girl should resort to for a natural, biological phenomenon. To ensure girls and women have a safe period, Whisper and I got together to donate sanitary pads at an NGO in Pune. Additionally, to further empower girls to unleash her full potential especially during these testing times, I am glad to know that people across the country have also come together to support Whisper’s #KeepGirlsInSchool movement, to ensure that girls are well equipped to manage periods and don’t miss out on school or their dreams. Lets come together and help women and girls most in need get through their period with safe and hygienic protection.”
Bollywood star Neha Dhupia has also stressed upon the importance of a safe period by making sanitary napkins available to young girls and women. Neha states that as women lost access to safe and hygienic sanitary supplies, especially during the pandemic. She said, “Even today taboos and stigma around periods hold many young girls and women back from achieving their true potential. Being a mother, I feel that nothing should come in the way of young girls achieving their full potential. This Menstrual Hygiene Day, lets talk about periods openly and help women and girls most in need get through these trying times. As many of them lost access to hygienic sanitary solutions due to the pandemic, Whisper and I came together to donate sanitary napkins in remote Guwahati. I believe every women and girl deserves a safe and healthy period.”
Tips for a great period:
* Carry some extra napkins and/or tampons (with a couple of painkillers for cramps) whenever you are expecting your period
* Choose a sanitary product which makes you comfortable and allows you to have a hassle-free period
* Make sure that you get enough rest and sleep during your period, as you recharge for the days to come!