Menstrupedia: Destroying Menstrual Myths and Taboos
Growing up in a conservative Indian family, most of us have had a very secretive adolescence – with barely any discussions about the physical changes one goes through. Talking openly about the birds and the bees – beginning with the subject of menstruation – is censored and virtually condemned in our society. Owing to the social stigma attached to the discussing periods and its related issues, a large number of girls in our society go through a phase of confusion and mental trauma following their first period.
To challenge this stigma, two pathbreaking individuals, Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul, brought into action their cannonball of an idea – Menstrupedia. The intent – to bring about a much needed revolution around menstrual discussions in our society.
Menstrupedia, at its center, urges young girls to not be ashamed of their periods, but on the contrary, celebrate them as they embark on the journey of womanhood.
The Fearless Founders
Like most of us, Aditi Gupta was raised in a family that discouraged open discussion about menstruation and other physical changes a girl faces during adolescence. It was during her teens that she realized our society desperately needed awareness – and a progressive platform to educate young female folk with all the information they need to successfully deal with their transition from a girl to a woman – in a healthy and informed manner.
Aditi – along with the co- founders, Tuhin Paul and Rajat Mittal – and the dedicated team of Menstrupedia seek to reform the outlook of our society towards menstruation. Their bold step has been instrumental in drawing attention to the sensitive issue of periods at a national level using the power of the internet.
Menstrupedia is an online portal that gives an insight – but with a dose of fun – into the phenomenon of periods and menstrual hygiene. It also teaches young girls the logic and associated methods to track their periods. Menstrupedia has been successful in imparting knowledge to rid the society of any menstrual myth without attracting any cultural conflict or contradiction.All the information circulated by this portal comes via a channel of professional gynecologists, headed by Dr. Mahadeo Bhide who has around 20 years of practice in London, UK.
One of the greatest initiatives of the group has been the drafting of the Menstrupedia comics – an ambitious project for the team – which has been shipped all over the country. The comic book passes on the crucial knowledge about bodily excretions and their reproductive relevance – using a simple, fun and easy-to-understand language – to countless adolescent girls. On its road to progress, the comic has been translated to 8 Indian languages to expand its target audience beyond the urban literate. Being a multilingual comic, it has now attained a wide reach, educating some of the most vulnerable girls of the rural parts of our country. The comic is also being appreciated globally and has been translated into 3 foreign languages.
The team of Menstrupedia is also working to devise methods to tie-up with primary schools and NGOs to provide young girls with the needed knowledge at highly subsidized rates.
The Menstrupedia comic book passes on the crucial knowledge about bodily excretions and their reproductive relevance – using a simple, fun and easy-to-understand language – to countless adolescent girls.Another significant step has been the launch of an interactive session, featuring a number of famous women or as Menstrupedia calls them – Change Makers – which allows these ladies to come together to share their menstrual experiences. One can simply leave the ladies a message on Twitter through Menstrupedia.com and be assured of a prompt and informative response.
The group has been an important medium – not only to educate young girls but also young boys who need to be equally informed about the phenomenon of menstruation. The significance of teaching young boys the facts behind menstruation, respect for girls, and the need to give space to their fellow female friends is not lost on the brilliant team of Menstrupedia.
The highlight of the works and initiatives of Menstrupedia – carried out in the form of comics or display images – is their sensitivity towards cultural traditions and norms. Menstrupedia has been successful in imparting knowledge to rid the society of any menstrual myth without attracting any cultural conflict or contradiction.
Questioning Menstrual Myths
A platform like Menstrupedia was much needed in a society like ours to break the age-old ice of social taboos that prevent us from talking freely about such a natural phenomenon. The group has been an important medium – not only to educate young girls but also young boys who need to be equally informed about the phenomenon of menstruation. The significance of teaching young boys the facts behind menstruation, respect for girls, and the need to give space to their fellow female friends is not lost on the brilliant team of Menstrupedia.
It is path-breaking initiatives like Menstrupedia that are much-needed to broaden festering perspectives of society, and force them to think and act beyond set boundaries. And how else is that achieved if not by facilitating free expression and a healthy platform for curious questions? Menstrupedia is the first step towards a better India – and a much more evolved society.
Share Your Experience
You too can change the lives of young girls by sharing your period story. Simply log on to http://www.menstrupedia.com/ and leave an article sharing your experience of the first time you saw that blood stain. Your experience can help a young clueless girl deal with hers!
She loves to write on topics of social interest.She finds her passion in dancing. She is an avid reader with an inclination towards research journals.
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