Updated: Sep 12, 2022
We at TAD believe that menstruation matters. Providing access to menstrual hygiene education and products, is one of the ways through which we express this.
This expression ultimately came to life when we successfully hosted our first ever offline event; a menstrual hygiene workshop and drive at District Combined Hospital in Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh. The Dreamers who were at the frontlines of this dyadic initiative.
On 24th March, TAD organized a hybrid fundraiser with the goal of providing sanitary napkins to one hundred women in the Maharajganj district. Called the Red Dot Challenge, we saw and received encouraging responses from SNU’s faculty and students, and from elsewhere. Each participant was also asked to mark the event board with a red bindi, with the intention of leaving a mark. Quite literally.
It was also a space for conversation, for people to come together and destigmatize menstruation. The vibrancy and enthusiasm that we started the day off with set the tone for the day of the sanitary napkin drive.
The drive combined with an awareness workshop, was conducted on the 13th of April. Initiated by our advisor, Dr. Alam Ara, esteemed doctors from District Combined Hospital, Dr. Amber Islam, Dr. Nisha Gupta, Dr. Arun Singh, Dr. Shalini Verma, and Dr. Pallavi Jaswal too joined the day’s proceedings. They took turns to address a diverse audience on the nuances of menstruation and menstrual hygiene.
Real engagement after all, comes through when there is a deconstruction of existing biases and perceptions. Dr. Nisha, for instance, debunked the myths surrounding menstruation; a necessary step in our journey to break the taboo.
Space was also open to queries. Alongside more insightful segments and conversations, the Dreamers distributed sanitary napkins to nearly one hundred menstruators. The choice to distribute sanitary napkins also captured the essence of what had been reiterated throughout the workshop, the importance of good hygiene. Often the reality is that menstruating individuals are unable to access safe and clean hygiene products, and resort to using infection inducing solutions such as cloth, reusing soiled pads, or even totally restricting routine movement.
We hope we at TAD were able to initiate positive conversations and change, through this event. Saumya Sharma, one of the co-founders of TAD said, “One word that would describe my experience would be exciting, because everything from the prep to the execution of the event was not only enticing, but also made us ecstatic to host our first offline event!” She also added that the fundraiser had definitely affected the lives of rural women positively and was looking forward to raising more awareness.
We’re looking forward to extending our outreach to more local communities as well as involving more diverse experiences. TAD looks forward to your continued support to this collective cause; one pad at a time!