IIM Indore director, students with sanitary pads
IIM Indore director, students with sanitary pads

Indore: Following the decision taken at their annual event IRIS, the students of Indian Institute of Management Indore has created a national record by preparing a video chain of more than 1000 participants passing a sanitary pad.

They have received the certificate from India Book of Records. Roughly half of the women population, about 26% of the global population, are of reproductive age. More than 800 million women are menstruating on a particular day. On an average, a woman menstruates for about 7 years during her lifetime. Globally, 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation services and in least developed countries only 27% of the population has a hand-washing facility with water and soap at home. Talking about periods or holding a sanitary napkin is still a taboo.

This year, IIM Indore students had decided to take a bold step and break this taboo, create awareness about menstrual hygiene and normalise periods, with their initiative #LetsTalkPeriods.

The team also conducted a distribution drive, collaborating with Indore based NGO Manasa. Taking a step ahead, IIM Indore director Prof Himanshu Rai through his NGO Samagat; Shanu Mehta, IIM Indore visiting faculty and founder of NGO Arthsangini, donated 18,200 sanitary pads.

Rai said menstruation is intrinsically related to human rights when people cannot access safe bathing facilities and safe effective measures of managing their menstrual hygiene, they’re not able to manage their periods with dignity. Menstruation related teasing, exclusion and shame also undermine the principle of human dignity.

“I congratulate my students for taking a bold and brave step to break this taboo. Even today, gender equality, poverty, humanitarian crisis and harmful traditions can turn menstruation into a time of deprivation and stigma and affect women health. Sanitary pads is the first step towards menstrual hygiene,” he said.

Mehta noted that due to lack of awareness about menstrual hygiene, a woman’s health is also at risk. “We want to create awareness about using a sanitary pad and will be distributing these napkins to more than 1800 underprivileged women in Indore,” she said. Mehta’s NGO Arthsangini is helping women become self-reliant by encouraging entrepreneurship and also supporting them in being financially literate.

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