Shame and Taboo are often associated with menstruation in India, with grave silence and myths perpetuating a struggle that not many talk about. #BleedGreen, a collaborative initiative by the MASH Project Foundation and the Canadian Consulate of Canada in Chandigarh, has forged the step towards sensitivity and awareness in and around Sustainable Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene. Our aim is to engage young people in a healthy, safe discussion around the nitty gritties of menstruation, sustainability, and climate action from a feminist lens. It is a 3-week Virtual Series that wraps diverse groups of individuals from the Indian States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
Mia Yen, the Canadian Consulate General in Chandigarh, under whose guidance MASH has been able to begin this series, has shed light on the unconducive sanitary conditions in India. Menstruation in India can be easily called the periods of poverty, with most women not even using a sanitary product, and of those who do, a miniscule percentage is actually aware of the choices available to them. She further endorses the need to sustain such conversations via disseminating and optimizing knowledge on menstruation.
Nitisha Pandey, the facilitator of the project, laid down a feminist and intersectional approach to the issue. She devises Equality, Inclusivity and Social Justice as the driving parameters to propel a shift in the paradigm.
Thus, this enthralling and illuminative workshop series predominantly focuses on the three key agendas:
-> Environmental impacts of disposable sanitary napkins
-> Sustainable Menstruation
-> Busting Myths around periods.
The event projects a demonstrative explanation, thereby leaving participants with an understandable clause at the end. It subsequently moves forward with optimizing awareness of the daunting impacts of disposable sanitary napkins on health and the environment. Nitisha helps to unravel the facts and realities concerning the menstruation waste produced in society. “On an average, a menstruator uses 12 pads/month, which is equal to 60 bags of plastic”, says Nitisha. Underlying this alarming issue, the workshop provides solutions and alternatives to make the “Green Switch”, listing down the following options:
- Reusable Cloth Pads
- Menstrual Cups
Directional guidance concerning the whereabouts of the options is made available towards the end of the workshop. It draws stress on factors such as hygiene, durability, cost-effectivity and sustainability. The session concludes by accentuating the need to make informed and meaningful choices as a crucial step toward self, society and surroundings.
The dialogue throughout is bilingual, making it more engaging and inclusive for all. The 90 minutes workshop persuades a holistic learning outcome alongside inspiring participants to start and continue conversations around this deep-rooted topic of prejudice. Most importantly, the workshop facilitates change within oneself consecutively, influencing change in society at large.
In this era of revised demands of freedom for women, Menstrual sanity has become a fundamental right for all menstruators. There are existing communities and groups unaware and unsensitized, carrying forward stereotypical beliefs with little factual knowledge. #BleedGreen is the little bridge that helps to connect and alter narratives. “Enabling Period Positivity” is the main objective of all.