A few days back, a heartbreaking incident surfaced when authorities stripped 68 female students at an educational institute in Bhuj, Gujarat, to confirm if they were on periods.
Yes, that outrageous act was allegedly conducted by the orthodox and ardent followers of Swami Krushnaswarup Das. The man who in his recent teachings said,
“A menstruating woman who cooks food for her husband will certainly be born as a ‘kutri’ (bitch).”
To end this highly prevalent menstrual stigma of the kitchen, a Delhi-based NGO named ‘Sachhi Saheli’ organized a ‘Period Feast’ or ‘Mahavari Mahabhoj’ on February 23. As per TOI, almost 28 menstruating women cooked and served food to over 300 attendees at this event.
Delhi: Sachhi Saheli, an NGO organised a ‘Period Feast’ yesterday in Mayur Vihar area. The food was prepared & served during the feast by 28 menstruating women. More than 300 people from all walks of life, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, participated in the feast. pic.twitter.com/Naek3wpQxI
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2020
The gynecologist and founder of the NGO Dr. Surbhi Singh shared with NDTV:
“It is a lunch event to uphold women’s menstrual dignity. It is a statement against the dogmatic traditions related to menstruation and a symbolic protest against the negativity propagated by the priest from the Swaminarayan Bhuj Mandir in Gujarat.”
Wearing the aprons saying “I am a proud menstruating woman”, women cooked and served food to the guests including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Its was an honour for us to have @msisodia With us for #periodfeast. Thankyou sir for gracing #महावरी_भोज with your presence. #mahavaribhoj #menstruation #pushthestigmaaway #महावरी_भोज #myth pic.twitter.com/LgOYfVRvrS
— SACHHI SAHELI (@SachhiSaheli) February 23, 2020
A street play was also performed to dispel superstitions associated with periods.
This was an extremely interesting afternoon. Period feast organised by @SachhiSaheli with an amazing street play by Asmita group and fresh food prepared by women proudly sporting an apron which announced that they were menstruating. Kudos. ???? pic.twitter.com/2w5H685FZ9
— Tanzila Anis تَنزِیلَہ اَنِیس ???????? (@aaliznat) February 23, 2020
The guest of honor, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was quoted saying,
“In today’s scientific day and age, there is nothing pure or impure about menstruation, it is a natural biological process that should be taken as it is.”
माहवारी महाभोज period feast an initiative to celebrate women menstural dignity is a tight slap on those who think this to be a curse to womanhood. special thanks to @msisodia Sir & Team for being the guest of honour.Great job done by Dr. @drsurbhisingh22 for raising voice . pic.twitter.com/pnDYMVjTQJ
— Satvinder Singh (@satvinder989023) February 23, 2020
Earlier, in response to Swamiji’s misogynist comment, some pet owners also shared photos of their female dogs (happy kutris) saying that they are reincarnations of ‘disgraced’ or ‘fallen’ women.
At IFORHER, we are so proud of these women who took up this initiative to bust the myths around menstruation. It is high time that we stop making our women feel ashamed of something that is completely biological and in fact the reason behind the existence of the human race!