They are worried because they might soon be obsolete as Indian women and men are no longer shy of talking about periods & sanitary pads.
We still remember the time when as a kid one of the most embarrassing things was to buy your sanitary pads from the nearby shop. The shopkeeper more often than not used to pack sanitary pads in black polythene bags to ensure that no one sees it while going back home – it was seen as a disrespectful product in the society.
Sadly, it was given that if you spot a black polybag, it means it has a sanitary napkin!
Even our fathers and brothers never displayed any courage to talk about periods directly with us. It was like one of those topics that Indian fathers always felt was better discussed with moms.
But definitely, a lot has happened since then. Women and men have tried a lot to break the stereotypes and change the way our society perceives menstrual cycle and sanitary napkin.
Rather than asking for sanitary napkins in hush voices, people have started discussing them on social media.
It is not only women but also men who are coming forward to break this taboo. And, if you don’t believe us, then this recent incident will make you.
When Vishal Khanapure’ s friend, an architecture student, was traveling from Bengaluru to Bellary, she was hardly prepared for her periods.
In order to help his friend, Vishal tweeted the emergency to Indian Railways and requested their help.
Speaking to TOI, Khanapure said,
“At 11.06pm, an officer reached my friend and confirmed her requirements and took down her PNR details and mobile number. At 2 am, when the train reached Arasikere station, officials of the Mysuru division were ready with all the items she had sought. We are all surprised by the quick response”
Many people also congratulated him for not getting caught in the rut of ‘log kya kahengey’!
But, Vivek is not the only person, who is breaking the stereotypes. There is another young man from Kolkata, Sobhan Mukherjee,who has come up with a mobile app – Bandhan Sanitary pad app – that help women to find a location of sanitary pad vending machines.
At IFORHER, we believe that the narrative about women empowerment and wellness needs to change. But, it won’t change till women and men both come together to own the narrative.
And, the real heroes like Sobhan and Vishal make us believe that this will happen really soon.