A girl from Miranda College, Delhi University said, “I have never bought a pad by myself.” You may find it strange but it’s true and unfortunately she was not the only one in the room saying the same thing.. Another girl in the room said “When I first came to study at the college from another town my mother gave me four packs of Pads, so that I didn’t have to buy. But after fourth months when I had to buy myself, it was a task. I gathered my friends to come along to buy pads.” These girls were sharing with the Goonj NJPC team Sneha Dey & Zohra Zaman during an awareness session on menstrual challenges faced by girls/women in the society.. The hesitation and embarrassment hidden behind these words says a lot.
These women can access and afford pads and are well educated enough to know all about menses and yet the taboo is so strong, the silence and shame so all pervasive that it’s difficult for them to break that hold.. After the session these girls made a resolve to purchase pads on their own as a first step to break the silence around this issue. If you feel strongly about this issue and would like us to hold such a discussion in your society/college/school/office, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Goonj’s ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’(NJPC) initiative, is dedicated to shun the shame and silence around this whole issue of menstrual tabbos that have multifaceted repercussions on women health and hygiene.. As a simple solution a physical product known as ‘My Pad’ (a cotton sanitary napkins) made from the unused cotton/semi-cotton cloth is used as a tool to trigger- to open up the subject with women in rural villages and slums in India.