SANITARY PADS – Superheros for five days.

Sex education is synonym to taboo in India. We’re a cent percent okay with listening to item numbers portraying half naked women on screen but we’re equally uncomfortable when it comes to the term sex education. In fact anything related to the term “Sex” is utterly pathetic particularly when it comes to rural India.
Call it some prejudice or dead tradition but the sceneries​ are scary in rural India.
In tropical countries, when a girl crosses the age of 11 or 13, she gets the sign of puberty which is marked with growth of height, acnes, breaking of voice, enlargement of breasts, growing of body hairs and the most mensuration. It is naturally universal. So, when a girl bleeds for five days in a span of 21 to 27 days, she needs something to soak her blood, prevent it from staining her clothes and seats and to maintain her vaginal hygiene. Now sanitary pads come to her rescue.
Sanitary pads come in various sizes, brands with multiple XYZ benefits which promises a woman normal lifestyle during her period. Ads don’t lie.
Unfortunately the story isn’t as simple as it seems. In rural areas, sex education is a taboo. It will be really a unique sight for a woman approaching to the chemistry store for a pack of sanitary pad. They in return, prefer piece of clothes, which are used to soak their mensuration blood. In some rare cases, one can also find women using ashes and mud to soak blood. These clothes are not just highly ineffective but are also are nuisance to use. Sanitary pads are designed for this purpose. When the cotton clothing exceeds their soaking capacities, they’re washed and are left for drying for their next use. That’s how it works and also the fact that a girl is having her period is kept hidden.
People are uncomfortable with the idea of spending 80 bucks or so for a pack of 8 pads. There is unavailability of pads in villages. The ones available at local clinics are not of good quality.
Women face so many problems yet they endure silently.
There are no hard and first rule to kill prejudices but then, sex education is needed at the grassroot level. Starting from homes to schools- girls should be educated. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s as natural as childbirth or death. We’re dwelling in the 21st century and it’s high time to understanding the workings of a woman’s uterus rather than selling what is between her legs.

©Sumedha Banerjee

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