In India, young girls are often told to hide sanitary pads in a black polythene or a thick paper bag. Surprisingly, almost every teenage girl has gone and is going through this. A saddening fact is that around 50% of girls in India have little or no knowledge of menstruation before their first period and around 88% girls and women who menstruate use unsafe materials. However, when it comes to menstrual taboo in India, there are some people who are working towards bringing a change. Here’s one such woman.
Meet Deane de Menezes, a 22 year old research associate who started a project called Red is the New Green, which focuses on creating awareness about hygienic practices during menstruation.
As a part of the project, Menezes installed a number of sanitary napkin dispensers and incinerators in various schools of Mumbai.
The project is funded by CRISIL, an international analytical company where Menezes is pursuing her research.
When asked about this revolutionary step, Menesez told Buzzfeed–
“We want girls to be non-apologetic about [their periods] and we plan to make pouches available for the girls to keep their pads safely and walk to the loo with it, head held high.”
She further added,
“We want to help them open up and talk about periods, make their own views about it instead of having views and biases imposed on them.”
The project is not limited to providing sanitary napkins to young girls in schools. Menezes is also concerned about the waste generated. For this reason, incinerators are also installed.
An incinerator is a waste treatment apparatus.
Deane de Menezes now aims to find sponsers for the Red is the New Green project so that she can attract more schools to adopt this initiative.
With people like Deane de Menezes in this country, we can expect a change. It’s certainly a ray of hope towards a healthy lifestyle.
More power to you, Menezes!