On World Menstrual Hygiene Day, to overcome ‘Period Poverty’ and to break societal silence over the issue, a unique campaign called ‘Men 4 Menstruation’ (M4M) has been digitally launched in the State capital by the organisation Motive8. With an aim to bust taboos and create menstrual awareness amongst the urban and rural masses, the initiative will also engage men and work with the motto that ‘Menstruation is not just a women’s thing but a man’s responsibility too’.
The campaign was jointly launched online by former Jharkhand Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Babulal Marandi along with Bihar BJP President Sanjay Jaiswal. Ranchi MP Sanjay Seth and Director Secondary Education, Jharkhand Dr Jatashankar Choudhary also joined the drive on the first day. On the day o fits launch as many as 1012 people joined the drive online.
According to the data released by Water Aid lack of menstrual hygiene facilities is the fifth largest cause of female deaths across the globe. As per a 2014 report shared by an NGO called Dasra states that in India about 23 million adolescent girls drop out from school every year from standard VI or VII as they hit puberty. About 70 percent of the mothers with menstruating daughters consider the biological process insignificant while 71 percent young girls remain unaware about the cycle till menarche.
The ICMR report 2012 states that 38 percent girls don’t talk to their mothers openly about periods while as per a survey report of Ministry of Education 63 percent rural school teachers never discuss the natural process.
“These are not just mere figures but also emphasise that we live in a society where menstruation has always been a taboo topic. Being an Aspirational District Fellow, I realized that periods should not be limited to just a district level activity and work on menstrual hygiene management should not be confined only to a district but instead it should be dealt with at a national level. The aim of this campaign is to eradicate period poverty and also provide a period friendly environment, ensure a two- day menstrual leave every month, create awareness and provide access to hygienic menstruation products,” said Co-Founder Satwik Mishra.
The project M4M will include six major components. Under the signature campaign all district administration officials will be asked to take a pledge to support menstruating women.
In the second part workshops in schools and organisations will be conducted to create a menstrual friendly environment for women. Setting up MHM Chachi (Menstrual Hygiene Management) libraries across various schools is the third component while upgrading existing washrooms and making period friendly toilets as per UNICEF standards is the fourth constituent.
“About 88 percent women do not access to clean MHM products. The fifth component aims to promote sustainable menstrual products like menstrual cups and reusable cloth napkins. It will also include drives to distribute the same. The last element is urging people to join the campaign digitally,” added Mishra.
Mishra further stated that Water Sanitation Support and Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Country Cordinator, India Vinod Mishra has also approved of supporting the M4M campaign.
Along with Satwik Mishra, the other co-founders include Rakesh Singh, Abhinav Kishore, Viswajeet Kumar and Biswambharnath Naik.