Periods, Menstruation. Do the words cause any uneasiness? No? Good. And if yes, then that alone is enough to explain the sheer amount of taboo and stigma around menstrual health in our present day society.
And this have had a huge toll on the health of the younger generation of girls. But this is slowly changing, much thanks both government and private organisations. And one such amazing initiative is Menstrupedia, a social-change effort she started with her husband.
Aditi, an engineering graduate and a media design post-graduate from National Institute Of Design, Ahmadabad, told that she too, went through the same stigma, prejudice and taboo that surrounds menstruation, when she started menstruating. Inspiration begets invention, this was indeed proven right by her, as she from her own struggle regarding menstrual health, got inspired to create Menstrupedia.
The initiative offers interactive digital (through its website) and print comic books, for educating young girls regarding sexual health to pre-teens. Menstrupedia offers huge subsidies to schools and NGOs. The comic books Used by more than 7500 schools, 270 NGOs and 1.2 Million girls across India, and schools of more than 18 countries use them too.
In her own words Aditi explains the reaction of people. “When the ‘Tales of change’ came out, we realized that apart from lack of awareness, there was a commonality in the stories that surrounded the issue. Everyone had gone through the same cycle. I started the initiative because personally I had gone through a lot. In my family, the idea was not at all welcomed by elders around us. I had got this high-paying internship in Mumbai, which I left and came back home to start this. The one word I could not share with my parents was that this was to become my career. I remember aunties around giggling when I spoke about what I was doing. Things changed slowly, and today, my mother keeps a copy of the comic book with her and shares with everyone around. This was a change at home. After we launched, it was amazing how we used to get at least one mail every day from strangers all over the country and abroad telling us how much they love the website. It was well received by media people too. The positive reactions are a validation.”
Aditi asserts that the initiative aims at expanding it’s base and deepening its roots and reach worldwide.
She us a truly inspiring figure, changing the world and driving away the ignorance, one comic at a time!
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