Global Hygiene Day: Breaking menstrual taboos

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IMPHAL | May 27: May 28 is Global Hygiene Day observed ‘to break taboos and raise awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for women and adolescents girls worldwide’.

As a part of the observance of this day, the Imphal Free Press chatted with Angel Konthoujam, who has been working on MHM in a remote village in Gujarat under SBI fellowship, who is a lone representative from Northeast India.

Angel Konthoujam, daughter of K Hrishikesh Singh and Dr Chandrakala Huidrom of Sagolband Meino Leirak, is an alumnus of Little Flower School, Sangaiprou and completed all her further studies from outside the state.

She is currently based in Dang district of Gujarat and working with Kotwalia tribal community under SBI Youth for India Fellowship. She has been facilitating basic menstrual health educational sessions to the women and girls of the community.

Her project also includes designing a reusable menstrual product relevant to the needs of the community, creating women producers of the aforementioned product in turn creating an alternate source of livelihood and initiating a rural retail distribution channels for the products.
In a telephonic interview with the Imphal Free Press, she said women face judgement every month because of menstrual period, and women does not deserve to be judge just because of normal women body cycle.

She wants women to have their periods in a dignified manner and said that not only rural women are facing this problem but also urban women in a different way.

Taking in context of the state she said, women of Manipur are also judged during her cycle by considering her as dirty and impure. The phenomenon of silencing women during her period is common in Manipur. Women don’t talk to their children about it, and also children to their mothers. There is also a need to sensitise men about this issue, not only women and men equally takes part in the securing menstrual hygiene to women, she added.

She also wished that if there is a platform in Manipur, she will surely carry forward her work in this area.

Angel owes her success to the SBI Fellowship and the women who have helped her in doing this project and added that it is a teamwork without which it will not happen.

Source: Imphal Free Press

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