It might come as a surprise to most of the people, but around 65% of the total Indian population lives in rural areas and villages. Since the majority of the national population is associated with rural regions, it becomes more important to spread menstrual awareness in these places. Thousands of women suffer tremendously due to lack of awareness and eventually creating a taboo when it comes to menstruation.

Here are some of the ways that can be put into practice to create menstrual awareness among people in the rural areas:

Educating girls

Most people who reside in underdeveloped regions and rural areas are strictly against women receiving education. This has to do with various bizarre and self-inflicted notions that have nothing to do with the factual reality. People have myths blocking their heads from thinking straight. Most of the families follow a typical patriarchal pattern, giving women a little or no say in major matters of the family. Educating women can greatly help in altering this condition with reference to recognizing one’s rights. Moreover, they will be able to learn about the working of their body along with the measures through which they can handle themselves better during menstruation.

Bringing the Facts to Light

There are times when people are unable to decide whether a particular thing known is a fact or a myth. For example, the myth of period blood being dirty. 

The right information must be given to them through various mediums. It can be through campaigns, mass media, etc. The one thing to be kept in mind is that the medium decided for the conveying of information has to be accessible by the bulk of women living in rural conditions. If this doesn't happen, the purpose of the propagation of messages gets defeated. 

Normalizing Discussions about Menstruation

Nothing can be done about a problem that cannot be discussed out loud. People living in the remote areas are unexposed and have little idea of how to express their views on a matter that is shrouded by taboos and stigmas. Awareness regarding the normalization of discussing the topic of menstruation must be the aim. When people, especially women, will realize that it is a genuine phenomena to talk about, they will try to learn about it more. Thus, the normalization of conversations plays a huge role in breaking the taboos.

Providing Accessibility 

Period products are considered as a luxury in the country as stats display that 1 in 10 girls below the age of 21 are unable to afford menstrual hygiene products and thus use harmful alternatives like rags or dirty cloths. While a part of this emanates from a lack of awareness, the accessibility of sanitary pads in the rural areas is also an issue. This can be done by strategically planning the marketing of pads through campaigning, imparting knowledge, and free distribution drives. One can offer a free pads let the women decide if they feel like continuing to use it in future. Moreover, organizations and initiatives should work towards providing free products to those in need while encouraging governments to create legislation for free provisions in rural areas.

Enactus JMI’s 'Project Shrimati' works towards creating menstrual awareness among the masses along with providing employment to its community of women, through the manufacturing of the reusable Shrimati pads.  Made with the goodness of banana and bamboo fiber, Shrimati pads are the Eco-friendly alternative to its toxic counterparts. With a durable life cycle, Shrimati is good for your health, your pocket, and the environment. 


Afeefa Ansari

Afeefa Ansari hails from Bareilly, aka 'The Jhumka City'. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors in English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia. Listening to people, walking around aimlessly to ponder over things, and eating is what excites her! If you are into Urdu Poetry, you are already best friends with her. She loves reading the works of people in English, Hindi and Urdu, and herself writes poems and stories. Not just to write, but to narrate her stories is what she likes. She's classical music, and is always in for jamming with the music enthusiasts. P.S - Will always be seen with books, coffee and flowers in her hand.