No More Silence—Scio’s Su-Khoon Campaign on Menstrual Health
The Scio Foundation, Manipal, was the official social partner for Revels’19. They organised two events, Su-Khoon ki Khoj and an open discussion, during Revels as a part of their Su-Khoon campaign. Both the events focused on encouraging students to engage in a healthy conversation about menstruation and debunked a few myths to created awareness on this frequently stigmatised topic.
Su-Khoon ki Khoj
A follow up on their Pre-Revels talk on Sustainable Menstruation, Scio’s Su-Khoon ki Khoj proved that social awareness and fun could work well together. The event, organised on 7th March 2019, consisted of a scavenger hunt that had participants fight misconceptions related to menstruation while spreading awareness on healthier practices.
Participants competed in teams of three within a time limit of one hour and fifteen minutes. They had to solve riddles that pointed out to different locations across campus using clues which were subtly linked to menstruation. Participants were presented with tasks at each destination such as yelling out the phrase “Put Men in Menstruation”. The teams had to submit video recordings of the tasks that they completed and lost points if they hesitated in asking questions.
Teams approached bystanders and struck up a conversation on periods, talking about issues such as social prejudices against menstruating woman and the unnecessary discretion involved in its management, such as code words and mannerisms that persist to this day.
Each task carried a different weightage of points which were awarded not only on the discovery of the correct location but also for the commitment towards the task at hand. The scavenger hunt engaged the participants with tasks that left them and the students in the vicinity better informed about menstruation by bashing myths that stigmatise it.
On 8th March 2019, The Scio Foundation, Manipal, held an open discussion on menstruation and the taboos that were associated with it. Organised on Women’s Day, the event began with the organisers asking the audience whether they were aware of what menstruation was and the biological reason behind it. This helped dispel common myths and kept the conversation flowing as they encouraged people to speak up.
Certain misconceptions associated with menstruation—such as women being restricted access to temples and forced to eat from different utensils, were talked about. Female members from the audience mentioned how these restrictions made them feel alienated and stressed; even talking about periods was considered a taboo, which further exacerbated the issue.
“This event was part of the Su-Khoon campaign. We wanted to find out what our college’s stance on menstruation is. It is a step in the right direction towards an open discussion about menstruation”, said Deepak Garasangi, President of The Scio Foundation.
The discussion shed some light on government policies regarding menstrual health as well. The Menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017 which was suggested by MP Ninong Ering, was brought up. The bill had a provision for women who were working in private or public sectors to get two days of paid menstrual leave each month. The audience mostly agreed; however, they said that this could result in possible isolation of women from the workplace. The event was successful in bringing a stigmatised topic into mainstream discourse and re-emphasised the importance of such public discussions.
Picture Credits: Photography and Videography Team, Revels’19