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SU-KHOON—A Talk on Sustainable Menstruation

On March 2nd, 2019, The Scio Foundation organised a talk on ‘Sustainable Menstruation’, a Pre-Revels event under their campaign SU-KHOON, aimed at raising awareness about menstruation. Nishant Bangera, the founder of Muse Foundation and A Period of Sharing, was the guest speaker at the event. Dinesh Raghunathan, the co-founder of Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective, attended the event as well.

Following his introduction by a Scio Foundation member, Nishant Bangera took the stage to talk about his idea of sustainable menstruation. His presentation began with the story of how he started Muse and A Period of Sharing. While Muse was founded to look into the systematic problems our country has suffered from for a long time, A Period of Sharing began with sharing of sanitary napkins among poor women workers. “As we went on with our plan, we soon realized that it was not possible to continue this for long. There was a need for a sustainable solution,” said Nishant Bangera.

Credits: Photography and Videography Team, Revels ‘19

He talked about how menstruation, a natural process in a woman’s body, is not discussed openly in society and is considered to be a taboo. This mindset has led to ignorance towards the health issues related to it, which must be paid attention to. He informed the students about menstruation-related disorders such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), explained their impacts on a girl’s mental and physical health, and also the treatment for these disorders.

Nishant explained how brands have endorsed sanitary pads as the best product to be used by girls during their periods, whereas the fact remains that they are not the safest thing available. Displaying the composition of a sanitary pad in his presentation, he showed that the product is made up of plastic, artificial and chemical substances, and undergoes multiple chemical processes. He argued that the use of such pads or tampons, made up of synthetic fibres, could be detrimental to a woman’s health.

Offering a solution to the problem discussed, he advises women to switch to cloth pads or menstrual cups which are safer and budget friendly. Both these options are environmentally friendly because cloth pads are organically made and can be easily washed and reused whereas menstrual cups which are made up of medically graded silicon are extremely safe to use. He pointed out the benefits these two products have over sanitary pads, and why they are potentially good for sustainable menstruation.

Credits: Photography and Videography Team, Revels ‘19

Periods are often stigmatised in our country which gravely affects the female population of the society. Concluding his presentation, he shared his idea of a menstrual festival—Maasika Mahotsav—to celebrate the menstrual cycle. Along with his foundation, he started this initiative at a local level and now aims to promote it in all parts of the country. An interactive session followed the talk, where the students put forth their questions before Nishant Bangera and Dinesh Raghunathan. This actively engaged the students in a healthy discussion with the guests. The organisers concluded the event by sharing the details of their Revels 2019 activities and invited everyone to join them as they spread awareness about menstruation.

Featured Image Credits: Photography and Videography Team, Revels ‘19