Udaipur : East or West, feminine issues and taboos related to menstruation remains the same, menstrual hygiene is yet a least discussed subject specially in the rural areas, claim the women delegates from North eastern states who are in Udaipur to participate in a workshop connected with menstrual management. The workshop is jointly being held by Ministry of Tribal Development and Jatan Sansthan, a voluntary organization working in the field of menstrual hygiene in South Rajasthan. Twelve women hailing from different tribal communities from the north eastern parts of the country are being trained to make reusable sanitary pads that are not only durable but environment and user friendly.These women are representatives of different self help groups that work for empowering women through sustainable sources of livelihood.
“Women in our state are quite empowered however, we too are laid in constraints during periods” Hilda Marak from Meghalaya said. Vergenia a member of Nightingale Federation, a women self help group said that after learning to make the sanitary pads from here, she would impart the knowledge to dozens of other women in her group which would help them to become self dependent. Memosa, a resident of Vakhetna village in Changlang district told Udaipur Kiran” My village is the last in the eastern most corner of the country and in our community, though people have realized that menstruation is a normal biological process, yet, women folk are made to feel like untouchables during those days. Unless women are economically independent, they wont be able to fight these social discrimination prevalent in society”.
Olivia from Manipur said she loved the Rajasthani culture and the simplicity of people, however, the urban areas should be more cleaner and roads should be free of the menace of stray cattle. The northeast team interacted with the rural women here who have been making and marketing reusable sanitary pads for years now. Om Gayri from Jatan Sansthan said that the NGO has imparted training to women representatives of self help groups in 22 states so far and all of them are engaged in making the reusable sanitary pads and earning livelihood through them.