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October 2, 2017

India is a democratic country. We have the Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19. But do we really use this right in a real sense? There are so many things that consider taboo in our society, and people don't want to talk about it, nor do they even want to hear it. One of the most taboo things which are related to every girl's life is period. Yes, I will talk about Menstruation; I don't understand why people don't want to discuss this in public. India is the second-most populous country in the World; above 60% are youth. Still, people don't want to talk about Menstruation, child abuse, or sex education.

Having a period is expected. It's a part of every woman's life. You can't deny it or ignore it; no one can. Instead, men should start to understand this. I know our society and education system or our so-called Indian values don't allow us to do this or give proper education about it. In India, almost 50% girls of age 14 to 17 knew nothing about Menstruation. Due to a lack of facilities, 28% of girls were absent from school during periods. Around 70% of women in India say their families can't afford sanitary pads. Barely 12% of India's menstruating women use sanitary pads. These facts are alarming and disappointing. Many women use ashes, dried leaves, newspapers, old cloth, and husk sand to aid absorption, leading to infection or severe health issues. 

I remember an incident from my school where our teachers gathered all the girls in a hall and shut all the windows or doors, and made sure that no boys were watched or got to know what was exactly going on inside because few people came from Stayfree company to tell us about Menstruation and how to use sanitary pads but why everyone told us to keep this thing hidden from everybody? I mean, boys also have mothers or sisters in their house. In the future, they get married or having a girlfriend, then how would they understand their mood swings, cramps, or even PMS. Why Indian parents do not talk to their children about all this stuff? They should teach their sons that if they ever saw a bloodstain on the girl's cloth, they should don't feel nasty or make fun of or embarrass her in front of everyone. Just gently tell her about it or behave nicely to make her feel comfortable. Society doesn't allow to enter a girl into the temple or not even in the kitchen. Women are prohibited from participating in everyday life and day-to-day chores of her life. People consider them impure while menstruating. Such a taboo impacts girls' or women's mental or emotional state, lifestyle, and most important on their health. 

What is the Period?
A period is when a woman's body releases tissues it no longer needs. These tissues come from the Uterus, where a baby can develop in the female body. If the egg doesn't get fertilized, that lining is released from the body like blood through the Vagina for few days (approx 5 to 7 days). It first occurs in girls, usually between the age of 11 to 14 years.
Women get periods until menopause, which is when Menstruation and the ability to have children stop. In most women, it usually happens in their late 40s or 50s. However, it can happen earlier or later depending on the female body or hormones. 

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) - It will make a woman wish she was never born female. An intractable pain that can make a woman sad. Common symptoms include acne, tender breasts, bloating, feeling tired, irritability, and mood swings. It occurs a week or days before a woman's period. I got mood swings, a bad one that I can even kill a person if they make me feel bad about myself or irritates me a little bit. Guys act like women overreact but don't realize or know the suffering a woman goes through, and with all pain and suffering, a woman will complete her task. So be nice to your girlfriend or wife when they are on their period. 

I know it is hard for males, but it is not impossible to understand or talk about it because having a period is as normal as breathing. So next time when you see a woman purchasing a sanitary pad, don't give them a shitty look because purchasing a pad is normal, just like buying groceries or other things. Just provide a healthy and comfortable atmosphere for women because they deserve it. So many young girls often grow up with limited knowledge, so we have to spread awareness. Well, all men are not the same, and Praveen Nikam is the best example of this. He is also known as a Period man. He started an organization named Roshni in Pune, and his work is to talk about periods every day. He creates awareness about periods and myths related to them. India needs a lot of men like him. 

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