Saroja's Story of Menstrual Liberation

New Horizons: Saroja's Story of Menstrual Liberation

Pinkishe Foundation


The Hidden Struggle: Life in Nelamangala

Nestled beyond Bangalore's urban hustle, Nelamangala tells a different tale. In this rural setting, Saroja, a young girl of 16, faced a reality far removed from the city's progressiveness. Her coming-of-age was marred by age-old rituals that saw her isolated during her periods. Forced into a segregated room, forbidden from touching everyday objects for fear of 'contaminating' them, Saroja's menstruation became a time of exclusion and shame. The cultural norms were so deeply ingrained that even touching curtains was off-limits, as they would then need washing. Saroja's days of menstruation were lonely and filled with a sense of being 'untouchable', a stark contrast to the communal and vibrant nature of rural Indian life.

A Ray of Hope: Pushpalata Steps In

In the midst of this stifling atmosphere, Pushpalata emerged as a breath of fresh air. A woman who had faced similar taboos back in Bangalore, she found her calling after connecting with Pinkishe Foundation. Trained in menstrual health and hygiene management, she set out to dismantle the myths shrouding menstruation in rural areas. Her mission led her to VR Palya, a small part of Nelamangala, where she planned to conduct menstrual literacy sessions. It was here that Pushpalata's path crossed with Saroja's. For Saroja, meeting Pushpalata was like opening a window in a suffocating room. Pushpalata's candid talk about menstruation, a subject that was taboo at Saroja's home, intrigued and shocked her simultaneously. 

Unveiling Truths: A Memorable Workshop

The workshop day was transformative. Pushpalata, with her engaging approach, broke down the myths surrounding menstruation in a way that resonated with the young girls. Saroja listened, spellbound, as she learned about the naturalness of her body's process. This knowledge was empowering, lifting the veil of fear and stigma she had lived under.

Saroja's Quiet Transformation: Steps Toward Change

The workshop planted seeds of change in Saroja. While a single session couldn't undo deeply ingrained beliefs overnight, it did spark a subtle shift in her mindset. Empowered by newfound knowledge, Saroja took small but significant steps. She joined her classmates in requesting sanitary pads at school for emergencies, demonstrating a growing awareness and self-advocacy. At home, she began to gently question the restrictive practices, sharing her insights with her mother and grandmother. While not all traditions changed immediately, Saroja's actions marked the beginning of a gradual shift in attitude, both in her and in those around her.

Conclusion: The Ripple Effect

Saroja's journey is a testament to the power of knowledge and the potential for change in even the most traditional settings. Pushpalata's workshop was the catalyst, but Saroja's bravery in embracing and spreading this new understanding showcases the beginning of a larger movement. It's a story of hope and empowerment, where one girl's awakening becomes the key to unlocking a more informed and accepting community.

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