A Teacher's Journey

Transforming Taboos: A Teacher's Journey

Pinkishe Foundation


Menstrual Education: A taboo subject even in Schools

In the remote Arazi Lane block in tradition-rich Varanasi, nestled amongst lush fields, lies a small government school. This school, a 45-minute drive from the bustling heart of Varanasi city, is a haven for 60 adolescent girls, guided by the dedication of 6 teachers.

Varanasi, a city steeped in religious fervor and ancient customs, has long held menstruation as a subject shrouded in taboo. Aarti (name changed), a young and devoted school teacher at this institution, found herself grappling with this deeply ingrained societal stigma.

The Day of Regret

One unassuming day, a pivotal incident unfolded. A young girl, amidst her class, faced the onset of her period. The sight of a blood spot led Aarti to promptly send the girl home, advising her to stay away from school for a few days. In Aarti's eyes, this natural process was not a topic open for discussion or support.

Udaan Project: Wings of Knowledge

A few weeks later, entered the Udaan project, an initiative spearheaded by the Flipkart Foundation, aiming to shed light on menstrual health and hygiene (MHHM). This project marked the arrival of educators from the Pinkishe Foundation, a renowned Delhi-based organization committed to eradicating period poverty and breaking menstrual taboos.

A Transformation Begins

Pinkishe educators were conducting Menstrual Health Management (MHM) training in many nearby schools. In the training in Aarti’s school, initially reluctant, she had to join her students when asked by the Headmaster. The educators from Pinkishe Foundation delved deep into the science of menstruation, the usage and importance of sanitary pads, and maintaining hygiene. Crucially, they also addressed the societal taboos, highlighting menstruation as a normal and essential bodily function and the need for open conversation and mutual support - more so on the part of school teachers!

The Awakening

Aarti's perspective underwent a profound transformation. She recognized the mistake of her adherence to these taboos and the urgent need to support and guide her students as a mentor and friend.

A New Chapter

Months later, a call from Aarti to Pinkishe Foundation unveiled a heartening shift. Another young girl at her school had begun her period. This time, Aarti approached with understanding and care, offering a sanitary pad and a comforting presence. This marked a significant leap – not just for Aarti, but for every young girl who would step into her classroom.

Conclusion: A Future Unshackled from Taboos

Aarti's journey, from a teacher bound by societal norms to a guiding light of support and knowledge, encapsulates the transformative power of education and empathy. It's a testament to how initiatives like Pinkishe Foundation can reshape perspectives and foster an environment where menstruation is no longer a subject of shame, but a natural, openly discussed aspect of life.

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