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World MHM Day - Mrs.India 2016 Sneha Shergill
Speech delivered by Mrs.Sneha Shergill at the World MHM Day program as Brand Ambassador for MHM in India by Gramalaya
Good afternoon everybody, respected guests, dear audience and esteemed members of the organization Gramalaya, that has been working in the field of Menstrual hygiene and Management for women of all age groups, in rural and urban India.
I’m proud to be present here amidst a group of social activities who chose to touch a topic which is still considered as a taboo for many communities. You all at Gramalaya did not consider periods to be a curse or a problem for women but rather chose to empower them to consider their periods to be a blessing and educated them to follow proper standards/methods of hygiene. So, I’m humbled and motivated to be the Brand Ambassador for Feel Free Cloth Pads and I proudly say that all of you at Gramalaya are the real Ambassadors of Health and Hygiene.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may we please have a huge round of applause for the entire team of Gramalaya. Today when we celebrate MHM day all over the world , I particularly feel blessed and privileged as a women to stand under one roof with all of you openly discuss this very important issue or let’s call it a natural occurrence in every girl’s life, a biological function.
I have always believed that we, as women are excellent multi taskers. We play several roles in our private and social lives but at the same time, we have most often neglected our own health.
As a society that we have lived and been brought up in, we celebrate the coming of age in Young girls, sometimes superstitiously tell them not to eat or touch pickle ,not to step into the kitchen, not to jump and play around during those 4-5 days but we as a society never questioned the methods this young girl was using to stay clean and hygienic during her periods. Talking about Periods has been a stigma and the myths around this natural bodily function has not only affected girls physically but also mentally and emotionally.
We see enticing offers on TV commercials showing a super absorbent pad, a pad that will not hinder your daily activity, a pad that has a layer of perfume to combat the period smell, pads in different sizes that protect you from soiling your clothes day and night?
It’s depressing how we thought that we were able to handle the “Period” concern for the last so many decades just by making a sanitary pad available.
What we did not think was the damage and rashes these pads caused to our skin, the number of hours we wore the pad and how we became more susceptible to other gynecological problems, the amount of plastic and chemical waste we started adding to our environment… all of this beyond measures today.
Can you imagine? It takes over 500 years for the materials in one pad to decompose. One single pad! And based on research, we generate 1000’s of tons of sanitary waste annually by using these non-biodegradable pads. So, according to this, you should know that the pads you are throwing every month will still be here on this earth long after you are gone.
It’s practically impossible to handle this kind of waste. Our government and civic bodies are struggling to cover the lacunae in implementation of waste management. That being said, don’t you think it is equally our responsibility to make informed choices and not be the reason for our landfills to be dumped with non- recyclable and non- biodegradable waste? This is where we feel an organization like Gramalaya come under the spotlight for doing their bit by creating awareness amongst women and educating them to follow the right practices. This organization has started a conversation, they have started a movement that all of us must support.
Feel Free Cloth Pads definitely take us back to our roots but with a twist. This is not just a piece of cloth that we were using years ago. These cloth pads are designed and produced using an advanced approach with many hours of efforts put in for R&D.
As much as this world belongs to you, it belongs to me and to each one of us. And there’s only one world we have! The way we take care of and protect ourselves when we find ourselves in harm’s way, we need to come together and protect our world too.
The thing to remember is that the color of your blood is not blue.
So, Bleed with pride and dignity and with a greater degree of attention to your health and hygiene. No more Shame! No more Embarrassment No more Awkwardness! No more Regrets! No more Compromises! All of this is possible! It can happen if girls are more aware of their rights bodies and their powers and only then will she completely feel liberated, only then will she take a stand for herself and against the orthodox practices. And we as women have to uplift each other and bring about this change. My journey in this field has begun… thank you once again for all your love and kind support.
Feel Free to have a safe and happy period.
Join us to start period conversations because period Matters. Period.