Story Of A Girl From Tarahunise Village
Pavitra from Tarahunise a village in north Bangalore is doing some amazing work in the field of solid waste management and we wanted to document what she is doing. Fixed up an appointment with her and headed to Tarahunise early on a Saturday morning. She had invited a few women in the village who had switched to Menstrual cups to talk to me. As I was waiting for them Pavitra recounted her journey with the menstrual cup. The first thing that struck me was how comfortable Pavitra was speaking about Menstruation which was very refreshing, to say the least. For a girl to speak boldly about her personal experience with the Cups was an achievement in itself. Mostly we see women hesitant when asked about Menstruation and here’s a young woman readily agreeing to give an interview on camera. As with all first-time cup users, she too had apprehensions which vanished when she started using the cups! Now she is a proud user and recounts the inconveniences she faces while using napkins versus how comfortable she is with the cup now. Chafing, bad odour, shifting were some of her bad experiences with sanitary napkins. Along with this, she would always feel bad about throwing the soiled napkins knowing that it will be handled by a municipal worker and that it may end up in landfills or worse in drains or roadsides! She decided that she will convince other women to switch to menstrual cups based on her own experience. Pavitra is also spreading the message of segregation and waste management in Tarahunise.
As we were chatting, Shaila a 50-year-old exuberant woman who’s a grandmother walked in. She could not praise the cups enough. She loves them and her only regret is that she didn’t find the cup earlier. She has gotten her sister and her daughter to switch to cups too. I loved the way she had no hesitation about speaking about Menstruation and she like Pavitra had only good things to say about the cup. By then Roopa had joined us and she told me that her menstrual cramps had reduced considerably after she switched to Cups. She said that she would hesitate to leave the house during her period earlier but now she goes out bravely without fear of leaking and chafing. She used to have skin rashes after every period due to the rubbing of the napkins against her skin. Now she says she has forgotten what rashes are. These are all women who do physically intensive work every day and using cups successfully. Two more women who were sitting on the fence not able to decide whether to switch to cups were also there. I was amazed to see how these three cup users argued their case and convicted them to start using the cups. Wish more women were like them. They were not only choosing a healthy option for themselves they were choosing a healthy option for Mother Earth too... cup users do not generate sanitary waste which is one of the bigger problems in solid waste management. Tons and tons of sanitary waste is lying in landfills and choking many drains causing huge problems to civic agencies. Why can’t more women opt for this amazingly healthier option? Your guess is as good as mine. We need more people like Pavitra and her gang of gutsy women to change this scene. She has vowed to get as many women as she can to join her movement. We wish her all the best in her endeavour and hope that every village has a Pavitra who can change the world and make it Green...
- Malini Parmar