Menstrual Hygiene: A Cause Of Concern
Northeast Today|November 2021, Volume 11, Issue 11
Menstrual hygiene in Indian society, for many centuries, has remained a cause of serious concern, even though menstruation is a natural process for every girl on attaining puberty. In many corners of the country, menstruation walks shoulderto-shoulder with innumerable taboos and myths; and the state of Assam is not exceptional to it.
Juthika Baruah

Like many other states, in Assam, one discussing menstruation in front of boys is a strict ‘no-no.’ In many places, especially in the rural areas, a girl going through her monthly menstruation has to pass the days as if God has cursed her!

No one talks about it ‘openly,’ and if a girl, by any mistake, talks about it in the open, she is treated like a sinner who has committed a grievous sin and the biggest ever mistake of her life.

Menstruation is a natural process, and every female being man and animal alike- goes through a monthly menstruation cycle.

A girl is unable to conceive and give birth until and unless she attains the age of menstruation. But what is mainly observed in Assam is that one can talk about giving birth as acceptable, but speaking about menstruation is a crime.

In most remote areas, even after so much scientific and medical advancement, most girls are not aware of menstrual hygiene- one thing which is very important for their wellbeing and disease-free health. And due to this lack of knowledge and an unhygienic environment, many girls even die.

Over the past few years, the government has initiated steps to bring about awareness on menstrual hygiene, and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is one such initiative. It is an integral part of the Swachh Bharat Mission guidelines. MHM framework states- access to knowledge and information, safe menstrual absorbents, water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure, and access to safe disposal of used menstrual absorbents.

However, what has been observed is that most girls from rural areas don’t even get a sanitary napkin to use while they go through their menstruation cycle. Instead, they use a piece of ‘dirty’ cloth, which is unhygienic and gives birth to several health issues.

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