Interaction with women - Village Gamdidgaon
Women from 5 villages of Uttarkashi sat down for Goonj’s NJPC awareness sharing meeting.. We noticed an interesting divide.. the group was divided half and half between younger and older women. As the discussion veered to the topic of breaking taboos, immediately the older generation women strongly opposed the discussion and raised questions. “Why are you manipulating these women on this unaddressed, not-to-be spoken issue?” Interestingly, this was met with a robust argument by the younger, middle-aged women. They didn't want the session to end. They said they were eager to listen, to share the challenges they face and the shame they experience around menstruation. They wanted a platform to speak openly about the various problems they face like menstrual health issues, rituals and the hygiene challenges.
This is a harsh reality.. Women reuse their old clothes without washing and sometimes do not have any clothes for managing the flow. They suffer a lot both physically and psychologically, turning the natural process of menstruation into a reason for so many hardships. These women were clear why they wanted the session to continue - We don’t want our children to go through what we went through.
What stood out was the determination of these women who spoke up. Once they become more aware about menstruation and menstrual hygiene, we hope that this is what will drive the change in the remote villages of Uttarkashi. The women also filled up the NJPC- A million voices form during the session.
Goonj’s NJPC awareness sessions are held across Uttarakhand and other parts of the country with village women to get them to share about their lives, menstrual practices and challenges. The sessions are aimed at making them aware of this ignored subject, apart from providing MY-Pads to them.
Interaction with women - Village Gyanja
Interaction - Village Nismor
Interaction at Village Sald
Village Uttro - Interaction