If you are passionate about teaching, then Hackberry offers you franchise opportunities to turn this passion into your profession. Fill out the form now!
Moving over to using a mentrual cup from sanitary pads has been a revelation of sorts - that I was privileged enough to have pads in the first place, something 40% of Indian women don't.
Moving over to using a mentrual cup from sanitary pads has been a revelation of sorts – that I was privileged enough to have pads in the first place, something 40% of Indian women don’t.
About eight months ago, for the first time I tried a menstrual cup. My life hasn’t been the same since then. It was a tough decision for me to switch from sanitary pads to menstrual cups, even at the age of 26, but I took that leap anyway.
My first interaction about periods was with my mother, during menarche. She explained to me what periods were and how to deal with them through menstrual products. The first product that I was given (because can you explore menstrual products by yourself that age!?) was a sanitary pad, as standard as it is for India. I have been using a pad and allowing it to give me rashes, pain, and make me uncomfortable month after month and year after year since then.
Around a year ago, while watching a video on menstrual cups, I seriously considered exploring more options that were mainly less traumatic for me. I found out about menstrual cups and read more articles on it only to realise that I had no idea about this alternative because I never really talked comfortably and freely about this to a group of people.
I was still a 25-year-old Indian woman, carrying sanitary pads in black bags from the pharmacy store and never bothered to think what was wrong with it.
And then I switched to menstrual cups; as scared as I was inserting something inside of me and not wanting to end up in a hospital with a cup inside my vagina, I really wanted to get rid of pads.
But in this process, I also was on a journey to realise what privilege I had and how it put added responsibility on me.
As convenient and as entitled I felt to use plastic every day of my life, I realised the plastic of the pad was not only bad for the environment but also for the body. The plastic from the sanitary pads mostly go to landfills, and is non-biodegradable.
Managing of menstrual waste is a problem in almost all developing countries, and while I was harming the environment by using plastic almost for every other thing in my life, I was adding menstrual waste to this load of tonnes of solid waste as well. And while I felt responsible for contributing to polluting the environment, I also knew that I was lucky enough to be able to make a choice between menstrual cups, cloth pads, and sanitary pads (plastic ones).
Only around 57% of women in India can afford pads, as if a luxury. And this luxury is harming them and eventually everyone else through the environment.
When I got to contemplating my choices, I realised about the privilege I had. The fact that I didn’t have to use a cloth while on my period and putting my body at a greater risk only made me thankful of being born in a family that could make ends meet and buy me pads. It was this realisation that got me to thinking about what an opportunity I wasted all these years by not switching earlier and doing the bit I had the capacity of doing, for saving nature even a tad.
If you could read this article all the way till here, I would only wish that you sit today and thank god that you have had the privilege to use pads till now, because more than 40% of women in India cannot, even if they wanted to. Maybe like me, if you also realise this privilege and look at it as an opportunity to make responsible choices for menstrual products, the world may become a better place.
Menstrual Cup. Picture by Tanisha Venkani
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
When she isn't around dogs, Tanisha Venkani is a Master's student at Azim Premji University. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Beauty is a very clever, very evil capitalist tool. It traps those who have it into hanging on to it for dear life and those who don't into mutilating, torturing themselves to achieve the unachievable.
I recently wrote a piece about MP Shashi Tharoor’s tweet in which he had shared a pic with six women parliamentarians tagging them and saying “Who says the Lok Sabha isn’t an attractive place to work?”
There was a rash of comments on the post shared on Instagram, which ranged from “chill, it’s just a compliment” and “stop overthinking compliments”, to (worried) men lamenting about “these feminazi”.
Here’s my answer to all those comments.
Periods have no smell! This is what I discovered when I started using menstrual cups, and here's the story of how I got to it.
Periods have no smell! This is what I discovered when I started using menstrual cups, and here’s the story of how I got to it.
Four months back my friend shared a story about a work site, where he was laying underground petroleum pipelines. Every time the earth drilling machine drilled into the depths of the earth, it used to get stuck. The team couldn’t understand the reason as they were using one of the finest drilling machines with state of the art technology. So my friend ordered the drilling equipment in-charge to pull back the drill bits as it was, from the earth.
He was shocked to see sanitary pads, plastic ropes and plastic bags clogging the pores of the drilling equipment – this was leading to its choking/getting stuck.
Cloth-based reusable pads are a great alternative if you want to move from disposable sanitary napkins to more eco-friendly options. Here's a quick primer to help you make the switch.
Cloth-based reusable pads are a great alternative if you want to move from disposable sanitary napkins to more eco-friendly options. Here’s a quick primer to help you make the switch.
For all these years, like most of the urban Indian female population, I have been using disposable sanitary napkins.
I have been constantly feeling the need to move on to more sustainable products and so, during the 2020 lockdown, I decided that this would be a good time to experiment.