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18 Feb 2020, 18:14 HRS IST
  • PTI
    • Features
  • Boys, let's talk about that time of the month!
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  • cle so that they become comfortable with the idea," she said.

    Greater awareness can also lead to breaking old taboos, with the young taking the lead in this regard.

    "Girls can turn around and explain to their mothers why it isn't something to be ashamed of," said Saranya Das Sharma, a class 12 student and founder of Projekt Sashakt, which provides biodegradable sanitary napkins to underprivileged girls in and around New Delhi.

    In many families, menstruating women are not allowed to touch pickles because they believe it will turn bad if they did so. Menstruating women are not allowed into some temples, and, under some customs, made to stay in an outhouse during the period of bleeding.

    The young could end up changing the mindset of older people, which would percolate down to the next generation, Saranya said.

    The drive to eliminate taboos connected with menstruation has gathered momentum over the years, and changed since the time Gupta's 15-year-old menstruating cousin was asked to eat on the floor while the rest of the family dined on the table back in the seventies.

    Thanks to the campaigns, menstruation is being demystified. Recently, Kerala became the first state in the country to make installation of sanitary napkin vending machines compulsory in all higher secondary schools.

    But the time has come for adolescent boys to say the word period without a snigger.

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