It’s not very easy to grow up into a woman. It is during those early teen years when a girl enters to womanhood during the phase of puberty. She is always taught, almost bombarded, with the ideals she is supposed to follow which are the pre- requisites of an ‘ideal’ woman. They say womanhood is a very important part of girl’s life but as soon as she tries to even grasp the changes, society already has standards set for her. This is the time when she is told not to go to temples or work, or go into a kitchen and tell anybody or talk about it and try to hide the sanitary supplies away from the eyes of onlookers.
What she should be made aware of is- the change needed to be brought in her diet, and how the amount of iron she will lose during menstruation can result to serious iron deficiency and anemia. Intake of spinach, lentils, pumpkin, banana and raisins should increase as they are rich in iron content though strawberries and dark chocolate have the highest. They are everyone’s dream and taste good with everything.
People use cloth pieces during menstruation and call it a ‘time piece’. This cloth is washed and used again and again which invites numerable diseases, as a few of them cannot afford sanitary napkins and even if they do, disposal becomes a problem. Users are instructed to wrap the sanitary napkins in a newspaper, cover it with a polythene bag and throw it in the dustbin. These bags from the dustbin are later taken out by dogs, cows and other animals who are attracted to this smell and they leave them on the road or eat them, what we fail to understand is if this blood is exposed to the air, it produces 1200 bacteria and viruses per minute! These bacteria can cause many diseases as they travel in the air we breathe.
Solution to this problem was discovered by Ms. Swati Bedekar who invented an eco-friendly and economical incinerator that is made of terracotta and cement. It works on the basis of a regular incinerator where in you put 30 to 40 sanitary supplies of the day and light them on fire through the hole provided to clean it. There are no toxic gases released. The ‘Ashudhinashak’ as it is rightly called avoids any inhibitions as, nobody can see the sanitary napkins or smell anything. This incinerator should be installed in washrooms or collectively in a society. It is pretty affordable than your hygiene. It costs only Rs. 1500 per Ashudhinashak.
What we need to understand is that it is a natural process and just because men don’t go through it doesn’t mean we are weaker and are to live in a world with rules set by others on how to live our life. The minute a little girl is born, she is already the woman she will be.
So, to empower a little girl is to empower the woman she will become.
Image Courtesy: childdevelopmentinfo.com