A learning and growing community for Menstruation Hygiene with Welme and Milaan Foundation
With a mission to eradicate the pain of period cramps, we joined hands with the best-in-class technology to design a period pain relief device. But in our country making a solution for cramps stands second in line, most women don’t even know when their first period occurs, how to maintain menstruation hygiene, and what is a sanitary pad (yes, you read that right). We realized that we were just looking at the upper crust of this issue, the main problem lies in its roots. Illiteracy stood as the primary challenge for us, which was tackled with utmost patience, care and collaboration with the Milaan foundation.
Education is the primary right of every individual. The Eighty-Sixth Amendment of the Indian constitution under Article 21-A states that every individual in the age group of six to fourteen years has a right to free and compulsory education. Knowledge gives you the power to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, helps you make decisions logically and also develops other critical skills. Your knowledge and education are the sole reasons why you are currently able to read this blog, and I am able to write it. But what will happen if this necessary and pioneering pillar of your life is absent?
Imagine not getting your rights fulfilled. Imagine being discriminated on the basis of gender. Imagine living a life in a rural area where even the most primary and essential facilities and rights are not available to you. Too much for you? There are 39.4% adolescent girls in India who face this problem every single day. Not only do they lack the most basic education facilities, but they are forced to get married before the age of 18, and to top it all, they are treated as untouchables during the most natural and biological period cycle.
Taking a glance at this condition of the country, 4 individuals from the University of Delhi united in the year 2007 with a strong willpower to bring change. A mission to empower every girl with skills, rights and opportunities to unlock their voice, choice and potential, they laid the pillars for a non-governmental organization — “Milaan”. Since its inception, they have enriched the lives of many young girls and women by constructing schools, launching programs that solely contribute to women’s empowerment, spreading awareness about menstruation hygiene and much more.
Such vigorous steps always bring a wave of change that inspires others and builds a community collaborating to make a better world. Seeing this unwavering will, Welme also collaborated with Milaan and conducted a Zoom meeting with a group of rural women. At this conference, our founder Mrs. Preksha Chopra provided valuable insights into why the surrounding taboos are becoming the reason for silence on topics concerning menstruation and its hygiene. She bravely spoke on the cultural, conventional and traditional beliefs that are the pillars of the stigmas of the society. Moving forward, she enlightened the attendees about the significance of education in breaking stereotypes and how virtuous education can become a branch of challenging taboos and creating awareness among their own community.
This is our society, our community, and our country. You, me, our families and people of our age group are the ones who can bring change, who can spark conversations, who can pave the path towards a better and more understanding world. The change is within us, we just need to speak it out loud.