Being a girl from an Asian country, it is pretty common to see girls using cottons/ normal clothes to hide the marks of her period from everyone.

Every now and then, you will get to see some or the other girl being victim of Urinary Tract Infection commonly known as UTI. It is pretty obvious that nothing but their basic hygiene is the root cause of the same.

Not only due to high poverty rate, but also due to lack of proper education, 4 out of 5 girls in these countries, are not using sanitary pads. Where the high price of sanitary napkins is one of the main causes people prefer using any random clothes and reuse the same, on the other hand maximum of the population thinks using a pad is unsanctified. Their spiritual belief says, if a girl is on her period, she is cursed for those few days. Their right to enter holy places like temple, mosque, church is compromised.

First of all, we all need to know what ‘Menstruation’ is.  A period, or menstruation, is the shedding of the lining of the womb. Women have a period approximately every 28 days; however, there is some variation in this cycle, ranging from a 24-day to a 35-day cycle. A period is part of the woman’s menstrual cycle. It is a sign that the body is functioning normally. If you do not have the cycle on time, that is an issue.  Throwing out the impure blood of your body does not anyhow make you impure.

Now, as we have already spoke about what a period is, let’s go to maintaining the feminine hygiene. Maintaining your basic hygiene is important for every single person, including every woman. Especially on these days, a woman needs to keep herself clean. Using a normal cotton or clothes, could be dangerous and infectious. Sanitary pads are not purely made of cotton but they’re made of cellulose gel.  Napkins are made to absorb wetness. That is why aside from cotton, they also contain rayon, a synthetic fiber. Absorbing the wetness is important to protect yourself from dangerous virus/ bacteria. In order to protect yourself, it is basic right for each and every woman to maintain their hygiene and use the sanitary pads.

Now, let’s talk about sex. Having sex with your partner is completely your choice. It is not a mandate, but just a physical need. Having a safe sex is certainly important, not only to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but to avoid diseases like aids. And so, condoms come into the picture. Though, study says, it is not always 100% safe to have sex with a condom, however, up-to some point, it saves you.

Hence, there are various kind of condoms available in market from low range to high range. Different flavors, dotted, extra dotted and so the lost goes on.

If one wishes, they can stop themselves from having sex, but a woman, can not hold herself from having period. Pleasure is necessary, not mandate. But bleeding on the right time of every month, is not a choice, but an important mandate.

Recent study shows that Govt. has deprecated the taxes on Sanitary napkins, but the MRPs on the branded sanitary napkins still read the price inclusive of all taxes.  With today’s advanced technology, we can certainly make pads much cheaper for those who can not afford to buy such expensive napkins. Study shows, period is most expensive for low and medium budget family. Many hospitals are giving out condoms for free in order to avoid health hazards, but we hardly see anyone giving out free tampon to the women who badly needs it.  If you can not maintain your health and hygiene, soon enough you will lose the ability of having  pleasure as well.

Before writing this blog, I took review of few people on this. Here we go:

Himanshu Singh, an aspirant for civil services says:

“Sex is a choice menstruation is not. Sex comes up with consent of two people and on the other hand menstruation is not a choice. Different countries have different age limits to officially indicate you of being an adult and can have sex. But if you are born as a girl child, you must deal with your periods. Condoms used for having safe sex is available at  rates of your desire.
Luxury tonight- ultra thin
Flavored? Oh? Which one for tonight?
Dotted or extra dotted?
Or just a “nirodh”(govt. issuing condoms to health centers for villagers available at cheaper rates).

Whereas on the other hand napkins are sold at higher rates.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced a scheme for promotion of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 year in rural areas. The major objectives of the scheme are:
• To increase access to and use of high-quality sanitary napkins to adolescent girls in rural areas.
•To dispose them safely in an environment friendly nature.
The scheme was initially implemented in 2011 in 107 selected districts in 17 States wherein a pack of six sanitary napkins called “Free days” was provided to rural adolescent girls for Rs. 6. From 2014 onwards, funds are now being provided to States/UTs under National Health Mission for decentralized procurement of sanitary napkins packs for provision to rural adolescent girls at a subsidized rate of Rs 6 for a pack of 6 napkins.

Yet I wonder how these napkins will be efficient enough for the women of our country as still the most of our population is rural.

On the other hand, high quality napkin manufacturers are increasing the rates drastically for their own profits.”

Juvin, my co-writer says:

“In other countries, the price of tampons or sanitary napkins is not an issue but in India. However, in India also there are too many options available but when it comes about the quality, it’s certainly a pinch in the pocket. Sex is optional and so the protection as well. But period is a painful habit that all women have to adhere to without any option. Hence the price should be at least half of it and of course without reducing the quality as it relates to women hygiene.”

Riya, my co-writer says:

“Sex is a choice. If you are of legal age, and want to have it, it’s your choice completely. But menstruation is a natural process in girls. That’s not a choice. Neither you can change it. You want it or not, you have to go through it.”

Samar, the admin of this page says:

“As the govt of India has already removed the taxes from the Sanitary napkins, ideally it should go down, but as Pratiksha said earlier, instead of going down, it went up (for obvious reasons). I think there are somethings, which can be kept apart from politics and business. There are multiple countries, which offers free sanitary napkins, condoms and other necessities for free. I think it’s time we should start raising our voices for these basic needs when asked for votes. Coming to a personal point of view, There are multiple countries, which gives paid/unpaid leaves for menstruation, It’s a painful time for all the women. We should support them emotionally and in all the ways possible. They deserve it.”

Rhea, who works in MNC says:

Of course the price of sanitary napkins shouldn’t be increased.. on the contrary, these should be distributed at a cheaper rate or at no cost, especially in rural areas where women still use unhygienic pieces of clothes. they should be educated about hygiene first. of course money is a factor. people should understand the basic difference about rice and biriyani, one being necessity and the other being luxury.

There are many people who are working on the betterment of women’s hygiene and still somewhere we are lagging it. It’s time, we unite and take a step forward so that every woman lives a healthy life. We all deserve it.

I would personally love to hear from all our readers about how their country is doing about it. So please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sharing the little you have with those in need can turn around a life without you realizing it..
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