Youngistaan Foundation, an NGO, has taken a powerful step towards breaking the silence surrounding periods in prominent public spaces in Hyderabad and several other cities. They used placards to spread awareness about periods among the general public at local public spaces. The aim of this movement is to create a world where menstrual hygiene is embraced and celebrated. This empowering movement seeks to shatter the stigma and eliminate the discomfort and shame associated with discussing periods while raising awareness on safe menstruation.
The campaign has gone viral and witnessed participation from various parts of the country, including prominent locations such as Kirti Mandir, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar; Adam’s Fountain in Ooty; Connaught Place in New Delhi; Benz Circle in Vijayawada; Prakasam Krishna Barrage in Vijayawada; Vellore; and different places in Hyderabad, including Mozamjahi Market, Charminar, Secretariat, Ambedkar Statue, as well as various signal points and bus stops.
In addition, to celebrate World Menstrual Hygiene Day, a team of volunteers visited Gaddiannaram Basti Dawakhana with the purpose of promoting awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. They used storytelling techniques to enlighten them about the various challenges faced by women who lack knowledge about menstruation. The volunteers also provided explanations about the natural process of menstruation, methods for tracking menstrual cycle, balanced diet to follow during periods, suggested some simple exercises to manage period pain and its importance in maintaining good hygiene.
Starting from the onset of May, the organization has been hosting a month-long campaign called ‘Period Positivity’ that aims to reach 5 lakh lives. The campaign was organized in partnership with Global Menstrual Hygiene Day, MHAi and TSIC. Within the same initiative, a sub-campaign named “Igniting Change” has been organized. As part of this series, the team has conducted interviews with individuals involved in the menstrual health field, including menstrual advocates, researchers, innovative thinkers, and entrepreneurial figures from various parts of the globe.
Another sub-campaign, called “Period Power,” featured an open mic event hosted by the organization. Over 20+ artists in the city were invited to come together and actively challenge the taboos and stigma surrounding periods. The event aimed to create a safe and supportive space where artists could freely express themselves and contribute to breaking the societal barriers associated with menstruation.
So far, the gender program of Youngistaan Foundation has raised awareness among 1 million people. Youngistaan Foundation is one of India’s largest volunteer-driven organizations that works to improve the lives of the most underprivileged people through programs that address hunger, homelessness, livelihood, education inequality, gender equality, safe menstrual health, animal welfare and climate crisis through capacity building of young people and nurturing them into active citizens. All six programs of YF are aligned with 7 UN SDGs. Registered in 2014, the foundation has supported 3 million lives across 60 cities by engaging 70,000 young people and working in partnership with over 100 government, private and civil society organizations.