Pad Parade, one of the highlight events of the year at Myna Foundation was conducted on the day of Menstrual Hygiene Day on Sunday, 28th May, 2023. The event in Khar and Govandi mustered about 183 people including women, men and children of different age groups, who carried slogans and posters in hindi and english, some including, “Mansik chakra se na raho anjaan, karo stri shakti par abhimaan” or “ Rather than being oblivious to the period cycle be proud to be a woman” and “Make periods table talk”. All present raised their voices in a singular and resounding protest to demand change and make a difference.
This year we were sponsored by Zixa, who have launched a new product for alleviating menstrual pain, Zixa Strong- Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On. Zixa also organised a game to burst balloons in order to burst common myths about menstruation, such as ‘periods don’t hurt’ and ‘one should be ashamed about their bodies and periods. We were also supported by Chaya Pawar of the Nirbhaya Patak team, Constable Patil, Sheela Gavkar- the area volunteer and Abhimanyu Sir- incharge of the Sai Baba Temple. They helped greatly in making this event a success.
Through this parade, we at Myna encourage that periods are a point of pride and not a point of shame. Every year this parade is held to bust myths regarding periods and make it a normal conversation by aiming to challenge taboos, demand access to menstrual products, promote menstrual health education, and empower women to embrace their bodies in the urban slums of the city by making it interactive and fun.
On the other hand, the other event was conducted in the middle of a community in the closed space of one of the slum pockets of Jawaharnagar of Khar East area. Women and girls of all ages participated in this event and they learnt and enjoyed at each of the stalls about the process of menstruation, maintaining hygiene during periods through fun activities. For the beneficiaries, menstrual health and hygiene stalls were set up. These included stations for menstrual hygiene, hand hygiene, nutrition, myth-busting games, and a selfie station. These stations provided information on the biology of periods, proper hygiene practices, where to dispose of menstrual products, and myth-busting activities. This event served as a great mechanism to create awareness on menstruation and personal hygiene among the community of girls and women. Both events helped gain awareness among women of the slums to gain a new perspective and educate themselves.