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Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management.
Period poverty has always been present in India. India always has had a backwards attitude towards menstruation. Girls are ostracized from regular activities during their monthly period. Society thinks that menstruation is something impure. As a result of this, girls miss school. A 2014 report by the NGO Dasra titled Spot On! found that 70 percent of mothers with menstruating daughters considered menstruation ‘dirty’. They are also supposed to be discreet about this and are not supposed to talk about menstruation around men.
There is a lack of awareness on menstruation. Many girls who live in rural areas have no knowledge on periods until they get it for the first time. In fact, in the 2014 report of the NGO Dasra, they found that almost 23 million girls drop out of school due to a lack of menstrual hygiene, awareness and lack of sanitary products.
In many poor areas, there are many who can’t afford sanitary products so they keep reusing the same material which is dangerous and causes infections. There is also a lack of water in these areas and a menstruating girl needs basic sanitation.
What can be done is to make menstrual products of all varieties (such as tampons or menstrual cups) much easier to buy and make it more available all across India. They can raise more awareness. It not only helps girls understand more about menstruation, but boys can be more aware about periods which will help reduce the stigma around periods. They can introduce more water schemes to help conserve water. They can also build more toilets and hand washing areas to make it easier for women. Menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of.