Whispering in ears, secretly carrying the tabooed pad covered in newspaper and then in a black colored polyethylene bag, saying your head is aching when you are dying because of the pain and cramps, keeping a smiling face in front of your brother and father so that they don’t come to know that you are “on your days.”
Such is a life of an Indian girl every month of the year for more than 30-39 years and they have to pay the price of being a woman and carrying out a biological process that she cannot control of naturally.
The women across the urban areas of India are protesting against the tax levied on the sanitary napkins. Along with a selected proportion of the population of men, petitions are being signed, campaigns are initiated and rallies are being held to urge the government to remove the tax on the sanitary napkins. With the new bill of taxation being passed in the parliament, the government decided to remove the tax on sindoor rather than from the sanitary napkins. Might have been a goof up!
Sindoor or vermilion is put by married women as a symbol of auspiciousness. Not every woman puts vermilion after marriage but requires the napkins nevertheless. There have been discussions on the generation of money with the sales of pads but is it just to pay 12-14% taxes for a hygienic activity? The pads do harm the environment but the traditional methods may cause infections which can be fatal.
Even if the tax is levied on the pads, the awareness about menstruation and the use of hygienic products during the period should be spread among women and men all over India and let the taboo begone.
The petition for removal of tax on sanitary napkins can be found here.
The posters are created by Kunal Parmar whom you can find on Instagram for more striking posters relating to social issues.