Don’t thrust sanitary pads on rural women without their consent: Prabha Rao

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Prabha Rao, retd. IPS & intelligence officer, speaking at the News Intervention Talk --
Prabha Rao, retd. IPS & intelligence officer, speaking at the News Intervention Talk --"Inside the Mind of an Indian Woman"

The recently concluded News Intervention Talk—“Inside the Mind of an Indian Woman” discussed a range of topics about women, which included safety, health and hygiene. Dr Bijayalaxmi Nanda (Acting Principal Miranda House, Delhi University), Ms. Prabha Rao (retd. IPS & Intelligence Officer) and Padma Shri Deepa Malik (Khel Ratna Awardee 2019) were the three panelists for this conversation who shared their thoughts regarding a woman’s power and capabilities. It was a platform where discussions centered around women safety, misconceptions about menstrual hygiene, patriarchy, women trafficking, and top to down approach to make policies available at the grassroots.

Dr. Bijayalaxmi Nanda said that rarely in this world one gets to know that a woman’s mind has been celebrated, the focus has always been on the body of the woman.

Also, it was shocking to know that an eminent advertisement filmmaker rejected Deepa Malik for brand endorsements. This ad filmmaker said quite bluntly that no brand would be interested in selling their product through an old and crippled body. Deepa Malik’s endless struggles with her disability and extraordinary achievements is nothing less than epic.

Deepa Malik highlighted that there are no government schemes on women’s safety and protection. She stressed upon the need to have a mechanism to create awareness with active women consultation in remote areas and allow those who are actively participating in the Panchayats to be understood.

Prabha Rao underlined the need to take right approach towards menstrual health. She explained that sanitary pads were thrust upon rural women without even consulting them. Without proper disposal facilities in the rural areas, these pads remained scattered all around in the villages and the accompanying plastic sheets occupied the landfill sites where cows ate them, which created a menace. This garbage eventually turned into breeding ground for dengue and other germs.

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