The menstrual period remains a taboo subject in India. Photo: iStock

White-clad college students sported red bands on their arms to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day in Mumbai. The event was part of a nationwide campaign aimed at getting across an important public health message: menstruation should no longer be a taboo. Period.

Over 70 male and female students gathered at Queen’s Necklace on Marine Drive on Sunday to condemn discriminatory practices in India, where menstruation is still considered a taboo subject. They drew more than 200 chalk images of sanitary pads on the sidewalk.

Indian women in certain sections of society are not allowed to go to temples, enter kitchens or touch plants when they are menstruating.

Similar events aimed at getting people to talk openly about menstruation were held in Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. 

Gopi Gupta, a member of Rotaract Club of KC College, which organized the event, told the Bombay Times, “Though periods are biological and every woman gets it, it is considered offensive to even mention it. Even today, it is believed that a woman is impure when she is menstruating. We are trying to shatter all these notions. Previously, we had organised activities with women from economically-backward backgrounds and educated them about menstrual hygiene.”