Mar 4: There are no girly giggles or embarrassing glances as Irfana Zargar
discusses issues related to menstrual hygiene.
the last more than a month, she has been traveling across Srinagar city to
identify the female public washrooms so that she could place sanitary napkins
to help menstruating women in distress.
of the taboos around women’s menstrual health, the 29-year-old has launched
`Eva’s safety door’ wherein she distributes sanitary napkin packs among the
attendants of public toilets in Srinagar city for use by women for free.
is neither paid by the government nor any agency but spends from her pocket
just to ensure no woman is forced to go without a sanitary pad.
from old city’s Nowshera, she has zeroed in on four public washrooms in the Lal
Chowk area of the summer capital, where women and girls have access to
free-of-cost sanitary pads. Along with pads, they can also have access to
sanitary items like panties, antispasmodic drugs, hand washes, and sanitizers.
Chowk is a major shopping center where a large number of women come every day
to buy items of day-to-day requirements. But they always face problems in
accessing hygienic toilets with facilities for sanitary napkins and their safe
disposal,” said Irfana, who works as helpline assistant at Srinagar Municipal
the project, she is planning to cover all the public washrooms in Srinagar in
the coming days.
is a need to create awareness on a larger scale. Second, stigma must be tackled
relentlessly. The cultural norm that menstruating women are in some way
“unclean” must end,” Irfana said.
Irfana is determined to launch a campaign for easy access to sanitary methods. “The more we talk about it, the better it will be. It is a natural phenomenon and we need to help all girls get their basic right to bleed hygienically,” concluded Irfana.