Aditi Gupta: Debunking India’s Biggest Taboo Subject With “Menstrupedia”

Aditi Gupta

Almost every girl in India must have heard these stigma sayings – ‘Don’t say it loud’, ‘Stay away from pickles’, ‘Don’t enter the temple’, and the list is still going. That’s how Menstruation is treated in both rural and urban parts of India. It doesn’t matter how much recognition Indians have received globally in terms of technology and development; “Periods” are still considered to be the epitome of taboos in the country. However, famous author Aditi Gupta and co-founder of Menstrupedia, who too faced such issues with the onset of periods in her early age, decided to break the jinx and started a movement to educate people about puberty.

Aditi has inspired several women out there in the world with her Menstrupedia comic. She took a definitive step to initiate the conversation which has long been neglected. 

Life before “Menstrupedia” came into Aditi’s mind

Aditi Gupta was born in Garhwa district, Jharkhand. Coming from a socially backward society, the thought of challenging the biggest taboo of India, menstruation, came into her mind at a very premature age. Aditi was 12 years old, when she first experienced the menstruation cycle.

In the beginning, she had no idea about what was she going through as nobody gave her proper guidance about this subject. Even her mother was surrounded by the myths related to periods just like everybody else in her society. Aditi’s family had a conservative mindset and so she was allowed to buy sanitary napkins from the medical store, instead she had to use piece of clothes as an alternative during her menstrual cycle. In addition to this, she also had to follow other orthodox beliefs related to periods such as, sleeping in a separate room, washing her own clothes, not permitted to touch any sacred thing etc.

Aditi was very shocked and disappointed after witnessing the lack of awareness and discussions among people about such a crucial topic that impacts every young girl’s life. Aditi bought her first sanitary pad at the age of 15 when she finally came to learn about the Menstruation in school. All this know-how method regarding periods led to the inspiration behind “Menstrupedia Comic”.

Origin of Menstrupedia

Aditi Gupta completed her post-graduationfrom National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad where she met her husband, Tuhin Paul. The couple was appalled to know the lack of education about Menstruation even in the most cultured parts. Identifying the similar situations in the modern communities as well, Aditi, along with her better half, Tuhin, launched a comic book “Menstrupedia” in 2012. In order to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene and puberty across every section of society, Aditi and Tuhin uploaded the comic on a website called Menstrupedia.com. The aim of the website is to present this information in a culturally-sensitive and an easy-to-understand way through digital media.

Aditi Gupta did her in-depth study for almost one year to come up with a solution to eradicate menstrual myths from the society. She communicated with several young girls and doctors to gather the information for her comic and that’s how she started Menstrupedia.

Success of Aditi’s well-researched plan

After a lot hard work and struggles, Aditi Gupta’s well-research plan of breaking the stereotypes and bringing a much-needed change in people’s mindset regarding periods got successful. It is evident from the fact that the materials developed by Menstrupedia are used by over 10,000 schools and hundreds of NGOs, corporates and Government organizations across the country. Not only in India, business model of Menstrupedia attracted foreign audience as well. For this admirable idea, Aditi was also named as Forbes 30 under 30 in 2014. Her sincere work was also featured in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and BBC.

2 Comments on “Aditi Gupta: Debunking India’s Biggest Taboo Subject With “Menstrupedia””

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