Comic for period revolution

Menstrupedia Comic, an accessible guide to menstruation that follows the journey of three adolescent girls spreads period-positivity.

Jun 22, 2017 | Kathmandu - In 2014, Aditi Gupta, an engineering graduate from Jharkhand, India, along with her husband and business partner, Tuhin Paul, launched an illustrated comic book on menstruation. In the years that followed, the comic would be used as an educational resource, across and outside India, which would open up conversations on menstruation. 

Titled Menstrupedia Comic, this colourful and accessible guide to menstruation follows the journey of three adolescent girls. The book features three characters, each at a different stage of adolescence—a girl who hasn’t started her period yet but wants to learn about it; a girl who has just started her period and wants advice on how to deal with it; and a girl who has had her period for some time now and is curious about the myths surrounding it.

Known for its myth-breaking period-positivity, the comic made its way to Nepal in 2015 through Putali Nepal, an initiative that provides both information and resources about menstrual hygiene management. After circulating over 2,000 copies of the comic, which is avaialable in both English and Nepali languages, as an educational resource across the country, Putali Nepal re-launched the 90-pager comic for commercial purpose amid an event, on Wednesday, at Kar.Ma Coffee, in Jhamsikhel. 

“This comic is for girls (and boys) aged nine years and above, right about the time when they hit their puberty. We want our readers to use this comic book to debunk myths that surround menstruation,” says Linda Kuehne, co-founder of Putali. “The book helps understand the anatomy of period and how it is just a natural process.” 

In the same event, Kuehne and her team also launched Ruby Cup, new alternative and eco-friendly method for periods. The menstrual cup is made out of medical grade silicone and can be reused for up to 10 years.

Speaking to the Post about how both products are received in a society where menstruation is still a taboo, Kuehne says, “The comics have been received really well. However, when it comes to the cup, we have realised that there is much room for opening up. Girls are shy as it is when it comes to period—especially in the rural areas, the idea of inserting a foreign body in the vagina is not entertained.” 

She adds that the Ruby Cup, however, doesn’t come without instructions. The menstrual cup comes with an elaborate 42-pager guide on how to use the product and why, alongside educational workshops that girls can benefit from. “We want to educate girls and women about menstrual hygiene management, and support them with a method that will assist them is staying healthy and moving freely during menstruation,” Kuehne adds. 

Menstrupedia Comic and Ruby Cup will be available at Kar.Ma Coffee, Jhamsikhel, from Thursday.

Source: The Kathmandu Post

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