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Priya Motiani

IWB Blogger

Watch How Jaipur Women Took Revenge On The Bloody Black Bag

  • IWB Post
  •  March 4, 2016

 

Have you noticed how sanitary napkins are perpetually sold, transferred, and hidden in black thelis? Why? Simply because other than being our knights in shining armor during ‘those’ days, they are embarrassing. Hai na

But guess what?

It’s time to put a PERIOD on shame. It’s time to get our period buddies a new home and to make menstruation taboos homeless.

How will that happen, you may ask?

Through our latest campaign Bloody Black Bag, wherein we are replacing the black thelis used for hiding sanitary napkins, with colorful bags designed by Kishori Jaipur especially for the purpose.

But, but, but, before we do that, we thought of having some fun. After all, everyone deserves their share of mischief; and we, or the bloody black bags for that matter, are no exceptions. *Evil laugh*

Yesterday, we went to a nearby pharmacy store with a standee and a bulk of black thelis. Now, here comes the twist. We took along with us some quirky pair of eyes and mouths (Paper cutouts of eyes and mouths, that is. We do not harbor a fancy for plucking human eyes. #JustSaying)

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The mission was to engage passerby women in an interesting task of teasing and trolling the menstruation taboos, by attributing monstrous human features to the black thelis that represent them.

Oops moment number 1: Little did we know, that our fun mission would turn out to be an almost-impossible mission, and that instead of us trolling the taboo, the taboo will end up trolling us.

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We started the operation at the sun’s peak hour – 3 pm, when not even a stray soul could be seen on the street. Time passed slowly and difficultly like a drab black and white movie scene.

But given the brave souls that we are, we didn’t give up! We were determined to find women. And god heard us! We found a bit of the female fraternity!

Oops moment number 2: We were aware of the fact that it wouldn’t be a piece of cake convincing women to step away from this taboo. But little did we know, that the taboo was so deeply rooted in their minds that not a single one would volunteer to participate.

1

Nevertheless! Our hopes lit up when we saw Priyanka. With confidence, grace, and poise, she was all set to mock the black theli with us. Hell yeah!

Priyanka

The process of being roasted for more than an hour in the sun had instigated a strange sort of laughter fit in us. We were now meeting people with even more chirpy a disposition.

2

Here’s Dr. Anuradha Singh, shattering the menstruation taboo.

Dr. Anuradha Singh

And this is Dr. Sapna Gupta. Say Hi! to her.

Dr. Sapna Gupta

Amidst all this, we also interacted with the store’s owner, Parag Khandelwal. And may we say we were overwhelmingly impressed with what he had to say.

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Allow me to quote him:

“I don’t think women, or anyone for that matter, should be embarrassed about this. Being a pharmacy shop-owner, I believe it will be all the more uncomfortable and awkward for my customers to talk about pads, if I will be shy. I communicate frankly and coolly with all my customers. Even when young girls come to buy pregnancy tests, I guide them without being judgemental. For instance, I helped my own daughter also for her honeymoon shopping; for sanitary napkins, birth control, whatever she needed.”

Psst! Let me also tell you that Mr. Parag helped us a great deal in explaining our campaign’s concept to his regular customers.

Parag Khandelwal

This woman in green is Mrs. Ketaki Singh. She was going for her evening walk when we caught her, but she keenly spared few minutes for our activity.

Ketaki Singh

… and she is Radhika. Kudos women! We are so proud of you!

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Looking at these few brave people go all creative with the black thelis, even we decided to join in the fun hands-on. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice Lavanya’s picture teasing her black bag above! Hers is a rather tongue-in-cheek style. Don’t you think?

I made this. Whether I decorated or destroyed it, I leave for you to judge.

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The campaign has gotten us to feel more strongly and boldly of our femininity. Although, it was disheartening to see well-educated people stepping out of luxurious cars, shying away from a cause as noble! Maybe, taboos are still the facets unconquered, or should I say bleakly conquered, by education.

Did our activity fascinate or frighten you? Tell us.

Psst! And stay glued to see the grand finale of this campaign wherein we will distribute colorful bags designed by Kishori Jaipur especially for carrying sanitary napkins, at prime pharmacy stores. Let you in on a secret? We are also going to tap the reactions of women on seeing the new period buddy.

Hover around for more.

 

sanchit
Sanchit Sethi
Photographer

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