Building a Social Movement from the Rubble

Here is the debutante of the REDefine campaign and how we began this program.

Dear reader,

We are elated to share this campaign with you and, if possible, inspire you to do the same in your own locality. As a team, we had very little to kickstart this campaign, and that’s why we decided to begin a blog. It served many purposes in our eyes: sharing our progress with the campaign, spreading the knowledge we have gained, and showing you the importance of being comfortable with topics like menstruation and female puberty. Although it isn’t our main objective, this blog will aid those in need of guidance to begin a campaign like this, from rock bottom.

After a lot of thought, we decided our campaign’s primary motives: spreading awareness about the biology behind menstruation, maintaining one’s hygiene while menstruating and debunking myths and taboos surrounding it. At the same time, we wish to provide better quality pads to the best of our abilities — and only to specific groups of girls. This will allow them to gain a perspective of the kinds of material they ought to use when menstruating because one must recognise that many will not have access to branded products like ‘Whisper’ and ‘Stayfree’.

However, to purchase pads, we had to go fundraising. Going from door to door, explaining what we aimed to do to people who may or may not be conservative was a challenging, but interesting task. It is normal to encounter people who are suspicious of your campaign, those who claimed to have already donated to another NGO and don’t feel the need to contribute to another, those who will give three coins as well as those who give nothing at all. Now and then, you will find a generous donor who will understand and support your cause. Luckily, we found more than five! With a small poster about our aims, the stigma around menstruation in India, and a red cylinder for the money we collected, we were more successful than we had hoped.

We were encouraged to continue making posters and eventually painted the female reproductive organ on an A3 sheet as well as paintings of what different types of period blood looks like and what it indicates. From there, we began our actual field work for the first time.

Stick with us a bit longer, why don’t you?

The REDefine Team