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TBI Blogs: Bengaluru Bikers Are Taking to the Streets to Break Taboos & Spread Awareness About Menstruation

The ‘Breaking the Silence’ campaign aims to bust all the myths and unfairness around menstruation and has declared 2017’s theme as ‘Men Take Lead’. In that spirit, the India Bull Riders – Bangalore will mark the International Menstrual Hygiene Day with a historic ride.

Riders from the India Bull Riders – Bangalore are uniting to break the silence around periods and menstrual hygiene on the occasion of International Menstrual Hygiene Day. This is in support of the global campaign “Breaking the Silence”, conceptualized by Urmila Chanam, to end myths, taboos, and stigma around menstruation. The theme of the Breaking the Silence Campaign for 2017 is ‘Men take lead’, because menstruation is not just a woman’s issue, it is everyone’s issue, says Urmila Chanam.

Urmila Chanam fights myths about menstruation.
The ‘Breaking the Silence’ initiative was conceptualized by Urmila Chanam.

The campaign has partnered with India Bull Riders to bring to the people of Bengaluru a historic ride to mark International Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May 2017 at 8 AM, starting from Town Hall JC Road in Bengaluru. The aim of the bike rally, led by men and women in the sport, is to shake the very stereotype of what is considered male and female in our society. The 40 km. ride will mark the 40 years a woman menstruates in her lifetime!

India Bull Riders - Bangalore member, Manish Gupta.
India Bull Riders – Bangalore member Manish Gupta

Menstruation has long been regarded as a woman’s problem that needs to be dealt within the confines of four walls. “This ride is one step closer to understanding how important menstruation is, because half of the world’s population is menstruating, will menstruate, or has menstruated in the past. It’s important people acknowledge that and understand the necessity of hygiene,” says Manish Gupta.

A die-hard biker from India Bull Riders, Manish moved to Bengaluru nine years ago from Patna to pursue a career in finance.

India Bull Riders - Bangalore member, Keerthi Sagar.
India Bull Riders – Bangalore member Keerthi Sagar

”This ride is going to be a milestone. It will make a mark and show the world that menstruation should not be a taboo subject anymore! I have been lucky to understand the natural process of periods that every girl and woman goes through. But there are those not-so-fortunate who are blind to this fact, either due to social stigma or because of their families. Let us start listening to women before we claim equality in society,” says Keerthi Sagar of India Bull Riders. Keerthi is a mechanical engineer by profession.

India Bull Riders - Bangalore member, Satish Mohapatra.
India Bull Riders – Bangalore member Satish Mohapatra

Adding to the conversation, Satish Mohapatra, another passionate biker, asserts that, “Menstruation is a natural and normal phenomenon. However, most men are uncomfortable, unaware, ignorant, and unmindful around female colleagues/classmates during premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menstruation. As such, we usually brush away or joke about the topic. I believe that it is high time we bring this topic out of the closet. This ride is our ode to the respect we have for women.”

Men Take Lead to fight period shame.
A historic ride will mark the International Menstruation Hygiene Day this year.
About the author: Pinky Chandran is the Director of Radio Active CR 90.4MHz. An environmentalist and a freelance photographer, she also works on animal welfare, labour, gender, and sexuality issues.

Listen to the interview about the event here, and find out more on Facebook. Discover more stories like this on Radio Active’s website.

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Written by Radio Active

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Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz is Bangalore's first community radio station catering to heterogeneous and diverse communities.