Students from Calicut Medical College decided to criticize the taboo behind periods by publishing hundreds of haikus. For nearly a year, students have posted the haikus all over the college campus and social media to spread the message about their campaign.
Calicut Medical College is an educational institution in Kerala, South India. Sreya Salim, a student magazine editor at the medical college, has worked on compiling all of these haikus into a book. Her team has shared over 80 haikus with various news sources.
Salim decided to publicize these haikus when an incident occurred where an intern challenged anyone to walk across campus with sanitary napkins. The students at the medical college were in shock because they realized the unscientific and degrading nature behind all the period-related taboos and shaming on campus.
After publishing several haikus, more members of the college community began to speak up about the issues with period shaming. Even male students decided to participate in this campaign because they had been witnesses to incidents of period shaming.
The haikus vary widely in tone and mood; however, they all affront a common feeling of shame related to the experience of having a period. Some women admitted that they had been bullied in school or kicked out of public places for having their periods.
Salim has admitted that her campaign has been widely successful. She has received hundreds of submissions from students who want to publish their experiences with period shaming in this creative form. She thinks the campaign's greatest achievement is its ability to open a broad discussion about the harmful taboos with periods and menstruation.
Salim has demonstrated how college is a perfect place to address issues of social distress. Hopefully, more feminists and social activists will step up during college to bring change to society like Salim did.
Lead Image Credit: Sreya Salim