The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream

Kolding, Denmark, 11 August 2021

Hello there! I am Tanya, a 21-year-old Marketing student studying at IBA in Kolding (Denmark), currently interning at Real Relief. Originally, I came from a small town in Punjab in the enchanted land of India. Growing up, I longed for being somebody who will achieve incredible things in life, except it’s not that easy and I realised that after coming to Denmark, how much hard work and effort it requires to stand out of the crowd. Still, I’m on my way to achieve the dream that 14-year-old me will be proud of. Looking back, being from a third world country, never gave me a chance to embrace my femininity, rather I was seen as an object by many, but that’s another story.

I was a late bloomer so to say as all my friends had gotten their period already. Then one fine day, I vividly remember, being 13, utterly in shock, looking down at that red stain on my pants. Fortunately, I was aware of this *hush* *hush* topic beforehand and that I will be experiencing this situation any time soon and all the commands I am supposed to follow in that week- 

“DO NOT TOUCH THE PICKLE, IT WILL ROT” “DO NOT ENTER THE TEMPLE/KITCHEN, YOU ARE IMPURE” “DO NOT TALK TO YOUR FATHER/UNCLE ABOUT THIS” said the two volunteers who came to educate us about menstruation at my school. All these statements made my naive mind feel like it’s a curse to be a female.

However, I consider myself fortunate as I am blessed with liberal guardians. I never felt any shame being on my periods at my home, all the above statements said by the volunteers were not applied on me by my parents and were titled as myths. I always felt comfortable asking my parents to pick up pads and was treated like a normal human being. On the other hand, not every girl gets to experience the freedom I had, even in their own home, which is a tragedy. In school we were told not to talk about this natural process with boys. I recollect that curious gaze of young boys, when a girl would take out a pad from her backpack. Wish we could educate them too!

As I type this, flashbacks from my childhood inspired me to help girls in the underdeveloped countries by giving them a helping hand to be educated, so that can practice a much more safer and sustainable menses and being a part of Real Relief will without a doubt turn this dream into reality.