Rajasi shares her making the switch story. Thank you for sharing Rajasi!
It’s been 15 years I’m bleeding and I decided to write a reflection about it.
I remember how my mother had handed me my grandmas’ old saree and taught me how to use cloth. The cloth folds were bulky sometimes making cycling and walking difficult. Still, I used them till my friends ridiculed me over my cloth use. For 5-6 years I used cloth and disposable pads and it was too embarrassing to throw disposables but I didn’t know about alternatives so I continued using them.
The conflict in my mind peaked when I moved to one of the remote place in Chhattisgarh. As I reached there I learned that there is no waste management system at district level and it was too upsetting to burn pads or bury them in the beautiful place I lived. With this guilt and question in my mind I used to try to find some person with who I can share my thoughts. Once I was discussing with my friend from Mumbai about conducting workshop on menstrual health management for school girls where I worked, she showed me Eco Femme cloth pads which she used and things changed for me.
It was the moment which changed something in me and I made cloth pads for myself and taught my students to make them. Later when I moved to Pune, I ordered Eco Femme cloth pads and Shecup which changed my view towards my body. I felt more connected to myself and my periods. With that feeling I am able to connect with women and understand them. Let me tell you that it wasn’t easy to switch as initially when cloth pads didn’t dry on rainy days, I had to dry them by ironing/blow drying. 😛 Sometimes it was frustrating but I made and ordered more pads to avoid that situation. It is blissful to not fear about rashes that disposables gave me. The most amazing feeling was when I used Shecup during 24 hour long train journey and I could re-insert it twice in a rocking train.
Initially I felt shy to dry these cloth pads at places where I travel and in front of my female colleagues with who I lived for work tours. Now I openly show what I use and try to orient them to different alternatives available. I feel proud that I no more create heaps every month and manage my periods in eco-friendly ways. With cloth pads I feel the comfort of grandma’s saree and it makes me accept my body without ignoring its needs.
Now with that switch I really don’t feel the need to use disposables as I’m too happy using reusables. I express deep gratitude to people who are creating sustainable alternatives. Cheers to them!