Menstruation is a taboo subject. This is a fact that needs no statistic to back it up. Just recall how the subject was broached in your school and you’ll agree. This is exactly what made graphic illustrator Aditi Gupta create a way to dispel this mystique around the subject in a way she knows best: Comic books.
The Ahmedabad-based designer, along with her husband and fellow illustrator Tuhin Paul, created Menstrupedia to tackle the myths and taboo associated with periods in India. Based on her own experience, Aditi realized that there is profound ignorance when it comes to periods and nobody was trying to dispel it. “I didn’t even know that periods are also called ‘menstruation’, even after graduating from college,” she claims, incredulously.
After intensive research, the duo arrived at the conclusion that misconceptions associated with periods are prevalent throughout the country, regardless of socio-economic backgrounds. They needed a method that would appeal to their target audience, mainly young girls in school, so they came up with the idea of creating a comic book. “Menstruation has been treated as a taboo subject for a long time. When you teach kids through a medium like comic books, it takes away the ‘forbidden’ aspect of it,” said Tuhin. According to him, kids are good with their ‘suspension of disbelief’ and would find it easier to believe what’s said in a comic book than a regular text book.
The duo paired up with Culture Machine’s digital channel Blush to release a video that highlights the stark need for a project like Menstrupedia to exist in India.
Watch the video right here.