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Benisha Hamal – When she was menstruating, she used to touch the camera until the shooting stopped!

Benisha Hamal still remembers the day she got her first period. His maternal home is in Gitanagar in Chitwan. On that day there was a puja at Mamaghar. While going to the toilet, Benisha saw blood coming from her vagina. She was scared, scared. She hurriedly went and told her grandmother.

“When I saw the blood, I was afraid of what had happened. I called my grandmother and said,’ she recalled that time and said, ‘After that, my grandmother said that you are menstruating, you should not look at the sun anymore, you should stay in a separate room.’

After the puja was going on in the house and her first period, Benisha was kept away from there. He was kept hidden from the sun for seven days. She was 11 years old at that time.

“The toilet was arranged inside the room so that the sun could be seen even when going to the toilet,” she said. In her family, things like not touching during menstruation, not going to the kitchen and the prayer room are very common. Having grown up in the meantime, she still hesitates to participate in the puja when she is menstruating.

“For 17 years I was taught the same thing. I lived in that faith and it has become a habit in me too,” she said. So she always menstruated while staying with the family. Now she lives in Kathmandu, Bardinan.

“Earlier, when pads and cloths are not used, they may have been told to stay separately during menstruation in terms of hygiene. “Perhaps in terms of sanitation, there was a need at that time,” she says, “but now that is not the case.”

As he grew older, he became more informed and knowledgeable about menstruation. She became able to distinguish between right and wrong. He feels that what is faith and superstition, what is right and wrong happening in the society, what is right and what is wrong, he can distinguish what is right and what is wrong because of education.

Benisha heard about Chhaupadi at the age of 14 from Phupaju. At that time, he thought it was a fairy tale. Even now, he feels bad when he sees women sitting in a huddle.

Menstruation is still held in her house. She reminds her not only of her mother, but also of her mother. “I definitely don’t believe that today will change tomorrow,” she says. But gradually it is changing to some extent. Some things are also taken. I am doing the work of teaching little by little.’

She says she would open up about menstruation with her next generation or if it was her daughter. She said that it teaches to accept menstruation as a natural and normal subject. She had not received any information about menstruation from home. He feels that it becomes easier when there is an open conversation and information about this at a young age.

At home, it was known that the mother was menstruating. “We knew that blood would come from the body for four to five days,” she says, “other than that, there was no other information.”

She says that even in school education, health education is taught only in the later classes, so there is no information about the problems of teenagers. He believes that if he is taught about this condition in the class before he becomes a teenager, he will be mentally prepared for it. Being prepared in this way increases the adolescent’s ability to take body changes for granted.

Menstruation is a natural process in the body. It is also an indicator that a woman has entered puberty. Therefore, it should be limited physically, it should not be linked to religious beliefs,” she said.

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