When I was child like every child`s dream, to want become an Engineer, Pilot and Police officer. I too wanted to become a doctor. As I grew up, I realized that the path of become a doctor is difficult and also the amount of time and money invested was high. That`s when I changed my field according to my interest.
Last year when I joined The Period Fellowship. Since then many a times people have addressed me as a doctor. Most of them have also asked me whether I am a doctor or not. All that was normal but the best part for me from this fellowship is…

One day my friend Sumit called me up and he told me that his niece got her first period and that she is just 10 years old. Coming from south Indian family, they follow too many rituals. Because of these rituals, his niece seemed to be terrified and crying whole day. So he insisted that I go over to his place to explain to his family and niece about menstruation and the biology behind it.
The next day I went to his sister`s place. They thought that I was a doctor and they treated me as the same. There I saw the niece who had got her first period locked in one room. Only the women of the house were allowed to go into the room. In their culture, when a girl gets her first period she is not allowed to go outside the house and a man`s shadow is said to harm her health. The reason why men from house were not allowed to go anywhere near her, up to 5 days or so. Every day her mother applied turmeric on her and gave a bath. I witnessed all these and also saw how scared the girl was. She wasn`t` even able to see her baby brother to whom she was so attached since the last 3 days.

When I went to talk to her, she asked me as to why this is happing to her. She told me that she didn`t like turmeric nor did she like those baths. She wanted to go out and play with her friends and brothers, I explained the biology behind menstruation to everyone. The ladies came up with lots of questions. The little girl also felt at ease after the session. I don’t know why but I got very special feeling there. I felt like I was a doctor and my clients have come to me with their problems and are asking me for solutions.
Many a times, people have asked whether I am a doctor. I don’t always feel special but this particular moment was unique and remarkable. And that’s was a moment where I felt that my childhood dreams had come true.

Rupal Deshmukh is a Period Fellow from the batch of 2018

Previously Sukhibhava Foundation. Improving gender equity, health and wellbeing of marginalised menstruators across India