Female empowerment is on the rise in Kerala in recent times with society slowly giving up on age-old beliefs that hinder the rise of the girl child, Higher Education Minister R. Bindu said today.
Taboos around monthly periods which alienated women from family and society are on the wane in contemporary times, she said after inaugurating a scheme by state-owned Kerala Feeds Limited (KFL) that promotes the use of menstrual cups (M-Cups) among government schoolchildren of 13-17 age group.
“Mestruation is just a biological matter like anything else related to the human body. It should no way stop women from performing routine tasks,” the Minister said at the function at the town in Thrissur district, before distributing M-Cups to students of classes 8 to 12 under the KFL’s four-and-a-half-month-old ‘Surakshith’ as part of its CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives for 2021-22, in collaboration with the central public-sector HLL Lifecare Limited.
The scheme, which aims to give M-Cups to 15,000 students in select schools in the state, will benefit 1,269 schoolgirls across six government schools in Irinjalakuda, Kattoor and Nadavarambu of the locality, Bindu revealed at the function presided over by Irinjalakuda Municipal Chairperson Suja Sanjeevkumar.
The Minister noted that “physical rest” during menstrual periods in the earlier times went on to impose social and religious restrictions on women subsequently. “We cannot anymore cite menses as a reason to curtail anyone’s freedom,” she added, noting that the country still had tribal communities where females struggle with the uncleanliness associated with menstruation.
KFL Chairperson K. Sreekumar, in his keynote address in the function at Government Model Higher Secondary School, said no religious rites should impede women’s women’s rights and develop into superstitions. “The M-cup scheme under our CSR aims at the welfare of the girl child,” he pointed out.
KFL Managing Director Dr B Sreekumar, in his presentation, said the PSU’s initiative seeks to boost the self-confidence of the girl child at a time when globalisation promises her maximum realisation of potential. “Only when you believe in yourself can you become strong enough to excel in life, ” he added, recalling the Rs 10-crore project was launched by Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister J. Chinchurani at Kollam on March 31.
Suja Sanjeevkumar, in her presidential address, exhorted students to learn more about the advantages of M-cup. Municipal councilor Jisha Baby welcomed the gathering, while Government Model HSS Principal Bindu P. John proposed thanks.
The function was attended, among others, by Irinjalakuda Municipality Vice-Chairman T.V.. Charley, Thrissur District Panchayat Vice-President Latha Chandran, member Sheela Ajayaghosh and District Education Officer S. Shaji.
The 1995-founded KFL, which is based in Kallettumkara near here, manufactures a range of products that cater to different breeds of cows with the aim of keeping them in good health as well as better productivity and quality of milk.