Get That Life: How I Empower Women To Remove The Shame From A Taboo Subject

Work around problems, not solutions.

Most Popular

Aditi Gupta, 32, is the founder of Menstrupedia, a website devoted to teaching young women how to stay healthy and active during their periods. Menstrupedia started out as a thesis project for Aditi and her husband, Paul during their time in college, but has quickly turned into a friendly resource for all things related to menstrual cycles, generating over 1,500,000 page views a month! Aditi's secret to creating a successful brand? She saw a gap in the market, and decided to fill it! 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I grew up in Garhwa, Jharkhand and got my first period at the age of 12. It was a scary experience because I didn't know what was going on with my body and was told to keep it a secret from my father and brother. Because periods are considered taboo in India, I felt completely alone, especially knowing all the restrictions that were placed on me because of having my period including not being able to sit on a family sofa, not able to touch/eat pickle, not allowed to worship and was even branded impure. I was ashamed to buy sanitary napkins which left me to use unhygienic, old rags, causing me discomfort and a lot of rashes. I also remember the small amount of menstruation information we learned in school. It was taught in the most biological and clinical manner and did not offer anything practical. This is where it clicked for me. I knew I could not be the only girl who was feeling lost and confused about her period. 

I was ashamed to buy sanitary napkins.

Most Popular

I studied Communication Design at National Institute of Design and met (my husband) Tuhin Paul. I told him about my pain and inconvenience during the time of my period and we quickly learned that there was a gap of information in India around young women and menstruation. We took a year long project to study the level of awareness about menstruation in young women. We were shocked to find that in some parts of India, 3 out of 10 girls are unaware of periods when they got it for the first time. What started out as a thesis project is now Menstrupedia.com. We started off by creating a prototype, where we explained menstruation through a comic medium, using characters and stories and shared it with young girls. We received a very positive response which strengthen our belief about Menstrupedia even more.

3 out of 10 girls are unaware of periods when they get it for the first time.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Tuhin and I got married after finishing college, and were working at two separate desk jobs. Because our comics were starting to take up a lot of our time, we decided to quit our jobs and devote all of our attention to launching Menstrupedia.com. Our official website launched in November 2012 and it quickly became a place for anyone who is curious to learn more about their menstruation cycle, in a light-hearted manner. We have a Q&A section, where people can openly ask any questions and we have a blog section, where young girls share their personal stories and experiences with periods. It is truly a community where one can learn about a natural process in her body and feel completely comfortable. 

The biggest issue that we came across when growing the Menstrupedia brand and launching our comic books on a larger scale were the lack of funds. It was a huge set-back. I didn't want to borrow money, especially at the early stages of our comic books, so we decided to set up a crowd-fund. The funds we raised helped us design, print and distribute our comic books.  Our comics have received an extremely positive response from teachers, parents and young women who are curious about learning or teaching anything related to menstrual cycles. 

I knew I wanted to help young women and spread awareness.

Even with the initial hardships of the lack of funds, I never wanted to give up on Menstrupedia. I knew I wanted to help young women and spread awareness, and I was not going to let money get in the way. If you have an idea, but don't have the proper resources to bring it to life, do not give up. There are many ways of raising money, without seed funding or raising investments. You need passion, hard work, dedication and complete obsession about what you want to achieve. Working for myself is not always easy, but it is so rewarding to know that Menstupedia is helping thousands of young women around our nation. My mission is to educate women all over India to feel comfortable in their bodies and to embrace their periods, not hide in shame because of it.

Click here to buy Menstrupedia Comic!

Get That Life is a weekly series that reveals how successful, talented, creative women got to where they are now. Check back each Friday for the latest interview.

What do you think?

Life
Share
9 Miraculous Workout Moves to Get the 'Best Body' in 1 Minute!
An ultimate guide to #InstaFitness!
Life
Share
Here Are 12 Funniest Reactions to the Snapchat Fiasco!
Poor or not, we're def rich in humour!
Life
Share
5 Secret Tips Every Fit Girl Follows!
Thank us later...
Life
Share
Get a Flat Stomach Super-Quick With This ONE Exercise
Recommended by Harvard doctors, this effective move doesn't even require the gym or any equipments!
Life
Share
Here's Why Sairee Chahal Set Up India's First Women-Only Job Portal...
...and how she did it.
Life
Share
7 Super-Gross Things That Happen When You Don't Change Out of Your Gym Clothes
Seriously. Get out of your gym clothes ASAP.
Life
Share
How Documentary Filmmaker Sabiha Sumar Crowdfunded Her Brilliant New Project
"Getting funding from any set of investors is a terribly trying experience—there's no circumventing the pain of the process in any...
Life
Share
Age Shaming (But In Reverse)
A whole lot of young people just don't feel as sprightly as the rest—and when you prefer staying in to slugging shots, every day is...
Life
Share
Here Are 15 Weight Loss Secrets Spilled by Your Favourite Celebs!
Here's all the motivation you need to get that summer bod.
Life
Share
How to Get a Safe Abortion
The steps to take no matter how far along you are, or how much money you have.