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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Pics: Miss World beauty queens are talking about periods in India

Pics: Miss World beauty queens are talking about periods in India

Last updated on: February 09, 2018 13:45 IST

The Indian beauty queen is touring India with other Miss World winners to raise menstrual hygiene awareness.

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

When Miss World Manushi Chhillar and the Beauty with a Purpose Tour came to Mumbai.
Photograph: Sahil Salvi.

 

For the first time ever two Miss Worlds -- reigning pageant winner Manushi Chhillar and Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle -- are on tour in India together. Joined by six Miss World Continental winners, they are here to talk about menstrual hygiene.

Menstrual hygience is a subject that has been close to Chhillar's heart long before she became Miss World.

More than 70 per cent of Indian women reportedly still rely on old rags, plastics, sand, and ash to manage their menstrual cycle. Statistics like this prompted Chhillar to start Project Shakti to address the lack of access to safe and affordable menstrual hygiene management.

She gave it a global platform through the Miss World pageant, where she presented Project Shakti at the Beauty with a Purpose competition and emerged the co-winner.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

Manushi Chhillar at the Indian Jute Industries Research Association in Kolkata where they make biodegradable and low-cost sanitary pads from jute, which is easily available in the area.
'The women of the community have been trained to make these pads,' she wrote. 'I also tried my hand at making one!'
Photograph: @manushi_chhillar/Instagram.

 

Manushi Chhillar and the Miss World Organisation have now joined forces with Aakar Innovations, a National Innovation Foundation award winning start-up that has pioneered 100 per cent compostable pads that are affordable and environment-friendly.

Aakar also trains uneducated, unskilled and marginalized women and girls to create sustainable livelihood enterprises by setting up sanitary pads manufacturing units with multilateral organizations, NGOs, institutions, self-help groups, state governments in India, other parts of South Asia and in Africa.

Together they have embarked on the 'Freedom from Shame' tour to create awareness among young girls and dispel the myths and taboos that surround feminine hygiene.

The tour, which began on February 1 and travelled through cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, Siliguri and New Delhi, ends today.

Scroll down to see highlights of the tour.

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

Manushi Chhillar posted this photograph from Delhi with the caption: 'When the whole #world walks in purpose.'
(From left) Miss World Caribbean from Jamaica Solange Sinclair, Miss World Africa from Kenya Magline Jeruto, Miss World World Americas from Mexico Andrea Meza, Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle, Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, Miss World Asia from Korea Haeun Kim Sitlinger Miss World Oceania from New Zealand Annie Evans and Miss World Europe from England Stephanie Hill.
Photograph: @manushi_chhillar/Instagram.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

Miss World Manushi Chhillar talks menstrual hygiene with school girls in Delhi.
Photograph: PTI Photo.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

The beauty queens met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi.
They also met External Affairs Minsiter Sushma Swaraj.
Photograph: PTI Photo.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

'A special "adda" session in Kolkata on feminine hygiene,' wrote Chhillar.
Julia Morley (right), chairman CEO of Miss World, also joined the tour.

Photograph: @manushi_chillar/Instagram.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle posted this photograph saying, 'Our visit to the Darjeeling tea plantation where we met the people of a place where things haven't changed in over 130 years! Until #MissWorldTeam #beautywithapurposetour arrived and spoke to them about the importance of menstrual hygiene.
'These two little boys were the sweetest thing, waving at me the whole time, making faces and trying to get my attention. And then when we were about to leave they ran to the car to get a hug before we left and waved at the car and kept chasing the car with goodbyes.
'I'll carry your hugs and smiles in my heart always.'
Photograph: @stephdvd/Instagram.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

Ektara, an NGO in Kolkata, was one of the stops on the tour.
Photograph: @missstephaniehill/Instagram.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

Another stop was New Light, an organisation that promotes gender equality through education and life skill training, thereby reducing harm caused to women and children by violence and abuse.
Photograph: @anniievans/Instagram.

 

Manushi Chhillar menstrual hygiene

The team also took a break in Siliguri.
Chhillar wrote on Instagram about the 'spark of change' and how much they had been able to accomplish in just a few days.
'I never expected such a great response from everyone and I myself have learnt so much,' she wrote. 'No sleep or rest since four days but it's all worth it!'
Photograph: @manushi_chillar/Instagram.

 

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau