The theme of Breaking the Silence Campaign for 2017 is ‘Men take lead’ because menstruation is not just a woman’s issue, it is everyone’s issue! The campaign has partnered with India Bull Riders to bring to people of Bengaluru a historic ride to mark the International Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May 2017 at 8 am starting from Town Hall. The aim of the bike rally led by men and women in the sport is to shake the very stereotype of what is considered male and female in our society where the 40 kilometres ride will mark the 40 years a woman menstruates in her lifetime. The bikers will lift the flag of a stigma free menstruation!
Come join the ride.
#BreakingtheSilence Campaign is the brainchild of of Urmila Chanam. She is a menstrual health activist, global campaigner of women’s right to dignity & good health, Founder ‘Breaking the Silence’ Campaign a campaign to end myths, taboos and stigma on menstruation, public health expert with experience in HIV/AIDS interventions with women in sex work, transgender and sexual minority community, drug users, truckers & orphans and vulnerable children, a certified trainer on menstrual hygiene management, gender based violence & digital empowermentand journalist .Recipient of Voices of Our Future Award, UNFPA National Laadli Award, Vodaphone Foundation 50 ‘Women of Pure Wonder’ & MasterCard Celebrate Heroes Award 2017.
The route map is here
Here are some of the biker’s profile
Satish Mohapatra lives his life on one rule,’It is not about the days of your life, its about the life you put in those days.’ He works with Tech Mahindra. A passionate biker from India Bull Riders hailing from Odisha but for whom Bangalore is home since last six years, Satish translates what riding means to him,’ Riding in one word is freedom..the feeling of wind hitting you on your face, the open vast highways and the excitement of visiting unexplored places. These are reasons that make me hit the roads as often as I can.’
Satish talks about the historic ride he is about to take next month and shares,’ Men Take Lead Ride is very special to me and all of us at India Bull Riders.It gets us to be a part of something which is considered a stigma for women.We as guys want to show that menstruation is a normal phenomenon and awareness on this should be stepped up so that life is better for girls and women.This is our ode to the respect and care we have for girls and women. So ladies, this one is for you!’
Manish Gupta, a die-hard biker from India Bull Riders who moved to Bangalore 9 years back from Patna his hometown for his career with Mphasis in the Finance wing of the company. Manish is riding with many other bikers on International Menstrual Hygiene Day because ‘This ride is one step closer to understanding how important menstruation is because half of the world’s population is/will menstruating/menstruate or menstruated in the past and its important people acknowledge that and understand the necessity of hygiene.’‘Join Koi Nahi (Manish’s FB profile) on this historic ride that begins from Bengalore Town Hall at 8 am on 28th May 2017.
Nujo John from India Bull Riders who is into riding in different terrains and loves riding expeditions that cut across geographies. The last time I called him, his phone was switched off for days to learn later that he was in a jungle expedition in wilderness.He came to Bangalore 10 years ago from Thrissur in Kerala to pursue his MBA and never returned. A marketing head in a private firm in education sector, Nujo John has done several rides in the past for social causes. There was one he did with his club for visually impaired and then for orphan children and now this!
He is beaming as he shares what he feels about the upcoming ride,’ Its a privilege to be part of Men Take Lead Ride because it is for the first time in India that men are taking lead for a social cause that is related with women’s health and feelings.’ Nujo is also an animal lover, a humanitarian and supporter of several causes.
Keerthi Sagar, a mechanical engineer by education, training and expertise one day realized life isn’t about how much money he earns but how happy he was. Born in Mandya in Karnataka, this Bengalurean says, ‘ Riding a bike gives me the sense of freedom, something every person craves for but finds their own ways to achieve it. Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, food etc are just few perks of being a biker.
I met Keethi few days ago and we got talking. He told me about how he likes to live life, ‘ Life to me is like a book with blank pages. How we write our story defines us and also lets people decide if they would want to remember us. I am living my life one page at a time.’
Keerthi is leading Men Take Lead Ride with other bikers from India Bull Riders to show that men can be a great support for girls and women and men care!
Here is a message from him-
‘This ride is going to be a milestone. It will make a mark and show the world that menstruation should not be a taboo subject anymore! I have been lucky to understand the natural process of periods that every girl and woman goes through; but for the not so fortunate who are blinded to this fact either due to social stigma or because of their families. I hope you will come forward with an open mind and make this event a grand success.Let us start with listening to women who are trying to express before we claim equality in the society.’
For details contact Urmila Chanam at Urmila.firstname.lastname@example.org, Nujo John at email@example.com and Ajas Anjillath at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a listen to the interview