Date: 26 May 2019 Venue: Townhall, JC Road, Bengaluru Time: 8-11.30 AM
Route: Townhall-Mekhri circle-Iskon temple- PES College- Deve Gowda Petrol Bunk- JP Nagar- Silk Board- BDA Complex HSR
The world over International Menstrual Hygiene Day is being celebrated to bring attention to this aspect of girls and women’s health and empowerment. Menstrual Hygiene Management program is linked to Sustainable Development Goals #3 Good Health and Well Being, #5 Gender Equality and # 6 Clean Water and Sanitation because menstrual hygiene is a critical part of girls and women’s health and affects the health of the family, the causal factor being gender inequality that rests deep in the fabric of our culture at different levels and the need for infrastructure of clean water and sanitation for menstruating girls and women.
Breaking the Silence Worldwide Foundation, an NGO based in Bengaluru working on raising awareness on menstrual hygiene management across India in partnership with India Bull Riders and Radio Active 90.4 MHz is organizing Men Take Lead Ride 2019, a bike rally on 26th May 2019 Sunday at Townhall, JC Road at 8 am to commemorate International Menstrual Hygiene Day and call for an end to isolation of menstruating girls and women.
A menstruating girl/woman in India is considered dirty, polluting, impure, untouchable and isolated from family, community and society during periods. In Tamil Nadu a 14-year old girl died on 16 November 2018 in a cyclone after being forced to sleep separately in a hut isolated from the house because she was menstruating. Out of every 100 girls, 77 cannot enter places of worship or pray if they are on their periods, 50 cannot touch people or special food items and 26 are forced to sleep separately during their periods.
The bike ride will start from Townhall, follow the route to Mekhri Circle, Iskon Temple, PES College, Deve Gowda Petrol Bunk, JP Nagar, Silk Board, BDA Complex HSR, a total of 40 kms in the heart of the city to signify the 40 years a woman menstruates in her lifetime and end with pledge taking. Though the ride will be led by India Bull Riders many other biking clubs are joining this historic ride like the Bikerni, 50+ Bulleteers Bangalore, Biking Buddies and individual riders are also invited to join this ride for a social cause.
This is the second edition of Men Take Lead Ride, the first being in the year 2017 where it was spotted as one the leading events in the world happening on International Menstrual Hygiene Day as collated by MH Day Secretariat and WASH United. The impact of the ride was its acknowledgement by international development agencies and practitioners in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene sector as an innovative approach to achieve menstrual hygiene management involving boys and men and willingness to look at it as a programmatic addition to current MHM programs in India.
Chris Bobel, a renowned researcher and professor from Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA wrote about Men Take Lead Ride in her book “ The Managed Body: Developing Girls and Menstrual Health in the Global South” as “ …it is a solution demonstration of a new kind of leadership that will address women’s issues. And this is important. For e.g., when it comes to rape, women activists have worked for decades by sensitizing girls to be safe and pushing laws and policies, but rape has not stopped. This is because the leadership is only confined to women fighting for women. Men need to step in; they are great partners in this cause. We have been assuming that men are only problem, but they can be part of the solution.”
Founder of Breaking the Silence Worldwide Foundation and social worker Urmila Chanam said, “Men Take Lead Ride is not just a bike ride on Menstrual Hygiene Day; it’s a social movement involving many people and their voices especially men to make menstrual hygiene a reality. What good is ensuring availability of sanitary napkins or products are if we cannot address the most basic human need for dignity.”
Nujo John a bike rider himself manages Men Take Lead Ride and said, “Bengaluru is one of the safest places for girls and women in India when you compare them to other cities where crimes against women are so high. So, it should not come as a surprise that this movement to make this world a better place for girls and women comes from Bengaluru.”
Pinky Chandran, Director of Radio Active, Bengaluru’s first community radio station has been supporting Men Take Lead ride right from the start not just as the event’s media partner. She said, “Radio Active is all about nurturing voices of people and Men Take Lead Ride is such an important platform for building men’s voices on a topic like menstruation that’s been shrouded in silence and shame for generations. When men begin talking about menstruation, it will serve to normalize menstruation and aid good health.”
Renniesh Philip, Koppira Darshan Ayanna, Manish Gupta, Satish Mohapatra, Keerthi Sagar, Ajas, Akthar Sharif form the Men Take Lead Ride 2019 team along with Urmila, Nujo and Pinky.
Close to 200 bikers are expected to be a part of Men Take Lead 2019 Ride.
Urmila Chanam 9902858700 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nujo John 9916485903 email@example.com
Pinky Chandran 9845888686 firstname.lastname@example.org