IIT Madras launches ‘UnMute’ Campaign on menstrual hygiene management, self-defence

IITM students have partnered with NGOs for pad distribution drive in Bengaluru, online sessions on gender inequality etc. for Chennai school girls.

IIT Madras launches ‘UnMute’ Campaign on menstrual hygiene management, self-defence IIT Madras students launch campaign to help women speak on social issues and spread awareness (Source: Official)
Vagisha Kaushik | Dec 27, 2021 - 3:57 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras students have launched a social campaign called ‘UnMute’ on menstrual hygiene management and self defence against sexual harassment. Through this campaign, students aim to help women to raise their voices on these issues and spread awareness.

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The ‘UnMute’ Campaign was launched virtually on October 24 in the presence of Actor Ahsaas Channa.

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'UnMute' Campaign Logo, launched by IIT Madras Students as part of Shaastra Technical Festival (1)IIT Madras' UnMute Campaign to help girls, women speak on and spread awareness about social issues like menstrual hygiene management, gender inequality; teach self defence against sexual harassment etc.

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The initiative has been launched as a part of Shaastra 2022, the annual technical festival of IIT Madras. Under the initiative, students have partnered with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as Chudar, Go-Hygiene, CRY, Sakhya and Swayam to conduct programmes like pad distribution drive in Bengaluru, online session on gender inequality and impact on people’s lives, menstrual hygiene management awareness sessions for school-going girls in Chennai.

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IIT Madras' campaign for women

Highlighting the unique aspects of this campaign, Ratna Kumar Annabattula, faculty advisor, Shaastra 2022, IIT Madras, said: “This year the team has put tremendous efforts to execute UnMute, that primarily associated with menstrual hygiene management and self-defense for women. Having collaborated with various NGOs, the students hope to create a long-lasting impact by helping women to pursue a confident life.”

According to an official statement from the institute, every year about 23 million girls drop out of school in India as soon as they start menstruating, according to a report by youthkiawaaz. Also, 62% of women in the age group of 15-24 years still depend on cloth during periods. Such facts highlight the need to educate girls about the importance of menstrual hygiene management. The IIT Madras students also intend to inform girls about how MHM can be followed and provide them with the required tools.

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Speaking about this initiative, Nitish Gupta, co-curricular affairs secretary, Shaastra 2022, IIT Madras, said: “We believe that a lot of these incidents can be mitigated by informing women about some basic self-defence techniques along with helping them and, even men, understand how to assess a situation so that they can help people, even if they aren’t the ones being assaulted. As a part of our event, speakers are contacted by various organizations to talk about why women are even now sexually assaulted, empowering the women to understand the disparities in society, and enabling them to defend themselves by identifying dangerous situations and employing simple techniques.”

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Events under UnMute campaign:

  • MHM Awareness sessions: Speakers trained on the menstrual hygiene subject will be invited to speak to girls, women of the target audience NGO in an online or offline mode. They will speak about the need for menstrual hygiene, how the lack of it can lead to diseases and teach how to maintain good menstrual hygiene. In the end, menstrual pads would be distributed to the women.
  • Self-Defence: Address on the topic of why women are even now sexually assaulted, empowering women and enabling them to defend themselves by identifying dangerous situations and employing simple techniques. The students plan to conduct a few sessions as the speakers themselves.

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