My Proposal: Urban Partnerships for Rural Impact- Dignity for Periods

Urmila Chanam
Posted April 23, 2016 from India
My Digital Action Campaign will use powerful pictures on different media platforms to drive home a message to raise awareness on periods and related issues in India and globally, and incite participation from people in terms of behavior change, recommendations to problems and leading change in their own communities
A picture on my Digital Action Campaign is going to look like this and carry a similar message- ' Like the many scribblings left by different people on our feedback card, every idea/thought/feeling of every person matters. Someone in the position of authority and change making process is looking out for this feedback card. What idea will you write on this sheet of paper? #WriteYourRecommendation #GetInvolved #YouMatter #BreakingtheSilence #DignityforMenstruation #WorldPulse

My Digital Action Campaign and its main goal

The theme of my Digital Action Campaign is Urban Partnerships for Rural Impact: Dignity for Periods. The goal of my Digital Action Campaign is to bridge the wide gap that exists in India between the urban and rural in the context of attaining menstrual hygiene, resources like sanitary materials, toilet, water supply and disposal, whereby the resource and solution generated by Urban people participating in my online campaign will impact the quality of life in rural(and also urban) India by way of changed policies and resources mobilized for their use.

The main goal of my Digital Action Campaign using different media platforms as mentioned below is to-

1)Create awareness on 'Breaking the Silence' Campaign and its activities.

2)Raise funds for specific projects under 'Breaking the Silence'.

3)Change people's perspectives and bring them to reject the myths, taboos and stigma around menstruation that exist ; replace the assigning of untouchability to menstruating girls and women with dignity and recognize periods as a life-giving phenomenon and not something 'dirty.'

4)Create awareness on menstrual hygiene and good health practices and empower girls and women with accurate information

5)Link women who are passionate about menstrual hygiene, women's health, education and empowerment and forge global and local partnerships.

6)Create village phone support groups among girls and women to develop a network which will disseminate information and extend help when required on menstrual hygiene and reproductive health; use the digital action campaign to share this best practice worldwide and aim for itsreplication.

7)Involve boys and men in the journey of women's empowerment and attainment of menstrual hygiene

8)Encourage community action by incentivisingleadership and action and providing visibility on the campaign.

9)Serve as a platform where people will share reports on cultural practices/problems in the context of different regions and communities

10)Invite recommendations/solutions and collate people's solutions.

11)Lead a petition campaign based on the consolidate of people's recommendations and take these recommendations to positions of authority and influence the government for policy change.

12)Sensitize media on the issue and encourage more stories, articles and reports on menstruation and community.

Varied media platforms and on-line space will be used for the digital action campaign like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to name a few.Though the mediums will be varied, the content and messages will be standard and disseminated on the same time period.

The audience for my Digital Action Campaign

My audience will be the entire social media using community across the world, girls and women, boys and men, youth, civil society, NGOs and international agencies working on menstrual hygiene,health and education, MNCs and companies that make sanitary products in India and overseas, companies with girl/woman, education, health-based Corporate Social Responsibility, Telecom companies that look at community development and empowerment,media, policy makers, legislators and the government, human right defenders, schools and educational institutions, teachers, activists and grass-root workers, research people, friends, family and colleagues.

Actions that participants of my Digital Action Campaign will be asked to take

People will

1) report of cultural practices, barriers and problems in their communities around menstrual taboos and myths as stories, pictures, videos, art forms or audio.

2) donate for supporting specific projects under Breaking the Silence Campaign.

3) will recommend solutions to problems through writing, picture based posts or videos, audios

4) will donate sanitary pads, soaps, undergarments, talcum powder and sanitary material to girls and women in the villages.

5) will have the opportunity to lead change in their community and gain visibility for their community action on my campaign.

6) willimpact policy for improvement of condition of girls and women by leading petitions in their own circle and mobilizing others.

7) participate in online quiz on menstruation

8) win prizes and certificates


It will be a 6-month long campaign between June- November 2016.


Field trips, interviews, case study recording, trainings and workshops, community classes, press meets, seminars, discussions, TV shows, Radio shows, articles on newspapers, stories on blogs.

My Digital Action Campaign will use media platforms to generate people's support and action for the betterment of those who do not have these resources in the context of attaining menstrual hygiene and dignity for girls and women in periods.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

'Breaking the Silence' Campaign received the UNFPA National Laadli Award 2015 for the Best Social Media Campaign in India for using technology and social media to change public perspectives on menstruation,challenge cultural and religious norms that belittle girls and women during periods,assign dignity to periods, engage people in intellectual discourse, mobilize people to change behaviors and take corrective actions, sensitize media, link agencies that work on menstrual hygiene, mobilize funds and sanitary material for girls and women in rural India and link online learnings and resource to impact on-ground outreach and training programs in the community.

Comments 4

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Apr 23, 2016
Apr 23, 2016

Dear Urmila,

this is waouhhhh! I like your topic, it is such an important yet often neglected issue. And I am thrilled that you are planning to do all these in six months.

I like the idea of linking women; this solidarity is so needed; yes together, we are stronger.  

Also, the fund raising part is interesting. Online giving is not very developed yet in our corner of the world,  I will be happy to learn from your experience, it is something I look forward to trying in the future. 



Urmila Chanam
Apr 24, 2016
Apr 24, 2016

Dear sister Elvire,

In India, a woman most often fears taking action fearing who will support her thought let alone her action! It becomes so crucial to ensure her that support. Women can move mountains with that support. Thank you for reading my post and I will be most happy to share my learnings from this project with you on World Pulse, where I plan to share all the milestones as we go. Have a blessed day ahead.

In solidarity,

Urmila Chanam,

Founder, Breaking the Silence


Apr 23, 2016
Apr 23, 2016

Wow Urmi this is very detailed and focused oriented. Breaking the silence around taboo issues plaguing women can only be done by women themselves. United, we are stronger.

I see how you are making great use of digital empowerment skills.

Wish you the very best in your mission

Hugs from Cameroon,

Urmila Chanam
Apr 24, 2016
Apr 24, 2016

Sister Arrey,

It has been such a great learning walking with you during the Voices of Our Future 2016 Program and I have found such a great friend and companion in you. I have worked long hours on the concept of the digital action campaign I had in mind and I am so happy you approve of it. I hope you are done with yours too. Remain in close touch and let us share our work and aspirations.

Much love and hugs, Urmila Chanam, Founder, Breaking the Silence