BENGALURU : Members of a motorcycle club from Bengaluru carried out a unique initiative to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene in a remote Himalayan village. In their ride through the Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh, they distributed sanitary pads to villagers and female monks at the Pangmo village for free. The group of four bikers, part of the India Bull Riders group, carried out the act at the village during a trip last week. The village situated in Spiti valley, is a high altitude desert that has a landscape similar
to Ladakh. This is among the most remote places in the country. Speaking about the initiative, Renniesh Philip, one of the four riders who took part in the trip, said it is routine for the group to carry out some community service during their rides.
The group purchased around 100 packs of sanitary napkins at Kaza, Spiti’s biggest city. Recalling the experience, Philip said, not many pads were available at the medical store they visited, in Kaza. “The shopkeeper was initially surprised to see four men asking for so many pads, but when we told him why we wanted them, he was extremely happy and said, ‘Take them all.’ He even sent a couple of helpers to get additional pads from other places,” Philip said.
At Pangmo, a localite first communicated to female residents and inmates of a monastery for females at the village about what the riders wanted to do and how it was a more hygienic practice. According to Philip, the villagers’ reaction was extremely positive.When they were discussing ideas during the trip, Koppira Darshan Ayanna, another rider, came up with this idea. “I knew Pangmo is a very remote village and thought sanitary pads are probably not easily accessible to its residents,” he said.
He got the idea as he had done a ride to spread awareness on good menstrual practices in Bengaluru last year. In addition, the group also planted a few saplings at the village - something they have done on their other rides too. The other riders on the ride were Mahesh Kemkar and Sudhir Nanjappa.