My name is Puja Thapa (27 years) and I live in Patharaiya VDC, Ward No. 4. I have four members in my family. I work as a housemaid and my husband works in India as a labourer.
I am a member of Kailali Mom Center, Good Mothers Group. Every month, we receive different types of capacity building trainings and orientations at the center. Before, becoming a member of this group, I was scared of speaking in public. But, Mom Center motivated me to get rid of my fear. Now, I am very happy since, I am able to convince and motivate community members to change their behaviour easily. I remember staying in the shed called chhaupadi (women are forced to stay in a dark isolated shed) during my periods. During this time, women are not allowed to enter the house, perform regular household chores and come in contact with foodstuff/grains, household altar as well as male members of the family.
I got an opportunity to participate in safe menstruation and chhaupadi elimination training organized by Good Neighbors. This training taught me about menstrual cycle and hygiene, and negative aspects of chhaupadi. Finally, I understood that menstruation is a natural and biological process. It does not make us ‘impure’. After participating in this training, I made a commitment to change myself and my community. Immediately, I started speaking against chhaupadi in my family and gradually in the community. Nowadays, my family and community are aware of it and let menstruating women stay in the house, take care of their health and disseminate this message to neighboring communities as well. Now, I am very happy that I was able to change my family and community with GNI’s support. Thank you, for making me a change agent.