The latest campaign in Kerala is to highlight insensitivity against menstruating women, following the recent incident in which nearly 42 women were strip- searched after a used sanitary napkin was found in the toilet of a factory in Kochi last month.
As a first step to the campaign, the protesters will send used or unused napkins to the manager of Asma Rubber Private Limited in Kochi. The protesters hope that the new campaign would bring awareness on discrimination against menstruating women in India.
"This is not a singular act. The lack of, let alone hygienic but minimal sanitation facilities is a grave issue that women face on a daily basis. Several places do not even allow employees to go to the toilet more than twice during their work time. Protest against this inhuman act! Send a napkin (used or unused) to the MD of the company and mark your protest against this inhuman act," wrote the official Facebook page of Red Alert.
Following the protest from various quarters and media reports, the police registered a case against the female supervisors who strip-searched the female staff.
Some reports said that it was a tactic by the management to escape the situation by shifting the responsibility on the supervisors.
This is not the only incident that has plagued menstruating women in Kerala. Recently, two women and two young children were forced to get out of a KSRTC bus after the conductor doubted if the women were "pure" to travel in the bus that had Ayyappa devotees travelling to Sabarimala.
The Sabarimala shrine in Kerala is known for only allowing men and those women who are not in their menstrual age. The Ayyappas also undergo strict ritual of not coming in contact with non vegetarian food, alcohol, trimming hair or shaving.
What shocked the public more was the police's refusal to register the case after the women were forced out of the bus. The case also took a sinister, communal turn when Bajrang Dal activists threatened that anyone who disturbs the pilgrims will be "punished" and "taught a lesson".