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Aditi Gupta: Revolutionising Perspectives on Menstruation and Education


Aditi Gupta, a prominent Indian author and co-founder of Menstrupedia Comic, stands as a beacon of change in challenging societal norms and raising awareness about menstruation. Her journey from being an engineering graduate to becoming a passionate advocate for menstrual hygiene and education holds profound significance in a country like India, where menstruation stigma and misconceptions persist.

Early Years and Inspirations

Born in Garhwa, Jharkhand, India, Aditi Gupta pursued her post-graduate studies in new media design at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. It was during her time at NID that she met her future husband, Tuhin Paul, marking the beginning of a transformative journey aimed at reshaping societal perceptions surrounding menstruation in India.

One of the driving forces behind Aditi’s mission was the realisation that, despite high levels of education, many people remained uninformed about menstruation. Experiencing her first menstruation at 12, Aditi received formal education about it only at 15, a common experience for many girls in India. She grappled with age-old traditions that restricted her entry into places of worship, sitting on others’ beds, and compelled her to wash and dry her clothes separately. Additionally, she was prohibited from using available sanitary napkins due to perceived threats to her family’s honour.

Career and Menstrupedia

Aditi Gupta’s personal experiences and observations propelled her into action. Immersing herself in a year-long, in-depth study on menstruation, she gleaned insights from medical professionals and girls alike. This research laid the foundation for her groundbreaking initiative, Menstrupedia.

In November 2012, Aditi and Tuhin Paul founded Menstrupedia as a thesis project during their tenure at NID, Ahmedabad. Initially conceived as a website, Menstrupedia has since evolved into an informative platform aimed at educating pre-teens and teenagers about puberty, sexuality, and menstruation.

Menstrupedia has emerged as a transformative force in India and beyond. It provides a user-friendly guide to menstruation, hygiene, and puberty while dispelling associated myths. The platform encompasses comic books, blogs, a Q&A section, and a Learn section. Menstrupedia’s comics are available in fourteen languages and reach over 18 countries.

Aditi Gupta has been instrumental in ensuring that Menstrupedia’s knowledge reaches a wide audience, successfully implementing its materials in schools across five states in North India. These comic books have been embraced by students, parents, and educators, breaking the silence surrounding menstruation and empowering youth.

Campaigns and Recognition

Teaming up with Whisper India, Aditi Gupta and Menstrupedia have spearheaded impactful campaigns, notably the “Touch the Pickle” movement, aimed at dispelling misconceptions and taboos surrounding menstruation. This initiative has garnered support from prominent figures such as Shraddha Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Kalki Koechlin, Neha Dhupia, and Mandira Bedi.

Aditi Gupta’s exceptional contributions and unwavering dedication have earned her significant recognition. In 2014, she was honoured with a place in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list, underscoring her influence and steadfast commitment to menstrual hygiene and education.

Currently, Menstrupedia attracts approximately one lakh visitors monthly, highlighting its substantial impact in raising awareness about menstruation. Aditi’s comic books have transcended school settings and have been embraced by NGOs, including Protsahan, Munshi Jagannath Bhagwan Smriti Sansthan, Instincts, Kanha, and even two Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh.

Aditi Gupta’s journey stands as a source of inspiration for global advocates of change and stigma eradication. Through Menstrupedia, she has not only reshaped societal perceptions of menstruation but has also empowered young girls and boys with the knowledge they deserve. Aditi’s trajectory from a small town in India to the global stage epitomises the transformative impact of one person’s determination to effect change, one comic book at a time.

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