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#WomenFriendlyTrains : Provide Sanitary Pads and Separate Toilets for Women on All Trains

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Didi aapke paas pad hoga kya?” (Sister, do you have a pad?)

“Mere paas to nahin hai, tumhen lekar chalna chahiye na!” (I don’t have it, you should carry it yourself!)

“Lekar chalti hun par…” (I carry it but…)

“Train me pad kahan milega tumhen! Ye tissue paper le lo.” (You won’t get pads on a train. Take these tissue papers.)

I still remember that small conversation and that journey which to me felt like--was never going to end. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life.

My periods started unexpectedly during a 14-hour long train journey. I was annoyed and completely distraught as I wasn’t carrying a pad with me. I didn’t want to stain my pants.

There wasn’t any sanitary pad vending machine in the train either, that could rescue me in that dreadful situation. I somehow managed to stop the blood with my handkerchief and those few tissue papers.

I spent the rest of my journey, sitting like a stone in the corner of the seat, praying that the terrifying journey ends soon. I wish our periods didn’t come uninvited and I am sure lakhs of women who are reading this are nodding their heads in agreement.

Women can’t control their periods, but they can be prepared for it. Indian Railways can help millions of travelling women breathe a sigh of relief with just a few women-friendly measures

I am asking Indian Railways to empower millions of women like me by taking the following measures. Sign my petition and join me in asking the current railway ministry or the upcoming one to:

1. Install Sanitary Pad vending machines in all trains.
2. Provide women’s toilet in trains.
3. Ensure that toilets on trains have proper pad disposal mechanism.
4. Advertise about these facilities for awareness on menstrual hygiene.

Imagine calling out for help without making a noise, without moving because that would draw attention. Isn’t this strange or rather sad that periods are still a taboo. A taboo that makes even full-grown adults shy away from even saying the word.

It’s a no-brainer that, as a passenger, the situation becomes worse. We can not get down on any station to buy pad nor we are supplied with the sanitary napkin on the train itself.

The condition of toilets on trains is another major problem that we women face. They are understandably inconvenient and unclean to use. A separate toilet for women traveler will give us a sense of comfort, privacy, and safety. 

I know a lot of women would relate to my story but it’s time to not just relate but change these stories. It’s time to change the narrative on menstruation so that women don’t feel helpless but empowered.

The 2019 elections are on our heads, almost all political parties will talk about women empowerment and the rights of women. And you know what will happen to this topic after elections. 

Let’s join hands together so that women’s issues are given priority in the next election. It becomes a priority for the next government.

I’ve started this petition because I feel that it’s the right of every Indian woman to have basic menstrual hygiene facilities on trains. Sign my petition if you want women to travel without fear of staining their clothes.

The problem is that nobody even talks about these issues. The problem is that these things are not even considered an issue. But when you ask a woman if she wants these facilities on trains, she’ll respond in a loud voice-Yes!

I don’t want any woman to go through the situation that I went through. 

Sign and share my petition and ask the Indian railways and leader of all political parties to commit to this women-friendly cause for the well-being of millions of women travelling on trains.

Join me in making getting #WomenFriendlyTrains Let's get #PadsOnRail

Click here if you want to sign my petition in Hindi

#SheVotes2019

Image for representation

Image Credit: Mihaela Noroc