“One of the best things we did was to collaborate with the X-Men of Mypromovideos team” – Aditi Gupta, the co-founder of Menstrupedia guest blogs
Menstruation is a topic that had been shushed for a long, long time. And somehow sweeping it under the rug has only raised more questions than answers. Menstruation is a natural biological process and a beautiful aspect of womanhood. But that is not exactly what we learn, growing up. All we are taught is to be embarrassed and apologetic at the very mention of the word. And of course, discreet!
Menstrupedia was not an idea that happened suddenly. Like all good things, it was a dream that evolved over time and took shape. It was a subject close to my heart and the idea had taken root from as early as 2009. When we, meaning myself and my partner Tuhin, officially launched Menstrupedia in October, 2012, we had not an inkling of what to expect. The idea was to break the taboo associated with menstruation in India, spread awareness and debunk the myths associated with it.
A year later, we have our head in clouds. The knowledge, that Menstrupedia has touched over a lakh people from more than 195 countries, is exciting and humbling at the same time. When we launched a crowdfunding initiative, about 175 donors from 85 cities showered us with their generosity.
Of course, none of it would have been achieved in such a magnanimous scale, were it not for the medium that we used to create awareness. One of the best things we did was to collaborate with the X-Men of Mypromovideos team (that’s how I like to call them!) to bring out an awareness video. It was during the Goa Project 2013 that I met Gopal from Mypromovideos that triggered the whole idea.The team came up with the most beautiful video that handled the delicate subject of menstruation with all the sensitivity that it deserved. When I first read the script, I had tears in my eyes. I could connect to it in such profound manner. And that was not all! When the video ‘The Beauty of Red’ was done and finally shared, the viewers felt so emotionally attached with the narration that we were bowled over by the way it had been received. The video was unique because an animation video that dealt with the subject of menstruation had never been done before.
Natividad Mateos Lucero, who is one of the crew members of ‘Moon inside you’, translated the subtitles in Spanish. Explicamos took it further by translating the voiceovers in Spanish. Goonj, one of the biggest social organizations working in the field of menstrual awareness, wanted to translate it into Hindi. People wanted to contribute, to become a part of it and it was a very touching gesture.
When the video was screened at the Animation Films Festival, Francois Chalet, a revered figure in the animation and graphic design industry, who hails from Zurich, Switzerland, was so touched after watching it that he said he had no words to express what he felt. There were a lot of people who responded encouragingly. It was also screened at Chitrakatha, held at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Jubilee Hills Public School, Hyderabad. The video continues to elicit overwhelming response, interest, and curiosity of viewers.
In the process, it generates more awareness.The Beauty of RED” being screened at Jubilee Hills Public School, Hyderabad. 120 girls from class 6 and class 7 watched the film on 2 separate days and shared what they feel about menstruation and their bodies. We are planning to use the video in future to create more awareness by translating it into more regional languages and screening it in schools, gatherings, and conferences. It is a little step that we plan to take every day towards a bigger dream.
‘Beauty of Red’ definitely gave us some memorable moments. It was featured in Hindu Metroplus as one of the videos that went viral.
We have some pretty interesting numbers to back it up too. It had reached to over 70,000 people & 4500 video plays on Facebook, over 12,500 views on Youtube and about 3500 views on the translated videos. The video got shared an impressive number of times as well. The average time that people used to spend on homepage was 1 minute and 31 seconds. After we uploaded the video on our homepage, the average time that people started spending on the homepage increased to 1 minute and 37 seconds.
Recently, Menstrupedia has been adjudged as one of the finalists for ‘Sankalp Awards’ in the women empowerment category. These achievements are by no means, ordinary. The video ‘Beauty of Red’ has undoubtedly played a huge role in recreating Menstrupedia’s success story. At least, we know when to be grateful where it is due. Heartfelt thanks to the team of Mypromovideos for sharing our enthusiasm and for creating such an emotionally stimulating video.