Students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have launched a social campaign called ‘UnMute’ focused on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and self-defence against sexual harassment. This initiative is a part of Shaastra 2022, the annual technical pageant of IIT Madras.
The campaign has partnered with NGOs such as Chudar, Go-Hygiene, CRY, Sakhya, and Swayam to conduct programmes including pad distribution drive in Bengaluru, online classes on gender inequality, and influence on individual lives, MHM, consciousness classes for school-going women in Chennai, etc.
According to the university, every year, the Shaastra group makes an attempt to determine a social situation and undertake initiatives to deal with it.
This year, the UnMute campaign will conduct two events. The MHM awareness sessions wherein speakers will talk about menstrual hygiene, how the lack of it can lead to diseases, and teach how to maintain good menstrual hygiene. In the end, menstrual pads would be distributed to the women.
Another event is the self-defence programme that addresses why women are sexually assaulted even now, empowering women and enabling them to defend themselves by identifying dangerous situations and employing simple techniques. The students plan to conduct a few sessions as the speakers themselves.
As per Nitish Gupta, co-curricular affairs secretary, Shaastra 2022, IIT Madras it is believed that a lot of these incidents can be mitigated by informing women about some basic self-defence techniques along with helping them and, even men, understand how to assess a situation so that they can help people, even if they aren’t the ones being assaulted. As a part of the event, speakers are contacted by various organisations to talk about why women are even now sexually assaulted, empowering the women to understand the disparities in society, and enabling them to defend themselves by identifying dangerous situations and employing simple techniques.