Padman of Bengal - Giving for Good Foundation

Meet the Pad-man of Bengal, Sobhan Mukherjee

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Many important issues that need to be addressed are often buried under the stigma of societal marginalization. Be it accepting different sexualities, their needs or talking about something as natural and recurring as menstruation, our society simply refuses to talk. Something like menstruation happens to almost half the population of this world every month, plays a major role in procreation and yet is a taboo amongst many cultures. When we think of menstruation, the first thing that pops up in our heads is that it happens only to females and that it's only their problem to deal with. The non-conforming parts of society are often left out of these conversations, and they are left to figure out the way around 'their' issues. 

The problem roots where periods are just associated with females and not with the other menstruators because we fail to acknowledge the fact that females aren't the only gender that menstruates. It is no news that the LGBTQ2+ community receives a lack of liberty, respect, and freedom of expression. Even though they have the freedom to live a safe, respectful, and indiscriminate life, the reality is much different from that. There is a dire need for awareness, acceptance, sensitivity, resources and most importantly, a conversation to put a period to all the societal constructs.

Sobhan Mukherjee is a 26-year-old, who not only acknowledges the stigma around menstruation and the needs of transgenders but is also actively working towards making hundreds of lives easier every day. His outstanding work with initiatives like Bandhan, Tridhara, Blood Relation Project, Ghore Ghore Sanitary Pad and his magazine, Kobi Kolom has been crowned with awards like the C. Subramaniam Award awarded by the National Foundation for India and the Ananya Samman 2018 Award awarded by the ZEE network and has also been mentioned in the Times of India. 

Breaking the taboo around menstruation

Sobhan Mukherjee was born and brought up in Bansdroni, Tollygunge and Kolkata. He was born into a middle-class family and was always encouraged to focus on his education. The school introduced him to the unevenness in the privileges where one student came from a wealthier family than the other. This was when he felt the need for social service. 

His journey led him to work towards breaking the taboo around menstruation and the facilities for transgender people. Talking about compassion towards transgenders, he imparted that from his parents. "Whenever the trans people from the Hijra association used to come, my mother used to chat with them, offer them beverages. My parents used to do the same with labourers and others too. They never looked at them as if they didn’t belong", he says.