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Meet Gurnoor Suri: A 16-Year-old Activist advocating for Menstrual Rights for all

Driven by words of Activism, Gurnoor Suri believing to work for the transformation of Society

It is always beautiful to see young minds getting involved in removing the ills from society and making it a better place to live, not for them but for all. One such young mind is Gurnoor Suri, a 16-year-old activist – humanities student at Sanskriti School, New Delhi. Gurnoor is an individual who strongly believes in the power of transforming society and leading, she tells that she has always been driven by the world of activism and have devoted the majority of her time, beyond school, engaging in activism.

Earlier this year, to advocate for menstrual rights, she created a team ‘Ehsaas’ under Buland Udaan, an organization working on menstrual empowerment. Serving as the functioning head of the same for a period of 8 months, now she has stepped into the web of social entrepreneurship. Gurnoor is planning to come up with a new venture in the upcoming year with an idea of demystifying empowerment and uplifting the future.

Telling about the incident that acted as an eye-opener to her, she told about her episode of encountering a victim of Domestic violence. “A swift shift in my perspective about the world was encouraged by a heart aching episode of encountering a woman who was made a victim of domestic violence during 5 days when she menstruated because her PMS was a major hindrance in her capacity to work and earn a fiscal amount. Not being oblivious towards the fact that it was not just her, but millions of such menstruators who are surrendered as victims of abuse, illiteracy, and ignorance due to the lack of awareness regarding menstruation, I was motivated to bring about a change, slight but considerable.”

It was then when she founded Ehsaas in 2020 itself, and served as the functioning head of the team, adopting the model of social activism.

Read more: Gulmeher: A Women’s collective turning waste pickers to artisans

Talking about the challenges faced by menstruators, Gurnoor pointed out the following –

  • Lack of awareness and sensitivity towards menstruation has not only made menstruation a sword covered by societal expectations but has worsened the conditions of those who are unable to afford and access suitable menstrual products for their regular use.

  • Where menstruation is regarded as a topic concerning only women, safeguarded in silent whispers, menstruators are unable to reach out to gynecologists and are coerced into suffering silently.

  • Lack of awareness regarding topics surrounding periods: PMS, PCOD, PCOS, etc. is extremely problematic as well.

  • Besides that, a cause that is often reduced to negligence is making menstruation an inclusive term, a term that is not only associated with women but also those who have female genitalia but do not identify as a woman.

Discussing the initiatives/ steps that the country needs to take immediately to overcome the period of poverty in the country, she pointed out that combined effort of the government, as well as the citizens of the country, has the potential to uplift the society from this dark web. It is, indeed, a selfless service to transform society.

Lack of awareness is supplemented by a lack of access to menstrual products, caused by the

soaring prices and stigma attached to menstruation. A gradual change, backed by schemes & making menstrual education a necessity for young students in an open and non-judgemental environment is the key. A shift in ideology should be inculcated in young minds to empower the future and the present.

We congratulate Gurnoor for being a young and active voice getting involved in the social empowerment of society and give her best wishes for her future projects.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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