It is sometimes hard to fathom that a biological process as basic as menstruation would be considered taboo or regarded as a “curse”.
But this 25-year-old from Pune is having none of it. He introduces himself in the video above: “My name is Pravin Nikam. My job is to talk about periods every day.” Nikam is popularly known as the “period man” of India. Why?
When he was 18, Nikam came across a young woman named Roshni in Assam who didn’t go to school because she was “cursed by god”. Her community didn’t allow women to attend school once they started menstruating.
Realising that this was not a unique occurrence, Nikam decided to drop out of his engineering studies and pursue his mission – educating people about menstruation and ending the taboo – full time. He started an organisation in his hometown Pune, called Roshni.
Since then, Nikam has trained over 10,000 men and women in rural areas on dispelling myths and raising awareness on the subject. He has run a campaign for free, clean and safe public toilets for women, and started a round-the-clock helpline for visually-impaired students.
Nikam was awarded a National Youth Award for his work in 2016, and nominated as a Global Youth Ambassador by the United Nations.