Advocate Spotlight – Nupur Huria

Mission Menstruation consists of a dedicated, passionate team. We embrace every opportunity to highlight our team members taking strides in their communities to further The Mission. This blog features Nupur Huria – MM’s lead advocate at Michigan State University. As the founders of MM transitioned off campus, Nupur was instrumental in continuing their foundation of advocacy at MSU. She was able to grow the existing advocacy team from 3 to 11 members in just one year and is currently involved in negotiating how the university plans to roll out its free products program this academic year. 

It is no doubt that Nupur has helped the MMxMSU team make incredible strides, but her period advocacy work doesn’t stop at MM! This summer, she spent time in New Delhi, India, educating young women about periods and the stigma surrounding them. Keep reading to learn more about Nupur’s experience.

What inspired you to begin this work?

“Being brought up in Indian culture, I was taught that periods have to be kept hidden. There’s always been this extreme stigma surrounding them, so it was always on my mind. I have also always felt really lucky to grow up in such an open-minded community, which has motivated and encouraged me to get involved in menstrual equity advocacy work and use my voice. Throughout high school, I felt that it was my responsibility to embrace my Indian culture, but at the same time had an internal struggle about going against my cultural norms.”

How did you begin your role as an educator?

“As my interest in medicine grew at MSU, I started to explore the intersection of menstrual equity and healthcare, and the detrimental health issues that can arise from menstrual stigma. As an aspiring physician who is determined to be culturally-sensitive and an advocate for patients, I knew this had to change. After learning about Pinkishe Foundation’s mission across India of reducing period poverty and stigma, I joined them as their International Relations Officer for the United States. I started off by hosting a talk show for the organization, which highlighted international menstrual equity advocacy leaders.”

What specific work did you do while in India?

“When visiting New Delhi this summer, I reached out to Pinkishe, and they arranged for me to speak at Parag Jyoti Public School. Along with Pinkishe co-founder Shalini Gupta, I spoke to adolescent girls about the biology of menstruation, the importance of menstrual hygiene, reducing menstrual stigma, and how it is the responsibility of our generation to break current social norms. At first, it was hard getting the girls to raise their hands and indicate that they had started their periods. I was astonished when I realized the minimum knowledge these girls had about their own bodies. How would they know to ask for medical help if needed, despite the stigma? I did my best to make it a point that this is a global issue and that there is a great amount of work that needs to be done in advancing for menstrual literacy.

I was elated to find out that for most of these girls, their fathers and brothers were the ones to buy the products, which just goes to show how societal views are evolving. At the end of the class, one of the girls asked, “Nupur didi, aapko lagta hai ki main be apake jaise kaam kar sakti houn bade hoke?” (Do you think I can do this work when I get older?). I knew that I had made an impact in the community. My passion for this cause continues to grow immensely and I cannot wait to go back to India and continue this work with Pinkishe Foundation.”

We are so proud of Nupur and can’t wait to continue highlighting her progress!

For more information on the amazing work done by the Pinkishe Foundation, please visit https://www.pinkishe.org/

As always, make sure you are tuned into all MM socials for more menstrual equity updates and blog posts!

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