From Domestic Violence Victim To Global Award Winner And Becoming Hope Of Millions Of Women

She married to her childhood love hoping for the moons and starts but very soon she experienced a storm brewing in her life. Her husband started assaulting her physically only after six months of marriage. For eight years she remained quiet and kept it from everyone but it only kept getting worse. When her tolerance reached saturation, she took her three-year-old daughter and left her house and the trauma behind. Little did she know that these eight years of life lessons will make her the trail blazer for millions of women all across the globe. 

From a victim to a global award winner

Urmila Chanam, a native of Manipur won Voices of Our Future Award by World Pulse, a social networking platform for her enlightening work for women all across the world and breaking the stereotypes and narrow-minded thinking about menstrual hygiene. World Pulse is a social networking platform connecting women from 190 countries across the world to amplify women’s voices to speed up change and improve the lives of millions around the world. She is one of the only three recipients in the world.

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Women should not be considered as untouchables when on their periods. Don’t treat us like untouchables for five days and pretend to worship us for the remaining 25 days. Please treat us like women,” says Urmila.

Breaking the silence

She was born to an army officer that gave her an opportunity to travel which unravelled the world to her and deepened her perspectives. After her traumatic experience she realized that her silence played the devil her life and chose to raise awareness by starting ‘Breaking the Silence’ campaign that won the UNFPA National Laadli Award in 2015 for the Best Social Media Campaign in India. Her thoughts and campaigns about menstrual hygiene not only created awareness among women but also influenced male ideology in a positive way. Her work took her to various places including Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur and very soon, Kashmir would be her next campaign destination.

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(Urmila, breaking the silence)

Visions for good

Urmila vision is to see more and more number of women using sanitary pads as it will safeguard them against lethal cervical cancer that claims 72,000 lives every year. She also urges the government to include a chapter about menstrual hygiene in school curriculum to spread knowledge and also wishes to see a decline in the school dropout rate of girls due to menstruation. As long as woman like her is lighting the path for other women, the world will definitely improve and become a better place for everyone.

pic courtesy: pic-1, pic-2;

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