A social design project to destigmatise menstruation amongst domestic workers within the Gomti Nagar neighbourhood in Lucknow, India.
‘Mahina’ is commonly a Hindi word for ‘month’ and often a euphemism describing the monthly cycle in India. The housemaids are focalised using community immersion and co-creation strategies to understand their menstrual beliefs and practices. Firstly, the Gupshup artefact mimics wrapping sanitary packages in newspapers upon purchase in small Indian shops under shame. Based on remote interviews and secondary research, I have emulated the objects and crafted them to unravel the plight of housemaids. The second part of the research is the Gomti Nagar Gazette publication which features the fieldwork research done in the neighbourhood to understand the housemaids’ menstruation experiences through interviews and a glimpse into their daily lives through written observations and photos. Based on the research, the Mahina calendar provides various period-positive habits, tips and tricks for their difficulties. It features quotes from the housemaids and a sticker tracking system for their period. The goal is to reduce internalised stigmas through a calendar, a culturally significant medium in India, present in all helpers' homes. Lastly, an informational video titled ‘What is Menstruation?’ explains and simplifies the biological process and is uploaded on the ‘MAHINA’ Youtube channel for the helper's easy access on their phones.