Newly crowned Miss World, 20-year-old Manushi Chhillar, is using her medical background to focus much-needed attention on an issue that is often regarded in Indian society as a subject that is taboo.
At a media interaction on Monday, Chhillar said, “There are very basic things about menstrual hygiene that people are unaware about. One year into medical college, during my project to create awareness about it, I realised that education alone wasn’t enough. We needed to give them a sustainable system women could follow to practise menstrual hygiene.”
In the year ahead, she will be travelling abroad to participate in ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ projects along with coparticipants at the Miss World pageant. “I am really excited that I will be visiting four continents this year and spreading awareness about menstrual hygiene. So, Bollywood is something that isn’t on my mind right now,” said Chhillar, adding that she would want to work with Aamir Khan in a movie though.
Various campaigns advocating lower taxes on sanitary napkins have the beauty queen’s support. “Menstruation is a natural process and sanitary pads are a necessity. They should be available at a low cost. The good thing about my project was making sanitary pads available at low cost and I would like to take it forward,” said Chhillar, who won the fbb Colors Femina Miss India in her journey to the Miss World title.