02/25/2019, 11.59
INDIA
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Indian nun welcomes Oscar for film on menstruation taboo

by Nirmala Carvalho

2019 Oscars awards the short documentary category wins "Period. End of Sentence ", by the American-Iranian director Rayka Zehtabchi. In Uttar Pradesh for 30 years the Franciscan nuns have been caring for women's hygiene in rural villages.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "We are very happy" for the Oscar awarded to the documentary film "Period. End of Sentence”, Sr. Liza Ignatius, gynecologist at Our Lady of Graces Hospital in Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh tells AsiaNews.

According to the nun, who has been taking care of women's hygiene in rural villages in India for years, the victory "is good news for us who serve poor women in rural areas. This will help us to improve our initiatives in favor of women's hygiene ".

The documentary, available on Netflix, is by the American-Iranian director Rayka Zehtabchi. It tells the difficulties of seven Indian women working in a small sanitary towel factory, since their use is considered unacceptable.

In many parts of Asia, in fact, the menstrual cycle is a taboo: in Nepal there are still huts where the women who have just given birth and those with the cycle are confined; in India all women of child-bearing age (from 10 to 50 years) are forbidden to enter many Hindu temples.

Sr. Liza says: "My patients are very poor and come from rural villages. We regularly organize programs and courses on women's issues, such as menstrual hygiene. The hospital is at the service of the poorest of the poor".

Our Lady of Graces Hospital is located about 30 km from the city of Meerut. The clinic was founded about 30 years ago at the initiative of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Grace (Fslg), which also includes the gynecologist nun. The latter, who has been working here for 22 years, is responsible for the development of health care for maternity and childhood.

Sr. Liza has transformed what was a simple dispensary into a hospital in all respects. The religious is also the promoter of the project "Mission Karuna 83 - Fslg" that offers to the needy who cannot bear the costs of medical expenses free access to diagnostic tools to control blood pressure and other disorders such as diabetes.

The method is simple: every month the volunteer sisters bring the kits to measure blood pressure and glucose levels in 10 villages. Here, after Sunday mass, mobile clinics are set up to welcome the sick in need. Sr. Liza reports that the goal is "to be a messenger of our compassionate Father, taking care of the elderly and the abandoned, reaching those in need of medical care, controlling their health and suggesting to everyone a healthy lifestyle".

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