How many of you have really understood reproduction chapters in high school? How many of you have learnt about the menstrual cycle when in school? How many of our teachers explained these in detail without shying off? Did any of our parents have an open talk with us about this? Or can any of us have an open conversation about any of these things with our parents? Forget parents, what about our friends? Do you hesitate speaking about these with them? But what do they know? They’re also deprived of this knowledge, right? They’re on the same boat with us. What’s the solution?
In a developing world, things like sex education, periods, mental health, breastfeeding are still taboos. The only solution is to create awareness to normalise these right from childhood. We, as a generation, should take a step forward to teach kids not only to solve math problems but also to tell them how to solve life problems.
Here’s my inspiration:
Swathi Jagdish aka Maya’s amma:
Swathi Jagdish, popularly known as Maya’s amma on instagram is a sexuality health educator, Lactation counselor and Parenting specialist from Coimbatore, TamilNadu. She is the director of Bond and Beyond and also the Trustee of Coimbatore parenting network. She has been a keynote speaker at a number of events and streams live on her Instagram page. She talks about Sex Education, Healthcare during Pregnancy, Menstrual cups, Mental health issues (for both Men & Women), Parenting and even Marital rape. She helps throw light on topics like Gender identity, Puberty, Relationships through her workshop “Real Talks”.
Where it all started:
Swathi Jagdish’s journey started the day her daughter Maya was born. She thought of doing a lactation course and became the first Certified Lactation Counsellor in Coimbatore. She started posting about her experiences on her instagram and facebook. Slowly she expanded her range of topics and started talking about sex, pregnancy care, healthcare etc. Initially, she received a lot of abuse but she always did her research and even got trained to become a certified sex educator.
Mother- Daughter Conversations:
Here comes the best part about her. She not only educates parents but also started telling her own child about sex education, Self love, Child harassment, good touch and bad touch, LGBTQ and many more issues that we usually shy away from discussing with children. The best part of these conversations is that Maya, a six year old, talks and understands stuff like all of us. How great it would be if every Maya out there has a parent like Swathi.
Workshops by Maya’s amma:
Swathi through her workshop, ‘The Real Talk’, has helped thousands of parents crack the sex talk in Indian households. She became The Go-To person for all men and women for Sex Ed. Here are a few upcoming workshops by swathi. Before attending or signing up for these workshops, my sincere suggestion would be to just look at all of her posts and go through story highlights. You will have enough confidence to go start an open conversation with your loved ones. Husband, children and parents too.
- Between the sheets – Sexuality awareness for both men and women
- Toxic Marriages – Abusive Relationship
- Parenting Boys – Teaching boys and changing their minds about women. Open talk on taboos like Men cooking, it’s okay for guys to cry, age/gender doesn’t matter and teaching about periods.
- The Real Talk – Sex Education for parents (There are few parents who want to share everything to their children but don’t know how to share) Watch her posts or attend her workshops for the awareness.
- Pregnancy health, breast feeding, Menstrual cups and many other beautiful topics.
You can click on the link in her bio to see the upcoming events/workshops dates. They’re available in both Tamil and English languages.
Kudos to this amazing woman who makes people think about taboos like these and help them get a healthy understanding of the same. She’s undoubtedly a great example for the budding parents to learn how a child must be “EDUCATED” and raised as a true “HUMAN”. If such parenting/education happens in every home or school, I reckon, the number of sexual harassment incidents, molestation, rape threats or even rape attempts will significantly go down.
It’s never too late to start over!! Now’s the right time to have an open conversation with your loved ones.
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