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Get real. Period

Updated on: 14 July,2021 09:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Tanishka D’Lyma |

The Biological Reality, a patient-advocacy project that captures the journey of menstruators with chronic disorders, has been selected for Good Pitch Local - Deccan 2021, a funding forum

Get real. Period

A photo from the project. Pic courtesy/The Biological Reality

Anuhya Korrapati, a menstrual health activist, tells us, “Twenty-five million women in India have endometriosis and very few are lucky to be diagnosed and treated appropriately.” Statistics like this, prevalent across menstrual disorders, make the work of patient-advocacy groups and period health-awareness projects like The Biological Reality (TBR) not only important but also urgent.

TBR is an audio-visual project that began in March 2021 and documents the reality faced by individuals with chronic menstrual illnesses. This includes menstruation at the margins — with disabled, queer and transgender menstruators; individuals diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), adenomyosis, endometriosis and uterine fibroids, and those experiencing menopause.

The Biological Reality, illustrated by Zeel Sanghvi
The Biological Reality, illustrated by Zeel Sanghvi

The work-in-progress project aims to create awareness within a social context and sensitise the medical community. Korrapati, who initiated the project with peers Geetanjali Gurlhosur, Siri Sinchana and Namrata Menon, talks about medical gaslighting and dismissive responses that patients face. “There is a lack of diagnoses [which results in] medical trauma,” the 25-year-old tells us. “Just because a disorder is invisible, doesn’t mean it’s not disabling or debilitating.”

Adopting a participation-based method of documentation called Auto-Photography, participants are given cameras to capture themselves and retain control of their narrative. TBR stems from the work of a not-for-profit PMDD support group called BeyondBlood founded by the Bengaluru-based activist, where her peers often store pictures of themselves at their lowest to share with the support group as a reminder of progress. 

With an aim to extend its impact, TBR will also provide evidence-based information for menstrual experiences, build a patient-advocacy community, and offer peer support. The team also plans to encourage the patient-physician relationship with courses for medical professionals to engage with patients and learn from their lived experiences.

Anuhya Korrapati
Anuhya Korrapati

Recently selected for Good Pitch Local - Deccan 2021, a forum that connects social justice films and media with partners to further impact, the project will be pitched to funders and partners in August. About Good Pitch’s workshops and accessible resources, Korrapati says, “I can see it as a long-term project with a lot more impact than what I initially visualised for it.” 

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