Secretary & Project Head
Urmila Chanam is a menstrual hygiene management activist from India, global campaigner of women’s right to dignity and good health, Founder of ‘Breaking the Silence’ Campaign, an initiative that reaches out to hundreds of thousands of adolescent girls and women and educates them on menstrual hygiene management and the need to end myths, taboos and stigma around menstruation. Her initiatives also leads a vibrant social media campaign which carries along with her outreach, other initiatives going around the world to inform, guide and sensitize the mass. Urmila is a certified trainer/facilitator on menstrual hygiene management, gender- based violence and digital empowerment travelling to different countries and a journalist and writes for India’s number one youth media forum, Youth Ki Awaaz. Part of the Network of Women in Media India, she is closely linked to media both print and electronic in India. She was adjudged among the top 35 journalists in 2017 for challenging social norms on Youth Ki Awaaz. She has trained over 8000 adolescent girls and women in the last 5 years on biology of menstruation, menstrual hygiene management and safe and environment friendly disposal of used sanitary products in nooks and corners of India and abroad in remote villages where health seeking behaviour and facilities are compromised. She advocates for a better world for girls and women in international forums and public speaking platforms giving emphasis on the role social norms plays in justice seeking mechanisms in gender- based violence and menstrual hygiene attainment and pushes for a society that is supportive to women. She is an integral part of MH Alliance India, the national level consortium of organizations in India working on menstrual Hygiene Management and is engaged in National level consultations, dialogue and cross-sharing. She has experience of working with the government at different levels including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Manipur and Karnataka. Recipient of the UNFPA National Laadli Awards for using Social Media to lead change, she received the global award from World Pulse, the Voices of Our Future (VOF) and is the Ambassador of World Pulse, the largest social network of women leaders connecting 190 countries promoting digital empowerment to access information and opportunities via the internet. She was honoured by Vodaphone Foundation on International Women’s Day as one of the 50 ‘Women of Pure Wonder’. Recipient of the MasterCard Celebrate Heroes Award 2017, her vision is to give the power that comes from accurate information to individuals. She received the Iconic Woman Award from Women Economic Forum in May 2017 and serves as member of the Advisory Executive Committee of WEF.