11-year-old Ahmedabad girl attempts to break taboo around menstruation; creates an app for girls to have better access to information  

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New Delhi, September 23, 2021 — Menstruation, while a completely normal biological process, is also a topic that is not openly discussed in our country because of multiple reasons. For young girls, menstruation can be an extremely stressful time of the month. The taboos associated with the subject make it difficult for young girls experiencing menstruation to access information which could help them understand the changes their bodies undergo during that time of the month. Aayesha Goyal, an 11-year-old girl from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, saw her friends struggling with the same issue and decided to create an app called ‘Free Flo’ which is an easy-to-use, one-stop-destination for key information about menstruation and also provides girls with the option of tracking their cycle.

Speaking about the app, WhiteHat Jr student Aayesha Goyal said, “Young girls often find it very difficult to talk to adults about menstruation. The taboo surrounding the topic means that they have limited opportunities to ask a trusted adult all the queries they may have about the menstrual cycle. I have seen my friends struggling to understand why their body is going through certain changes. They wanted to know more but didn’t know whom to turn to. In fact, most apps focusing on menstruation are geared towards adult women and not towards young girls. That’s where I got the idea of creating an app which would function as a repository of information regarding menstrual health. Along with that I added more features, such as tracking period dates and a chat bot to answer queries related to issues associated with menstruation such as backache, acne and cramps.”

Parna Mehta, Aayesha’s mentor at WhiteHat Jr who guided her with the project, said, “Aayesha is an extremely perceptive child. She empathised with the problems faced by some of her friends and worked hard to offer a solution. The app ‘Free Flo’ is simple yet extremely interesting as it provides easy access and information to young girls. I am extremely proud to have had the opportunity to guide Aayesha in this purpose led project.”

Aayesha’s mother Sheleza, added, “As the mother of a young girl, I understand first-hand the kind of support our daughters require during menstruation. However, not every girl in India is fortunate enough to have an open and frank conversation about this topic with her family and friends. Aayesha’s app, ‘Free Flo’ takes into account such requirements and helps young girls manage their menstrual cycles. It is extremely heartening to see her attempting to create a solution to the  problems faced by girls in our society. Her friends are extremely supportive and happy about the work she has done. In fact, they also provided feedback to enhance the app.  All of us are hoping that Aayesha continues to create more such interesting applications.”