Meet Dharani: A Student Fighting to Get Rid of One Pesky Taboo

When the University of Maryland's School of Public Health announced The Do Good Challenge service initiative in 2016, grad student biology major Dharani Krishnamoorthi and four other girls answered the call. Together, they co-founded a grassroots organization called No Taboo. Period. aimed towards fundraising and donating feminine hygiene products to homeless and impoverished women.

After a year as active president, Krishnamoorthi stepped down to let a new executive board reign. But don’t let that fool you, NTP is a part of her, and she’s here to offer another show of support to the organization she helped form.

Could you talk about the driving factor behind the organization’s formation?

We didn’t know that the area, especially the D.C.-metro area, has a large population of homeless individuals and very much so impoverished individuals. When it comes to donating things, people think clothes, food and things of that nature but something that most people don’t think to donate is feminine hygiene products. The other co-founder, Megan, was the one who brought this idea up with the group and that was something that interested me because when she first proposed it, I was like, “Oh, that’s kind of strange.” But when I thought about it, I was like, “Oh wait, that’s not something that I would’ve ever thought of.” And that’s absolutely true. There is a need for this; there must be.

What do you find most challenging about making sure your mission comes to fruition?

I would say it would be the hesitation that still exists. People brushing you off and being like, “Oh yeah, that is a problem, but is it really that important?”

What do you think sparked the large, growing interest in NTP?

Maybe it would be the fact that it is so taboo. I feel like a lot of us are used to not talking about things so openly. The fact that this platform exists, we allow that open conversation with everybody and we’re not afraid.

Is it difficult to let go of the reigns and see what the new NTP executive board is going to do?

Very much so. I took over because of how much I enjoyed my experience. At the same time, I know the board this year is amazing.

Are service and volunteering important to you?

Of course. It’s one thing to be able to sit on our campus and advocate for these things and have our community donate. But it’s another thing to actually go and work with the individuals who are being affected and go actually make a difference in their lives. There really is a point to what it is that we’re doing.