In the year 2013 during Nirmal Bharat Yatra, an initiative spearheaded by the Government of India, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and WASH United spanning across five states of India viz., Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, 60 days,18,000 girls and women and non-stop outreach, research and campaign to end open defecation and raise awareness on menstrual hygiene practices, Urmila Chanam was part of the massive international team comprised of international development agencies, NGOs, media personnel, research personnel and volunteers. That historic experience of working in different geographies and in the remotest of villages in the country to make an impact at the grass root level, interacting with multiple stakeholders and understanding government of India’s goal to ensure an end to open defecation, people make and use toilets and adopt hygiene as a way of life was the beginning of Breaking the Silence Campaign.
Minister of Rural Development Shri Jai Ram Ramesh Government of India at Wardha in Maharashtr at the launch of Nirmal Bharat Yatra
The Menstrual Hygiene Management Lab at Nirmal Bharat Yatra was a safe space for girls and women to talk about periods
Educating girls in schools during Nirmal Bharat Yatra Urmila Chanam travelled 60 days non stop.