I am organizing a fundraiser under Hamari Pahchan, which is an NGO that undertakes several projects across India with the aim of helping the underprivileged. The cause of the fundraiser is destigmatising the topic of menstruation and providing women in rural areas with access to affordable sanitary products. A study showed that 48% of girls had no knowledge about menstruation before they got their first periods, which can cause sudden shock, anxiety and other mental problems as well as physical distress. Moreover, a survey showed that 68% of women in India cannot afford to consistently maintain menstrual hygiene due to their familial incomes being low. The focus is on women in rural areas, due to access to sanitary products being harder to attain and are socially lagging with regard to the urban areas, so they tend to have more conservative views which further burdens the female population by labeling periods as taboo although it is a natural part of life.
To combat these issues, we aim to help educate both men and women about menstruation and encourage discussions regarding the subject to help eradicate the taboo surrounding it. This can be done through various social media campaigns, visiting villages and organizing educational talks, and by encouraging those who are a part of the project to try to engage in discussions to further improve their understanding of the situation. We aim to accomplish this on 3 different levels. Firstly, as mentioned above, 48% of girls didn’t have prior knowledge about periods, so we aim to provide girls and even boys from the ages 9 and above with educational talks that educate them on what menstruation is and what to expect in the coming years. Secondly, we aim to provide sanitary kits that will give women access to clean and affordable menstrual products. Many women often resort to using old rags or other reusable alternatives due to financial struggles, so this will effectively combat the issue. Lastly, there is a lack of psychosocial help for girls who are going through puberty and experiencing changes for the first time, often experiencing mental disturbances such as anxiety and depression. To aid this, we aim to provide an outlet for these girls to approach a medical professional to help guide them through the confusing times and help keep their mental health in check.
5 ‘SUKHAD’ kits cost 7000 rupees and each kit consists of 24 sanitary pad packets, 6 packets of soap, and disposable paper envelopes. A single kit should last each woman 3 months. This fundraiser aims to provide at least 50 women with sanitary products over the course of 3 months, as well as ensuring that they have access to psychosocial help and people are actively engaging in their communities to help destigmatize menstruation. Taking all of this into account we set a target goal of 1 lakh rupees by the end of march and possibly hope to exceed this amount. We hope you can contribute to this cause in any way possible, whether it be by donating or by doing your part in society actively educating others about the subject.