Thousands of women and girls lack access to water, sanitation and hand-washing (WASH) facilities during menstruation. Now there is Covid, and there is lockdown and there are restrictions on movement. Imagine being women and living in 10*10 ft house during periods, with 7 other family members and having to use community toilets where men are often seen loitering around as there is nowhere to go and no empty spaces to stand and chit chat. Difficult, isn’t it?
When we first heard about the menstrual hygiene situation in Mumbai slums during lockdown, it moved us and we decided to reroute the funds we had collected for Sukma to the slums of Govandi, Mankhurd and Malwani. These are the areas where there is severe water shortage and girls find it difficult to wash soiled cloth in community toilets. Of course, apart from washing, it is even difficult to change the product in 6-8 hours intervals. If women and girls are not provided with WASH facilities including hygiene products, this can severely damage their reproductive health.
With movement restrictions and an increasing number of slums going under the containment zones, disrupted supply chains have driven the prices up, making menstrual products unaffordable. On a separate note, a lot of people are out of jobs and their family incomes are affected. In such a situation, buying sanitary napkins from medical stores is very difficult. To tackle this situation we connected with NGOs/CSR and Government networks and have been successful in distributing over 2 lakh pads to our beneficiaries. Our outreach areas include Malwani, Govandi, Mankhurd, Dharavi, Ramabai nagar slums in Mumbai. We are committed towards not letting COVID affect sexual and reproductive health of women and girls due to inaccessibility to the basic hygiene products. We need your help to keep distributing more because periods don’t stop for pandemics! Stay Tuned For More Updates.
This is a collective effort and we are always grateful to our collaborators who have supported us through various means in providing sanitary pads to the needy- Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS), Hibiscus Monkey, Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan, Essar Foundation, Red is the New Green, SNEHA, ASHA Trust and Pratham Education.
How does this work?
To provide supply of sanitary napkins to 12,000 girls, we are looking to raise a total of Rs.7,20,000.
Cost per packet of sanitary Pads (including transport): Rs 30
No. of girls: 12,000
No. of packets: 2
Cost of pads per girl: Rs 30 x 2 = Rs 60
Total Budget for 12000 girls: Rs 60 x 12000 = Rs 7,20,000
Active Ultra Sanitary Napkins comply with BIS standards and are produced across India via NGOs and SMEs across Tier-2/3 towns of India using automatic machine technology, Swachh. More than 200,000 women and girls are already using Active Ultra Sanitary Napkins in India. One girl will be provided with a supply of 12 packets for a year. This will be supplemented with training of teachers and girls on key topics like what is the biology behind menstruation, best hygiene practices and myth busting.
Who are we?
Saral Designs is National Entrepreneurship Award winning start-up working on increasing access to high quality sanitary napkins. Founded in 2015 by alumni of IITs, Saral is taking a systematic approach to address challenges in the menstrual hygiene space.
Approximately 48% of women and girls in rural India use unhygienic materials like cloth, husk, newspaper etc. to manage their periods. Multinational sanitary napkin brands have centralized manufacturing where the initial set-up costs up to INR 50 crores. In addition, the long distribution chain increases the cost of the sanitary pad almost by 50-60%. There are some low-cost, manual, manufacturing units for producing sanitary napkins, but the unit economics are financially unsustainable due to lack of speed and the quality of the product is poor. Understanding this gap, we developed the world’s first automatic and patented machine technology SWACHH, for producing sanitary napkins at a decentralized scale. While decentralization cuts down the distribution costs, the automated production ensures sustainable unit economics and high product quality at half the price of multinational products. These pads are then distributed through a network of local women who act as Sales and Outreach Agents (SOAs) in their respective villages increasing access to high quality pads at the last mile.
We aim to create a better future in menstrual hygiene solving for 4As – Affordability, Access, Awareness and Advocacy. We are committed to create and deliver solutions that would impact millions of people.
For more details, visit: http://saraldesigns.in/