I start off by introducing you to some hard-hitting facts about this cause:
80% women in India cannot afford proper menstrual hygiene.
Only 36% women use sanitary pads in India.
Almost 50% girls do not know about menstruation until the first time they get periods.
Almost 23 million girls in India drop out of school annually, because of lack of menstrual hygiene management facilities, including availability of sanitary napkins and awareness about menstruation.
There is a 12% GST on Sanitary pads. Whereas, condoms are taxless!
My little sob story:
I have had the privilege of having access to hygienic washrooms at home, school, university and all the places I have had to stay all my life. My production travels in the last year to erratic locations of slum areas made me see a picture of a society that I had only seen in films like Padman. My first-hand encounter with young girls having to use cotton clothes, sometimes even mud on the days of menstruation really had me gripped.
Hence, I and my small team of 4 girls have decided to raise funds for the underprivileged girls and women of our city, Surat. We have already done a survey of the situation. Fortunately, our city is one among the better places in the country when it comes to hygiene conditions, still, there are hundreds of girls who need help with hygiene.
Our team has started holding weekend sessions for the girls in different areas of the city (how about you also do the same in your city?). We teach them how to take care of themselves during menstruation apart from general hygiene.
Near future plans and expectations:
With the donations of this campaign, we shall give them sanitary pads of decent good quality so that they can get rid of unhygienic methods of soaking blood flow which leads to various bacterial and vaginal infections.
Our target is to raise 1 lakh Rupees in one month. I am reaching out to 1000 friends. All you need to do is donate 100 Rs. (of course you can contribute more).
One Stayfree Secure pad costs Rs. 30 which contains 7 pads. It is advisable to change pad every six hours by gynaecologists. On the first 3 days, flow is heavy and the pad needs frequent changing. Overall, a girl would require 2 packets of Stayfree every month. We are providing 4 packets to each girl for them to have 2 months of safe and happy periods. We will be able to provide 2 months of stock of pads to 800 girls approximately with this campaign. (We have chosen the least expensive pad possible which girls who can afford better dont go for. That gives a rough glance of the scenario to my male friends).
All the updates of donations will be shared with you on whatsapp.
Please note, we are not an NGO. This is our one-time contribution. If it goes well, we shall continue with our service.
If you are still not convinced to donate Rs. 100 to the campaign, I leave you here with this one line insight - Menstruation is not the problem. Menstrual hygiene is.
Women empowerment much? Here is one dose of it.