We are Aleina Gandhi, Mallika Garimella, and Shifa Hafizi, 3 highschoolers who are helping the Kshamata Foundation by raising money for a comprehensive menstrual hygiene and health care program aiding the wellbeing of women and girls.
Menstrual hygiene is really important as lack of access to proper menstrual health and hygiene is the fifth biggest killer of women all over the world. And in India, this situation is very disturbing as 70% of these women are not only uneducated regarding menstrual health, but they are also made to feel impure, making menstrual health and hygiene a very uncomfortable topic for them to speak about.
To compound their misery, many of these women come from poor socio-economic backgrounds and only 20% of the menstruating girls/women in India use pads as they cannot afford the plush pads that the economically-advantaged are using. This is extremely dangerous as both usage of unclean material or non usage of any form of pad make these women susceptible to dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases.
Adolescent girls constitute a vulnerable group, particularly in India where growing females are neglected when it comes to their hygiene. Menstruation is still regarded as something unclean or dirty in Indian society. The reaction to menstruation depends upon awareness and knowledge about the subject. The manner in which a girl learns about menstruation and its associated changes may have an impact on her response to the event of menarche.
Although menstruation is a natural process, it is linked with several misconceptions and practices, which sometimes result in adverse health outcomes. Hygiene-related practices of women during menstruation are of utmost importance as it has a health impact in terms of increased vulnerability to reproductive tract infections (RTI) ro PCOS.
We believe that this has to change. Periods don’t pause for a pandemic. Girls and women dependent on free or subsidised supplies from schools, anganwadis and SHGs find themselves cut off for at least a six months, if not longer. Being able to easily access affordable, good quality menstrual health equipment should not be considered a privilege, it is a right that every menstruating person deserves. These princesses need the pads not our prejudice.
Proper menstrual hygiene and correct perceptions and beliefs can aid the women from enduring this misery. With your help, we can raise enough money to protect these women and ensure them a great life. Contributing just 500 rupees can help make a difference by enabling them to procure safe and sustainable sanitary pads at an affordable cost for such women. Please donate now!