Periods are a completely normal occurrence for women. However, menstrual health is still regarded as a taboo subject in many countries. The disgrace of menses and menstrual sanitation is the demolition of several human rights, most evidently of the right to human dignity.
Menstruators from the lower rungs of society are often unable to afford fitting sanitary products to manage their menstrual hygiene, owing to monetary and societal constraints. With minimum access to menstrual products, lack of medical care, and poor menstrual hygiene, diseases like UTIs and other infections often end up being fatal for these menstruators. Period poverty negatively influences education, health, and employment.
Since 2019, Badlaav Social Reform Foundation, through Project SAKSHAM (Safe Knowledge on Sexual Health and Menstruation), is making a collaborative effort to dismantle the stigma around menstruation, and make educative resources and menstrual products available to low-income menstruators in India.
While these issues have long persisted, most women and girls were unprepared for what was to come with the outbreak of COVID-19. Approximately 350 million menstruators suffered severe consequences due to delays on a policy level, disruption in the supply chain, halt in free-pad supply schemes, and financial constraints. Consequently, women and girls were forced to resort to unhygienic, home-made alternatives such as old rags, leaves, cotton and mud which can often lead to reproductive tract infections and in some cases may be life-threatening.
With your generosity, we educated over 1000 menstruators, and distributed over 200 cloth pad kits and menstrual cups.
This not only helped the women and girls menstruate safely, it also reduced tons of plastic and hazardous waste from ending up in the environment.