Globally, around 1.2 billion women lack access to basic sanitation and hygiene. A study by UNICEF and WaterAid found that almost a third of the girls in South Asia miss schools due to lack of access to toilets and pads in school as well as the lack of awareness. Statistics say that in India, specifically, 60% of adolescent girls missed school on account of menstruation, and about 80% still use homemade pads. 70.62 million people in India live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day (142 Rupees approximately). Each month, an average Indian woman spends around 300 Rupees on menstrual products. Hence, it becomes unattainable for women of lower-income households to afford basic menstrual products. This lack of access to menstrual products and awareness of menstrual hygiene may lead to diseases such as toxic shock syndrome, urinary tract infection and even cervical cancer. Taking note of these circumstances, the UN has declared menstrual hygiene as a global public health and human rights issue. It is essential in this context to take concrete steps. The Millennium Fellowship fellows from TISS, Tuljapur campus, have decided to launch project 'Bhrithi' to end period poverty and ensure equitable access to menstrual products and information in collaboration with the Adira Foundation. ADIRA conducts awareness camps in rural areas and urban slums and educates young girls and women regarding menstrual hygiene and sanitation. Till date, they have covered 33 locations across India, including locations like remote villages, urban slums and orphanages, and have distributed over 11,400 sanitary napkins and educated over 8000 menstruators.
Millennium Fellows TISS - https://www.instagram.com/millenniumfellows_tiss/?hl=en
ADIRA - https://www.instagram.com/adira.foundation/?hl=en