One of the things the global pandemic did not change is women’s periods, yet with limited transport options across India especially those women in the rural areas are lacking access to clean pads. This is in addition to the already existing access issues surrounding hygienic sanitary pads in rural areas. As two women leading our NGO’s we’re not here to watch, we’re here to do something about it in a sustainable way and invite you to join our movement.
We at Suzlon Foundation and Orikalankini believe that access to hygiene products is a basic women’s right. With the collaboration of both our NGO’s we’re completing each other well: Suzlon being the hands and Orikalankini being the eye of this project. We are dedicated to to contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and to work for sustainability and truly sustainable products. While manufacturers promote disposable pads, it is not sustainable due to lack of mechanisms in rural areas to manage the waste without environmental pollution. With a hardworking existing on ground team and cloth sanitary pads as products the two organizations are well poised to implement this well-planned, sustainable project.
When there are little savings and no jobs, often a decision arises shall I buy pads or food? This decision, however, is very very silent. Impacts of this decision are only on the menstruator. No one knows. No one needs to know no?
A few organizations are distributing disposable sanitary pads, will they do it next month? Will they do it every month? Is it a sustainable option during this period, has it ever been?
Suzlon Foundation has an outreach, presence and close community connect with village institutions and communities to provide access to reusable cloth pads for rural women in the remotest areas of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Orikalankini is changing narratives around menstruation and expresses inclusive sexuality through art, theatre, dialog, and connection. Instead of being something to "manage," menstruation is seen as a way to connect with our bodies and care for the earth. Orikalankini creates safe spaces to discuss menstruation and sexual health.
Together we believe that we can ensure the safest way to provide reusable cloth pads to women in need.
ISSUES WE SOLVE:
· Rural women are mostly unaware of the need for sanitary pads, neither do they have access to nor can they afford hygienic sanitary pads. Often it is a combination of these issues. WE SPREAD AWARENESS!
· Alternatively to pads old clothes are used as cheap alternatives that are not dried in the open due to the prevailing taboos around menstruation and leading to infections. WE PREVENT INFECTIONS!
· Taboos in going to a medical shop manned by salesmen, stops women from buying in store. WE BREAK TABOOS AND MAKE PADS ACCESSIBLE!
· Lack of privacy and waste disposal mechanisms hinder use of disposal sanitary pads. WE’RE GIVING A SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE!
· There is silence around the topic of menstruation hence any discomfort, symptoms or diseases are not discussed with family members or health care personnel. WE’RE GIVING MENSTRUATION A VOICE!
500 rural underserved women spread across 5 states of India.
We’re distributing reusable cloth sanitary pads costing Rs. 150 per set of three that lasts for 3 years paired with awareness sessions on how to use, store and dispose sanitary pads, followed by handholding to address gaps in the value chain.
Less reproductive tract infections.
Less Environment pollution.