Women’s Day 2021: “I Have Never Owned Underpants, So How Could I Use A Sanitary Pad?”

Women’s Day 2021: “I Have Never Owned Underpants, So How Could I Use A Sanitary Pad?”

Owing to their on ground work in Uttarakhand, NGO SheWings realised that the major barrier faced by women in accessing menstrual hygiene products, is not having undergarments
Women's Day Special: "I Have Never Owned Underpants, So How Could I Use A Sanitary Pad?"Happy Women's Day: SheWings is an NGO, working on the ground to provide menstrual hygiene management kits to the women in need
Highlights
  • For #DonateOldBraPanty, people can donate undergarments for women in need
  • These undergarments are dry cleaned and sterilised before donating
  • To be able to use a sanitary pad, we need undergarments: Beneficiary

New Delhi: 30-year-old Pushpa lives in a slum in Dehradun in Uttarakhand. She works as a housemaid and lives in a joint family of 5 people sharing a small space of 15 square metres. Being in a slum their shanty has no space for an individual toilet. But since 2018 the family now has access to a community toilet built under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, located 5 minutes away. Pushpa is grateful for the toilet that saves her the ignominy of defecating in the open; she particularly recounts the trouble she had during her periods during those days.

Lack of access to a proper toilet is only one of the hindrances for women like Pushpa to practice menstrual hygiene. It is a widely known fact that almost 70 per cent of the menstruating women in India can’t afford to buy sanitary napkins.

Pushpa used to use cloth during her periods, and like Pushpa they use rags, dirty cloths, etc.

Also Read: Here’s How France, New Zealand And Scotland Are Aiming To Eliminate Period Poverty And What Can India Do

SheWings, an NGO has been working on the ground to provide menstrual hygiene management kits to the women living in slums, in tier 2 and tier 3 parts of Uttarakhand for the last six years. The NGO is focused towards educating women and men about menstrual health and hygiene. But when it came to distributing menstrual hygiene kits to someone like Pushpa, the NGO workers realised there was a major a issue. Like Pushpa revealed,

I needed undergarments more than pads. I have never owned underpants, so how could I use a pad?

So many of these women can’t even afford to buy undergarments. Members of SheWings realised that the major barrier faced by these girls and women in accessing menstrual hygiene products, is not just that they can’t afford pads but also that they don’t have undergarments.

With our work, we realised that the underprivileged females living in Uttarakhand had access to only single pair of undergarments, which were either shared among different family members, while sometimes the females owned nothing at all, Madan Mohit Bhardwaj, Founder SheWings tells NDTV.

Also Read: How Did A Jharkhand District End Up Growing 5,000 Trees Through An Initiative To Promote Safe Use Of Sanitary Pads?

With the aim to fill this gap, SheWings with the help of Uttarakhand Police Family Welfare Association started the initiative called #DonateOldBraPanty. As the name suggests, under the initiative, volunteers from the NGO requested women from more privileged sections of the society to donate their old or misfit undergarments.

These undergarments are dry cleaned and sterilised, which are then donated to the underprivileged.

SheWings and Uttarakhand Police Family Welfare Association are donating these undergarments as part of their menstrual hygiene management kit, which includes a pack of sanitary pad, vaginal wipes, pair of undergarment, and aloe vera hand rub among other personal hygiene items, Mr Bharadwaj explained.

Mr Bharadwaj explained that the organisation is reaching out to as many people as they can, but the need of the hour is to create awareness about this issue to help girls and women across the nation.

We aim to uplift the living standard of these females, along with trying to make menstrual hygiene accessible for them. This campaign started in the month of November and till now we have gathered approximately 30-35 thousand pair of undergarments, which are being donated to those in need, Mr Bharadwaj said.

38-year old Savita Devi from Aghapur village said,

SheWings has really helped us. Women need undergarments, to be able use use sanitary napkins. Thank you #DonateOldBraPanty

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,78,31,904Cases
6,39,24,968Active
12,96,89,916Recovered
42,17,020Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,78,31,904 and 42,17,020 have died; 6,39,24,968 are active cases and 12,96,89,916 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,16,55,824 41,831Cases
4,10,952 2,032Active
3,08,20,521 39,258Recovered
4,24,351 541Deaths
In India, there are 3,16,55,824 confirmed cases including 4,24,351 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,10,952 and 3,08,20,521 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,03,715 6,959

80,138 733

60,90,786 7,467

1,32,791 225

Kerala

33,90,761 20,624

1,65,011 3,679

32,08,969 16,865

16,781 80

Karnataka

29,05,124 1,987

23,820 318

28,44,742 1,632

36,562 37

Tamil Nadu

25,59,597 1,986

20,716 218

25,04,805 2,178

34,076 26

Andhra Pradesh

19,66,175 2,058

21,180 18

19,31,618 2,053

13,377 23

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,441 31

712 17

16,84,973 48

22,756

West Bengal

15,28,019 769

11,113 58

14,98,770 819

18,136 8

Delhi

14,36,265 58

581 1

14,10,631 56

25,053 1

Chhattisgarh

10,02,008 102

1,863 102

9,86,621 203

13,524 1

Odisha

9,77,268 1,578

14,538 389

9,56,828 1,899

5,902 68

Rajasthan

9,53,667 17

248 6

9,44,465 22

8,954 1

Gujarat

8,24,877 27

252 8

8,14,549 35

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,828 22

122 1

7,81,193 21

10,513

Haryana

7,69,913 29

712 0

7,59,566 27

9,635 2

Bihar

7,24,835 44

457 1

7,14,735 45

9,643

Telangana

6,44,951 621

9,069 72

6,32,080 691

3,802 2

Punjab

5,99,104 51

534 10

5,82,277 60

16,293 1

Assam

5,66,198 989

13,322 510

5,47,616 1,480

5,260 19

Jharkhand

3,47,173 36

252 8

3,41,793 44

5,128

Uttarakhand

3,42,139 116

632 13

3,34,145 129

7,362

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,462 118

1,176 5

3,15,908 113

4,378

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,027 153

1,217 80

2,01,289 72

3,521 1

Goa

1,71,146 94

1,058 35

1,66,941 128

3,147 1

Puducherry

1,20,915 100

962 17

1,18,158 115

1,795 2

Manipur

98,499 801

10,540 195

86,403 981

1,556 15

Tripura

78,583 222

3,482 2

74,346 224

755

Meghalaya

65,000 686

5,966 175

57,949 499

1,085 12

Chandigarh

61,953 1

31 5

61,111 5

811 1

Arunachal Pradesh

48,122 266

3,954 188

43,939 451

229 3

Mizoram

38,925 861

12,388 213

26,387 643

150 5

Nagaland

27,872 159

1,329 55

25,977 99

566 5

Sikkim

26,548 237

3,400 98

22,804 137

344 2

Ladakh

20,338 10

56 6

20,075 4

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650 6

29 1

10,617 7

4

Lakshadweep

10,189 11

84 7

10,055 4

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,537 2

8 0

7,400 2

129

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