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Menstrual Hygiene

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?"
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

26,21,50,955Cases
22,29,25,306Active
3,40,18,299Recovered
52,07,350Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,21,50,955 and 52,07,350 have died; 22,29,25,306 are active cases and 3,40,18,299 have recovered as on November 30, 2021 at 3:50 am.

India

3,45,87,822 6,990Cases
1,00,5433,316Active
3,40,18,299 10,116Recovered
4,68,980 190Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,87,822 confirmed cases including 4,68,980 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,00,543 and 3,40,18,299 have recovered as on November 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,34,980 536

11,525 338

64,82,493 853

1,40,962 21

Kerala

51,37,091 3,382

45,138 2,514

50,51,998 5,779

39,955 117

Karnataka

29,95,857 257

6,907 47

29,50,747 205

38,203 5

Tamil Nadu

27,26,197 730

8,291 46

26,81,434 767

36,472 9

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,725 101

2,102 38

20,56,184 138

14,439 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,387 5

86 3

16,87,391 2

22,910

West Bengal

16,15,378 511

7,733 71

15,88,172 571

19,473 11

Delhi

14,40,900 34

285 3

14,15,517 36

25,098 1

Odisha

10,48,880 197

2,165 26

10,38,306 221

8,409 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,779 16

318 12

9,92,868 28

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,770 12

187 12

9,45,628 24

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,435 27

262 22

8,17,081 49

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,150 12

126 4

7,82,496 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,692 16

165 3

7,61,473 19

10,054

Bihar

7,26,219 2

39 2

7,16,517 4

9,663

Telangana

6,75,798 184

3,581 46

6,68,227 137

3,990 1

Assam

6,16,708 140

2,595 96

6,08,015 230

6,098 6

Punjab

6,03,258 18

329 11

5,86,330 26

16,599 3

Jharkhand

3,49,232 11

95 2

3,43,997 9

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,227 8

132 44

3,36,687 51

7,408 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,681 150

1,626 32

3,30,579 181

4,476 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,093 90

824 29

2,22,422 61

3,847

Goa

1,78,890 24

276 3

1,75,230 19

3,384 2

Mizoram

1,34,810 437

3,805 95

1,30,512 531

493 1

Puducherry

1,28,893 12

296 16

1,26,725 28

1,872

Manipur

1,25,169 17

655 30

1,22,539 43

1,975 4

Tripura

84,791 4

78 8

83,890 10

823 2

Meghalaya

84,461 17

285 16

82,704 32

1,472 1

Chandigarh

65,456 8

58 4

64,578 4

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,273 4

35 2

54,958 2

280

Sikkim

32,233 5

121 6

31,709 11

403

Nagaland

32,109 9

140 5

31,273 4

696

Ladakh

21,540 12

250 18

21,076 29

214 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

24 4

10,319 4

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,683 2

8 2

7,546

129

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