Talking about menstruation has always been a taboo in India. And menstrual hygiene has been almost non-existent in several parts of the country.
Menstruation is considered to be impure in many religions. This has made even the most educated people believe and enforce that a menstruating woman should avoid worship places. In many communities, women are asked to use different vessels, sleep in a different bed, avoid coming to the kitchen and also keep themselves from touching anyone else from the family.
The stigma around menstruation has led many to women adopting unhygienic practices during menstruation. Over 85% of women, who menstruate use unsafe materials, resort to traditional unhygienic practices like cloth, ashes, husk, sand and leaves. These practices lead them to several infections, diseases and even cancer. Over 23% of girls drop out of school completely after reaching puberty. All these facts have major repercussions, which we need to change with the usage of and up gradation of technology through innovative solutions and awareness.
Tee foundation’s sanitary pad bank has launched an initiative by Dr. Bharati Lavekar to ensure that sanitary pads reach women who are from the underprivileged sections of the society.
Under her constituency, Dr. Bharati Lavekar an MLA from the Versova constituency has been educating women about the importance of Sanitary napkins via 53 schools under the wings of her ‘Tee Foundation Sanitary Pad Bank‘ initiative that promotes menstrual hygiene and easy accessibility of sanitary pads available to the underprivileged women.
The Foundation has been granted an automatic sanitary pad vending machine, disposal machine and a menstrual health kit, containing painkillers, pack of undergarment, and literature on how to care for oneself during menstruation as well as how the perceptions of both men and women towards menstruation need a change.
Apart from this Dr. Lavekar has also emphasized on period leave, wherein she advised that schools, colleges and workplace should grant period leaves to students and employees. Along with this she also highlighted about disposable machines which have been set up in schools and public toilets by her foundation.
According to statistics in India, only 15% women get access to pads, because they either cannot afford them or lack awareness. As many as 70% women think menstrual blood is unhygienic and 66% girls and women manage periods without toilets.