Bollywood actors Tabu, R Madhavan, Shilpa Shetty, Rohit Roy and other celebrities are coming together to “Pledge a Period” and raise awareness about the stigmatized topic of menstrual hygiene. They are lending their support to the new campaign by Myna Mahila Foundation, a charity Meghan Markle went to on her visit to India. This is a women’s health and employment organization on a mission to reach 2 million girls and women with menstrual hygiene access in underprivileged communities.
What is Myna Mahila?
Myna Mahila is a women-led NGO founded by young entrepreneur Suhani Jalota and a group of slum community leaders from Mumbai. They operate on three pillars: they employ women, improve menstrual health and build trusted networks for women. They organize a variety of activities under each pillar with the goal of developing women leaders who are financially stable, confident and have more agency in the household and community to make decisions.
They hosted Markle during her philanthropic visit to India back in 2018, when she interacted with the women employed at Myna Mahila. The women were invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to receive donations in lieu of wedding gifts.
What is Pledge a Period?
Pledge a Period aims to increase access to women’s health-related products, create awareness and bring attitudinal change in order to improve their health and break taboos attached to menstruation.
A mere ₹200 can secure a girl’s menstrual hygiene needs for a month, and provide her with a hygiene kit which includes sanitary pads, underwear, sustainable disposal bags for each pad, face mask and sanitizer. It will also enable them to receive education and awareness about menstrual hygiene management through their mobile phone app Myna Mahila Health Tracker.
Through Pledge a Period, Myna has reached 1000 women in urban slums of Mumbai since August and aims to reach 5000 by mid October. Myna will also address livelihood concerns by creating tech-job opportunities to empower women in low-income households and urban slum communities.
Actor Rohit Roy in a video posted on Instagram said, “Support Myna Mahila Foundation, a social organization that empowers women by employing them and providing them with menstrual hygiene products.” He also urged his followers to “Open their hearts and donate generously to the cause to empower women and support the organization which also has Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as notable contributors.”