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Menstrual Hygiene Day: Top CSR projects working towards menstrual health and hygiene in India

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Menstruation is a natural phenomenon that every woman goes through. However, lack of proper knowledge about menstrual hygiene is a major issue for women living in slum areas. It often leads to poor hygiene, infections, and other health problems, further exacerbating their struggles and hampering their overall progress.
Even though we are progressing as a nation and winning accolades on the global stage, rural India continues to battle challenges like poor menstrual hygiene, taboos, superstitions and lack of awareness.
It is a shocking fact that menstruation acts as a major barrier to girls’ education and women’s participation in the workforce in rural area even today.
On April 10, 2023, the Supreme Court of India called for a ‘uniform national policy’ to be developed by the Central Government, in consultation with States and Union Territories, to ensure menstrual hygiene in schools. The policy aims to provide sanitary pads, vending and disposal mechanisms, and exclusive washrooms for girl students in schools.
On Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024, The CSR Journal takes a look at some of the latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives which aim to spread awareness around menstrual health and hygiene in India thus empowering adolescent girls and women.

Top CSR projects working towards menstrual health and hygiene in India 

CSR of Union Bank of India

Union Bank of India is running a CSR initiative to promote menstrual hygiene and maintain a hygienic waste management system. The bank is installing sanitary pad vending machines and sanitary pad disposal machines in government or government-aided schools under the jurisdiction of its 134 regional offices. This initiative aims to raise awareness among girls about sanitation and hygiene while reducing absenteeism among female students.
As part of its commitment to improving infrastructure in schools, Union Bank of India has also announced that it will construct more than 134 girls’ toilets across the country, with contributions from all regions. This initiative seeks to provide young girls with clean and safe sanitation facilities, ensuring their comfort and dignity.

CSR of TVS Motor Company

Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton Limited, has been working for women empowerment in the rural belts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh for the past 27 years, through formation of Women Self-help groups, and helping them sustain through interventions in diverse sectors such as training, credit linkage, livelihood programmes and nudging them towards development of their community. SST has established a hygiene programme that focuses on menstrual health, benefiting over 1000 girl children annually, as per a recent announcement made by the trust.
Flipkart Foundation and Pinkishe Foundation teams at Govt. Higher Primary School Parappana Agrahara Bengaluru for the launch of Project Udaan

CSR of Flipkart – Project Udaan

The Flipkart Foundation and Give Foundation in August 2023 announced partnered with Pinkishe Foundation, a non-profit organisation working towards improving the lives of women and girls in India, towards spreading awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. The initiative – ‘Project Udaan’ – aims to create period-positivity while addressing the challenges girls and women from marginalized communities face, especially in rural areas. By providing essential information and eco-friendly period products, the project endeavors to foster better reproductive health and behavioural practices. The project will be executed across multiple locations in four states, including Gandhinagar and Mehsana in Gujarat, Gurugram in Haryana, Bengaluru in Karnataka and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
‘This collaboration aims to empower and encourage adolescent girls and dismantle the taboo around periods. Besides promoting appropriate menstrual health practices, the project also envisions nurturing a sense of dignity and confidence among young girls and women. The programme seeks to cater to girls aged 10 to 18 years, benefiting 1,600 girls directly and an additional 3,200 girls and women indirectly, covering 20-25 schools identified with the help of local teams,’ as per a statement from the company.

CSR of Amrutanjan Health Care Limited

On the occasion of International Women’s Day in March this year, Amrutanjan Health Care Limited launched a campaign #PowerToBeYou to address the critical issue of period poverty in India and to spread the message that every woman has the right to manage her periods with dignity and confidence.

Menstrual hygiene brand Amrutanjan Comfy, under its Project Disha, this year, has reached out to 10 states, 900 towns, 400 schools, 4.8 Lakh students and 100 Anganwadi centers across India to create awareness around menstrual hygiene and dismantle the barriers that hinder access to essential menstrual hygiene products, as per an announcement. #PowerToBeYou aims to transform communities by empowering women with access to affordable and high-quality menstrual hygiene products.

CSR of Aditya Birla Group – Ujaas

Aditya Birla Education Trust’s social initiative, Ujaas, is working towards creating awareness about menstrual health and hygiene in India. Founded by Advaitesha Birla, Ujaas has been actively engaged in driving awareness in the menstrual health space.
“To date, we have reached out to over 254,654 girls through 8,516 educational sessions on menstrual health. Furthermore, we have distributed over 4,349,652 sanitary pads free to girls in rural Maharashtra across 1,228 schools in 17 districts,” as per a statement issued on 28th May 2024.
Ms. Advaitesha Birla Founder Ujaas and Dr. Neerja Birla Founder and Chairperson Aditya Birla Education Trust flagging of the Ujaas Menstrual Health Express in Mumbai
In addition to these efforts, Ujaas launched its Menstrual Health Express initiative in February this year. The Ujaas Van has started traveling across 25 states and 107 cities, conducting informative menstrual health workshops in partnership with local NGOs. The aim was to dismantle menstrual taboos and promote hygiene. Over 250,000 free pads were distributed to local communities where access to hygienic products was limited. Moreover, Ujaas has launched a Self-Help Groups (SHGs) program and a manufacturing unit for sustainable cloth pads. This initiative not only provides access to cloth pads in rural markets but also creates livelihood opportunities for 25 SHG women in the first phase.

CSR of PNB Housing Finance

PNB Housing Finance has undertaken a mission to create awareness and train rural women about the importance of menstrual hygiene. A program on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) was inaugurated on 19 January 2023 under which the Company, in association with the Desai Foundation, has set up a sanitary napkin production unit at Sitapur Road in Lucknow.
PNB Housing Finance’s CSR arm, the Pehel Foundation, has taken this initiative to eliminate a key barrier to girls’ education and women’s participation in the workforce. The programme aims to increase awareness about menstrual hygiene among rural women and provide them with easy access to quality and affordable sanitary napkins. A three-pronged approach, i.e., creating awareness, establishing a local production unit, and building a robust distribution network of female sales representatives, will help foster a sustainable ecosystem and boost their financial empowerment.
PNB Housing Finance’s menstrual hygiene programme for rural women
While this programme aims to help provide livelihood opportunities to rural women, the company is confident that the direct distribution model will increase access to menstrual hygiene, which can prove to be a catalyst for change in the entire community.

CSR of PepsiCo

With a focus on three priority campaigns of Government of India – the Jal Jeevan Mission, Jal Shakti Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission – the PepsiCo Foundation announced in March 2023 that it will invest USD 400,000 in partnership with Pandit Jagat Ram Memorial FORCE Trust to expand its safe water access and sustainable sanitation program in Uttar Pradesh.
As part of the program, the PepsiCo Foundation and Pandit Jagat Ram Memorial FORCE Trust will help provide improved access to fresh water for drinking and domestic purposes, impacting more than 20,000 people and 3,000 children across 13 villages in Mathura district over a period of three years.
The partnership will also create WASH awareness (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) focusing on sanitation, solid waste management, and hygiene practices with water quality, safety and personal health behaviors impacting 50,000 people and 3000 children. As part of the WASH efforts, the program will identify 400 women and girls as Menstrual Hygiene Management Guides and 400 youth as WASH Guardians to create a strong support ecosystem in their communities.

CSR of o9 Solutions

– o9 Solutions, a leading enterprise AI software platform provider is working to ensure the enhanced sanitation and hygiene of the women of the Sathyamangalam community in Tamil Nadu. The company also funded a menstrual health project under which the women of the same tribal community are trained to manufacture low-cost sanitary pads. In collaboration with Read India team, o9 will help them connect them with marketplaces and assist them in selling the product in and around the communities, announced the company. The girls’ students at the school will get free sanitary pads. This would improve the overall condition of hygiene among women in the community. Several awareness programs are planned to be conducted by the resource persons and the employees of o9 to raise the awareness level of girls and women in the community.