Is Menstruation a choice? Nope. Its a natural process. Having periods will never be optional as it is a part and parcel of womanhood. Hence, the recent 12% GST imposed on sanitary napkins has created a lot of waves in our society. On one hand, the Government has imposed tax on a necessity as basic as sanitary napkins, and on the other hand we have a group of young minds who have come together to help the underprivileged women get access to this basic necessity. Be it poverty or be it the lack of awareness among the underprivileged women, the usage of sanitary napkins is considerably less in India, thus affecting the reproductive health and hygiene of our women.
Hence, a Thane based NGO – Aarna Foundation came up with a very noble cause of conducting a workshop on hygiene maintainence and distributing free eco-friendly sanitary pads to these women as a part of their HAPPY PERIODS campaign. In this campaign, which was carried out for a period of 4 weeks, Aarna Foundation distributed a total of 1,675 packets of sanitary pads (7 Pads in each packet) to the women in different slum areas. Also, the talks and workshops conducted by the team members covered topics like- “what are periods?”, “what are sanitary napkins?”, “why to use sanitary pads?”, “how to keep yourself clean during periods?”, and the common myths about periods.
This noble cause was the brainchild of none other than a common man just like us- Mr. Chinu Kwatra, (co-founder – Aarna Foundation) , and his team – Nirmaljeet Kaur Sohal, Paridhi Agarwal, Amritpal Singh Janjuha, Akshay Mandhare, Smruti Pure, Jyoti Joshi Pagare, Rohan Pagare, Riddhi Shah,Sandeep Vishwakarma,Prachi Jain, Shilpa Rawal, Rahul Medh, Sanket Jain, Mitilesh Prasad, Arshi Singh, Suman Rajawat, Neha Sharma,Moshmi Shinde, Disha Nandwani, Trishala Shinde ,Shalaka and Tanvi who played an important role in this campaign . After the success of the “Summer Camp” for underprivileged children of Vashi slums, the team wanted to do something for improving the health and sanitation of the underprivileged women, and hence “Happy Periods” campaign was born. “We were accepting donations in cash and kind for the sanitary napkins, and we got such amazing response from the people. We are very thankful to all of them for helping us” he says with a blessed look on his face.
The team covered the slums and municipality schools of Mulund, Thane and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra, the rural area in Bangalore, Government school in Kolkata and Hyderabad and Lotus Petal Charitable Foundation in Gurgaon. Team Aarna was successful in carrying out their motto- “Give her wings” which was the ultimate goal of this campaign. Hence, the campaign was a hit not only in Mumbai, but also in other parts of India such as- Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
After all, a woman’s life doesn’t stop during her periods, so why not make these 5 days the best days of the month for her. Support her, give her wings!
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