Why Menstrual Pads Which Harm The Environment, Shouldn’t Be Made Accessible

The stigmatisation of a woman’s menstrual cycle is an archaic act of being misinformed. The fact that women have to feel ashamed of their own biological clock in which they have no say, but is an essential function of the body, is illogical and irrational.

A woman’s period – a purely biological function – the very core of life itself, has unfortunately been degraded to something that a woman should feel apologetic about and hide from society as something impure and dirty.

This is an important social and civic issue to discuss because although we refuse to talk openly about a purely biological function, our period care disposables are littered everywhere on streets, drains and landfills, causing serious health and environmental havoc!

Organisations, despite knowing the hazardous non-biodegradability of the plastic in these products, are pinning to make them available to women in the remotest parts of the country. They juxtapose menstrual taboos embedded in their surroundings, to the consoling convenience of a disposable menstrual pad, at the risk of the environment. The same environment that they will live in and their successors will inhabit in the future.

Contamination of both land and water, caused by the plastic and toxic chemicals present in these products are here to stay forever. Upon incarceration, these products release dioxins into the atmosphere, steadily depleting the sustenance of the air we breathe, and poisoning the lungs of every living being every day. In a state of an avoidable conundrum, innovating towards sustainability needs to be our approach.

We at Stonesoup.in believe in a future both sustainable and driven by the entirety of society to make the planet a better place to live in. Being informed is an utmost necessity – why must we derange ourselves with archaic taboos or reduce the value of our evolution by using unmindful, non-biodegradable products to manage our periods?

Thus, we conceptualised the Period Love #BleedGreen campaign.

             

 

Period Love #BleedGreen is a social responsibility campaign supported by StoneSoup Wings – Stonesoup.in’s flagship reusable menstrual cups.

Through this session, we seek to explore the ground realities of effects of menstrual myths and taboos and how it is impacting the state of hygiene among girls and women, some real facts about the impacts of schemes that distribute free sanitary napkins among rural communities.

This campaign is a one to one interactive session, which is owned and driven by passionate volunteers. We invite passionate eco-warriors to join our movement. Use your networks to create awareness about the issues surrounding the lack of awareness around our periods and the issues created by disposable sanitary napkins. Help educate women and adolescent girls about their choice of reusable options for safe period care and the need for proper hygiene during and after their periods. The first step to being a society is to stop being ignorant.

What Does Stonesoup Do?

Enterprising and eco-conscious individuals run Stonesoup.in a Make In India initiative. We are the first Indian Menstrual Cup manufacturers. Awarded by FICCI, Stonesoup focuses to innovate further on Sanitation and Menstrual Hygiene for Women. Our motive is about making sustainable living easy. Stonesoup Wings Cup and Pratham Cup help administer the menstrual cycle in an eco-friendly way. Other products like Stonesoup Compost offer a wide range of composting solutions that suit everybody. Stonesoup Consulting offers customised solutions to make your organisation a zero-waste one.

 How can you engage?

  • Be a volunteer – conduct sessions, create increasing awareness
  • Be a partner – while every corner store stocks disposable sanitary products, interested patrons have to hunt for stores or rely on online websites to purchase environment-friendly and health-friendly reusable sanitary products. Partner with us to sell reusable products and make them easily available!
  • Arrange a session: Be it corporate, residential or schools, our volunteers are happy to bring more information to you and help in educating, empowering and facilitating change! Mail us with details of your location and contact details.
  • Arrange a donation: Some people may require a helping hand to move from dirty rags to hygienic reusable products. Help them by arranging a donation drive in your area. We will support your drive with discounted prices.

Switch to and promote Sustainable Menstruation today!

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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