A significant impact of the pandemic and the nation-wide lockdown has been its effect on menstrual health and hygiene management. Lack of availability, accessibility and affordability pose challenges in procuring menstrual absorbents and practising safe menstrual hygiene. Poor menstrual hygiene puts the health and wellbeing of menstruators at risk.
Inaccessibility to hygiene products, as a result of the pandemic, has become one of the major concerns in addition to the already existing set of challenges.
Menstrual hygiene management has been one of the long-standing areas of commitment and engagement of Nirman Foundation, with a focus on working towards making menstrual hygiene management accessible to all, and ensuring need-based, relevant interventions. Being based out of Kolkata, the intervention fields for the organisation have been across Purulia, North and South 24 Parganas in West Bengal.
In an effort to ensure that menstrual hygiene management becomes a part of the essential items distributed as a part of relief work, Nirman Foundation has been able to contribute 7,000 packets of sanitary pads (56,000 pads) to relief kits distributed in Kolkata through a drive aimed to provide help to mothers and women during this difficult period, organised by Dhorshok Tumi i– a feminist network based in Kolkata.
What makes this even more special is that the pads donated had been made by women from a Self-Help Group in Latur, Maharashtra. In the time of a pandemic, the efforts of the women in Latur brought relief to women in West Bengal!
With the help of a number of other initiatives across the city, including Jadavpur University Commune, Humans of Patuli and a few citizens’ individual efforts, the sanitary pads have reached 2,000 women throughout the city, in and around Garia, Patuli, Park Circus, Gariahat, Dhakuria, Lake Gardens, Seth Bagan, and Shubhash Gram.