Every year, World Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated on May 28 to highlight the importance of maintaining Menstrual Hygiene Management. It was initiated by a German-based NGO named WASH United in the year 2014. Many organizations, NGOs, and Youths help women by distributing period products and providing period education. Northeast people have adopted remarkable ways in destigmatizing periods and raising awareness regarding the issues related to maintaining Menstrual Hygiene during periods.
Making Sanitary Napkins readily available for women:
Sanitary Napkins or sanitary pads are a highly use period product by women during the menstruation cycle. Sanitary Napkins are use to absorb the flow that avoids period stains. Almost every woman around the globe uses sanitary napkins, Menstrual cups, and tampons during periods. Yet, in many areas, women face the unavailability of period products. So, women who face this issue use old dirty clothes during the Menstruation cycle. The Northeastern people have initiated Sanitary Pad distribution in various housing colonies, hostels, Schools, and Anganwadi Centers. This move is highly supported and promoted by the government officials of their respective cities and states.
Talking About Periods:
In various parts of the country, people hold different stigmas related to periods. Women face several issues related to menstrual health. But due to social stigma link with the Menstruation cycle, women are not comfortable talking about it openly. Hiding the menstrual problem can further lead to various menstrual disorders. Manipur-based Menstrual Health activist Urmila Chaman started her NGO named ‘Break the Silence Foundation’ and launched various international programs on Menstrual Hygiene. She primarily focused on the marginalized communities of India. Her motive to initiate these projects is to focus on Menstrual hygiene and the overall well-being of women in the nation.
Crowd Funded Campaigns:
Women who belong to lower-income groups cannot afford to buy a pack of sanitary napkins. Due to lack of education, adolescents are not aware of the Period products and the importance of maintaining Menstrual Hygiene. To increase awareness of the project, pick up three organizations- Serendip Guardians, Humans of Nagaland, and Our Young Voices. They systematically moved towards adolescents from poor education and financial background, women vendors to the other marginalized community of the state.
Bleed with Dignity Campaign:
Guwahati-based Postgraduate student Bidisha Saika created a Mural that Guwahati Municipal Corporation Commissioner Debeswar Malakar inaugurated in 2019. Bidisha Saika also started a campaign named #BleedwithDignity for making quality menstrual healthcare accessible. Additionally, Malakar emphasized the installation of Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines in Government schools and Public Places like railway stations, bus stands, etc.
Corporates have taken a step forward and made sanitary napkins available for women. The State-owned Oil India Limited (OIL) launched a scheme named ‘OIL Shakti.’ It is a community-based sanitary napkin production and marketing unit situated in the Tinsukia district of Assam under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
It is rightly said that small steps make a big difference. These groups belong to the Northeast parts, which are continuously making sanitary napkins available for women. It will save women from various menstrual-related problems caused by unhygienic practices by women during periods. As these Northeast organizations are working towards the women’s welfare in regards to the Menstruation cycle, similarly Stree Sanman is an organization that manufactures Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine and Sanitary Napkin Smokeless Incinerators. Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines will help women with easy accessibility of Sanitary Napkins during periods; Sanitary Napkin Smokeless Incinerators will ensure proper disposal of soiled sanitary napkins in an Eco-friendly manner.
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