BENGALURU: Of late the #Padmanchallenge has caught fire all over social media with a number of celebrities, as well as commoners, joining in to make it a viral campaign about menstrual hygiene and to demystify the stigma attached around menstruation.
A group of eco-warriors from the city have added their own twist to this campaign by promoting not just menstrual hygiene but one that is environmentally responsible and eco-friendly.
Along with taking the #Padmanchallenge, they have added the hashtags such as #Cupandcloth #menstrualcup #clothpad as a way to spread their message.
The campaign was started by members of Green the Red, a group that promotes the use of menstrual cups and reusable cloth during menstruation instead of disposable sanitary pads.
Sandhya Madhvatathi Rao, a communications executive with a pharma company and a member of the Green the Red campaign, says, “We started the campaign around five days ago and already around 250 people have taken the challenge. There was a video also made on the issue whose views have crossed around 5 lakh. We also did a radio program on Thursday that further spread word about our unique take to the challenge.”
Sandhya says that they were no doubt piggybacking on the popularity the #Padmanchallenge but at the same time are also differentiating their campaign. “Using cups are much more convenient for the modern women with modern lifestyles. Changing of pads is not the most convenient thing to do. A cup is very convenient. I go swimming using a menstrual cup. Besides the convenience, what we want to highlight more is the environmental aspects of the entire initiative,” she adds.
Rishita Sharma, founder Green Utsav, an organisation that promotes using eco-friendly materials during events, and a member of the Green the Red, points out, “A menstruation cup costs `500 to 1,000 and is reusable for five to 10 years. A reusable cloth costs `200 to 300 and last for three years. A woman uses around 15 pads per month that costs around Rs 150 to 300.Then there is also the hassle to get dispose off the pad once its used.
These are not biodegradable and end up in the landfills along with other waste that is very hard to treat.” Rishita has also started a support group on Whatsapp that she claims has converted as many as 500 women from using sanitary disposal pads to cloth and cups. “I started the group because there is not much information about these products. It is also not widely available,” adds Rishita.