THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Menstruation, the most biological act of womenfolk has since long been entangled in taboos. And so is awareness about menstrual hygiene. But the city has already scripted a history of sorts by initiating discussions on menstruation. In an attempt to demystify all the myths associated with menstruation, the city has already been a witness to several programmes and campaigns. ‘Arthava Yanam’ was one such a campaign initiated by Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective and the Red Cycle which attempted to break the cultural and social taboos associated with menstruation.
Red Revolution, one can call it. And the tribe of changemakers is only growing. #PADAID is the most recent one. Donations only as Sanitary Napkins, they say.
#PADAID is an initiative by Technopark firm Navigant India to collect sanitary napkins and donate it to the womenfolk in rural areas. The team has tied up with Sakhi Women’s Resource Centre whereby the collected sanitary napkins will be donated to the womenfolk in coastal areas. As part of their next phase, the team is also planning to focus on donating eco-friendly menstrual products. “Depending on the success of this venture we are also considering to venture into donating environment-friendly alternatives for sanitary napkins,” said HR team member Aparna S.
“It is shocking that around 12 per cent of women do not have access to hygienic products. This prompted us to launch this initiative. We aim to address the taboos associated with menstruation and initiate a dialogue in public domain to dispell the myths associated with it,” said Jeena Peter, director, HR in Navigant.
As part of the programme, donation boxes have been set up in Technopark. Started on January 25th, as part of celebrating ‘Orange Day’, #PADAID was launched by the ‘Women in Navigant Forum’, a collective of women in the firm.
Earlier the boxes were kept in the buildings where the firm functioned, but the Technopark allocated its public space for the programme and people from different companies have started donating sanitary napkin packets. As such, the donation boxes are now placed in the Bhavani atrium, Tejaswini lounge, and Phase 3 lounge in Technopark. The collection drive which was slated to end on February 12 will be extended by one week since the team intends to increase its collection. More than 400 sanitary napkins packets have been collected till now.
“The focus is on donating sanitary napkins to the women folk in the regions affected by Ockhi. Our focus is also on figuring out an alternative for sanitary napkins,” said Sakhi Women’s Resource Centre secretary Aleyamma Vijayan. The coastal areas stretching from Adimalathura to Pozhiyoor is envisaged to be covered in the initiative.
Disposal a big problem
Activist Maglin Peter said that the major issue confronting the women in the coastal areas is not the access to sanitary napkins, but its disposal. “Times have changed. The womenfolk here have been using pads for a long time. It would have been helpful had they resorted to donating menstrual cups, which will help a great deal in tackling the huge waste problem and is the most convenient of all the products currently available in the market,” she said.
The donation boxes for #PADAID programme are now placed in the Bhavani atrium, Tejaswini lounge, and Phase 3 lounge in Technopark. The collection drive which was slated to end on February 12 will be extended by one week