Project Inaayat – Bringing Health and Sustainability to Rural Women #BleedBeautiful

Do you remember the first time you bought a sanitary napkin, or were you aware of this phase and menstrual hygiene?

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian BloggersHow many times have you had to hunt for a sanitary napkin? Do you consider it a luxury or a necessity? I am sure most of us will answer that it is a necessity and that we always stock it up in our bathroom cabinets and also carry one or two in our purse, bags and a spare or two is always tucked safely in case we need it in an emergency. Right!!

Most of us are aware of the menstrual hygiene and sanitary napkins. The various advertisements and knowledge of these ensure that the sanitary napkins are well stocked not only in the pharmacy, big stores but also in the local kirana shop. But the scenario is not the same in the rural areas. The percentage of women using sanitary napkins in rural India is as low as 2-3%, thus, creating a big void in the demand-supply chain. Since menstruation is still considered a taboo there the women lack the basic knowledge of proper menstrual hygiene. Hence these ladies land up using old rags and cloth.

Did you know: Every year nearly 23 million girls drop out of school due to unawareness regarding menstruation, improper menstrual hygiene and unavailability of sanitary napkins. Click To Tweet

A few years back, I had a full-time help with me since I was overwhelmed with work, post-pregnancy issues and baby. One day I went to the market with my maid. She was amazed to see dozens of sanitary napkin packets. I asked her as to why she was so amazed. Trust me that was the time I came to know about the real situation these ladies face. The way she narrated her episodes nauseated me to the core. Since that day onwards, till the time she was with me, I ensured she got appropriate hygiene and care. This also uplifted her self-confidence.

Last week, my mom sent me some messages. These were from a friend of hers. Her daughter who is studying in Enactus H.R. College is an active member of a college program called Project Inaayat. I went through the messages and did some research from my end. I was happy to see that the youth of our country are taking steps not only for the women but thinking about the environment also.

Project Inaayat is a project for the women. It aims at the upliftment of women in the rural areas. It educates them about the menstrual hygiene and use of sanitary towels instead of rags, cloth and sand. However, the crux of the project is that it provides reusable, recyclable and eco-friendly menstrual hygiene kits made from certified and quality-checked cloth. The kit consists of 2 shields, 8 liners, 2 soaps, a menstrual chart and guidance chart approved by a gynaecologist. All this comes in a beautifully designed pouch. Each kit priced at Rs 320/- can be used for two years after which a new kit has to be bought. These kits are stitched by the women in rural Maharashtra, empowering them to earn a source of income. The project also appoints health ambassadors to conduct sessions on sex education and menstrual health along with training on how to use the kit safely. Project Inaayat uplifts women in all aspects – health, wealth and happiness!

The advantages of using cloth sanitary napkins are:

  • Affordable
  • Reusable
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Dries quickly as uses less water
  • Saves monthly expenditure
  • Safe as no contact with plastic
  • Environmental friendly

If India can give birth to Padman, it can definitely give birth to Padwomen also. Empowering and training these women to start their own micro-enterprise is a great way to boost their self-esteem and a sense of hygiene. If these women can take care of themselves and stay away from infections then, in turn, they will be a happier soul and will be able to take care of their family in a better way.

Buying the re-usable sanitary napkins not only saves this earth but also brings a smile to the ladies of the village. They are now provided with a source earning income and can put their skill to use. Click To Tweet

Though cloth sanitary napkins have come in the market, however, I was not approached by the college or any student to promote their product. I was impressed with the concept of affordable pads for rural women thus penned it.

Source of content and pictures: Enactus H.R College Facebook Page, Project Inayaat Facebook Page

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 3-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

4 Comments

  1. Ranu Bathla
    September 27, 2018
    Reply

    Proud of you Shubhra, you write beautifully. It’s nice to see you appreciating Enactus’s initiative, it will be quite encouraging for this group as they strive to achieve their aim.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      September 27, 2018
      Reply

      Thank you so much and all the best for this beautiful cause.

  2. Usha malik
    September 29, 2018
    Reply

    This is wonderful Shubhra. Loved this post and great to know about this project. Way to go! My son has joined the Enactus club in college. Will tell him about this wonderful initiative. Keep writing the interesting stuff as always

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      September 29, 2018
      Reply

      Thank you so much…

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