Dear Friends and Supporters,
A few of the brightest minds have been born in India, such as Rabindranath Tagore, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Sundar Pichai, Indira Nooyi, and Priyanka Chopra to name a few but sadly even today 82% of womxn and girls across India lack basic menstrual products and education.
Did you know in India every year 23 million girls dropout of school when they start menstruating? Many womxn particularly wage workers and labourers have to miss multiple days at work because of lack of access to menstrual products which results in not being able to support their family for those few nights or getting fired from their jobs.
How has COVID affected access?
The lockdown has made it difficult for womxn in underprivileged communities to manage their period safely and with dignity. With most relief efforts catering to food insecurity and PPE shortages, the distribution of sanitary pads - an equally essential item - is being sidelined. These womxn are facing an acute shortage of sanitary pads due to limited accessibility and loss of income. COVID-19 has been challenging and we have been working to adapt in whatever way possible but “Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics'' and we won’t either! Though it has been challenging, we are still privileged to have enough food to eat and a roof over our heads. In this season of giving, we want to amplify the impact with your support.
Saathi is a social venture which has a patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. Saathi is on a mission to revolutionize the hygiene industry as a consumer products company that makes products that are good for your body, the community and the environment in a sustainable and responsible way. We want to drive systemic change around how menstrual hygiene is addressed and thus drive the shift to a circular economy. Our first product is a 100% biodegradable and compostable sanitary pad made from banana and bamboo fiber which converts into compost within 6 months of disposal, 1200x faster than conventional sanitary pads which take 600-700 years to degrade. Saathi pads are good for the body, community and environment.
What is the #OneMillionPads Initiative?
When we launched Saathi 5 years ago we launched a very ambitious #OneMillionPads initiative to address lack of access to menstrual products. The #OneMillionPads initiative aims at providing complete Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) to underprivileged women in India who don't have access to sanitary pads. Saathi initially partnered with Ekal Vidyalaya and its sister organization Arogya Foundation to provide menstrual hygiene education and biodegradable sanitary pads to girls and womxn in rural Jharkhand and has since expanded the program to reach thousands of womxn. For this campaign, Saathi has partnered with Project Killimanjaro to address lack of access to sanitary pads with underserved communities in India.
About Project Killimanjaro
Project Kilimanjaro is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of San Francisco, CA with a mission to decrease healthcare inequity for women and children globally. Using our curated model of ethical program intervention with embedded research, we focus on tackling the main causes of inaccessible healthcare by navigating its clinical, educational, and technological components. Within the healthcare vertical, we host initiatives in Menstrual Health Management, HIV/AIDS Prevention, First-Aid Education, and Clinical Accessibility. We ensure that all of our initiatives are culturally sensitive by working with communities in a co-design process to increase female ownership of healthcare resources and their development, and build capacity within the community alongside academic institutions, grassroots organizations, and government entities. By addressing the underlying stigma behind resources and diagnoses, we hope to empower young women and children to reach their own potential and challenge what it means to have accessible healthcare.
How will we use the funds?
100% of the proceeds minus the platform fee, will provide 1 year of sanitary pads to 5000 menstruators in India. It takes just $20 to provide 1 years worth of sanitary pads to 1 menstruator. During the entire campaign we will be posting updates. Our goal is to raise $75000 to reach 5000 menstruators in India.
We are grateful for every single dollar raised. With your support, not only will 5000 menstruators have a year’s supply of pads, but the farmers and local women who help us make the pads will also benefit. Saathi buys agri-waste from farmers in India which provides them extra income and employs an all-women staff in its manufacturing unit. Let us support every living being in need and build an equitable world together.
Please share this campaign with your friends & family.
Follow our blog series to learn more about the issues including lack of access to sanitary pads in India.
Pledge video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUijZp2jMLk