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Increasing access to menstrual hygiene supplies in Jharkhand, India

Our newest RISE Fellow, Hiya Banerjee, distributed 60 packages of reusable ‘Onpery® Period Underwear - Cycle Pack’ under its initiative ‘Onpery® Care’ to menstruating, financially underprivileged indigenous artists of Oriya village, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, India.

For millions of women and girls, they do not have access to a toilet, or education about menstrual hygiene —for many girls, their periods will make them drop out of school. Some girls do not have access to menstrual supplies. They will save for a cloth that has been used and reused which causes infection and sometimes death.

In India, a study found that nearly 70% of girls had no idea what was happening to them the first time they menstruated.

This lack of information can have a powerful ripple effect, leading women and girls to be subjected to stigma, discrimination, violence, or even have food, water, shelter and other shared goods be withheld from them. Taboos, cultural norms and the lack of education around menstruation can contribute to higher school dropout rates, and, in turn, greater likelihood of early marriage and/or early pregnancy, and a transgenerational cycle of poverty.

The beneficiaries of this project fall in the age group of 14 - 40 years were made aware of menstrual health management and how to use period underwear, by the team of Onpery and a local NGO named Sohrai Mahila Samiti. Each pack provided a woman with enough products to complete their entire menstrual cycle. The Onpery® Period Underwear can be reused for up to 2 years, replacing 15,600 units of hazardous disposable sanitary napkins from polluting the soil and air. This initiative will also save each beneficiary ~2,000 Indian Rupees, removing a huge financial burden for many low income women.

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