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Meet our new RISE Fellow, Hiya Banerjee

We are so excited to introduce you to Hiya Banerjee, a consultant and the former director of Onpery, Care Form Labs Pvt. Ltd. She has been an advocate for sustainable period products since 2017 and her involvement with Onpery was to further this vision. Onpery is a sustainable menstrual health brand that works towards making inclusive menstrual products. Continue reading below to learn more about Hiya's work.

"How does your work support women?"

Menstruation in India is surrounded by myths and taboos that exclude women from many aspects of socio-cultural life. Women have been ostracized from places of worship, work and more, especially in a country like India. Due to financial challenges, women resort to using rags or pieces of clothing to manage their periods. These practices can affect factors such as emotional well being, lifestyle and overall well being of women.

Less than 20% women in India have access to standard menstrual products. Onpery works to provide affordable and environmentally friendly menstrual products to women in marginalised communities.

"What makes Onpery's products unique?"

Onpery aims to redesign existing reusable and sustainable menstrual products to make them inclusive and improve the user experience. Their cloth-based reusable menstrual products are made by women workers from the manufacturing vendors through which the women gain paid employment. Their period underwear can also be reused for up to 2 years, with each package replacing +390 hazardous disposable sanitary napkins from polluting the soil or air around the habitat. It also saves each beneficiary approximately 2,000 INR.

Additionally, Hiya's team have also created the Onpery® Menstrual Cup, ideal for menstruators who have an average to low cervix. According to Bone Science, South Asians and South-East Asians tend to be the shortest with women having a mean height of 153 cm and men of 165 cm. This means that menstruators from the regions of South Asia and South-East Asia have varying anatomies. This is applicable to usage of menstrual cups as well because many may find it uncomfortable or painful to use. There are no other menstrual cups in the market that specifically address the concerns of menstruators with an average to low cervix. The cup makes the insertion & removal process smooth & intuitive for a transitioning user, because of its innovative & ergonomic design.

The Onpery® cup is the first indigenous menstrual cup in India that has been recognized as well as awarded by credible sources. Menstrual cups are a great solution for communities who have limited access to soap and clean water, as they are easier to clean (boil in a pan), which is preferable for women who do not have a private water source.

Check out our newest blog post to learn more about the work that RISE is supporting.

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