Publication: The Times Of India (Print & Online)
Published Date: Mar 23, 2022
MUMBAI: The prolonged Covid restrictions had an unfortunate fallout on menstrual hygiene that had been gradually gathering pace. As household incomes dropped, poor women were forced to push personal hygiene products to the bottom of the grocery list.
A new alliance now hopes to remedy this situation.
The Miss Universe Organization (MUO), reigning Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham aka Pad Man, social impact agency DDB For Good, and the NGO Plan India on Tuesday announced a coalition and social impact alliance to create a platform for “menstrual equity”.
The project aims to reach five million women by 2025. As Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz said it will convert “period poverty to period powerty”.
Plan India is the on-ground NGO partner.
DDB For Good, DDB Mudra Group’s dedicated social impact agency, in partnership with Changing Our World, will raise funds.
The effort begins in India where 62% women have no access to safe menstrual care, with plans to go international. The coalition’s multi-million dollar fundraising goal will reduce stigma, promote education, policy and access to sanitary products.
Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu secured the national title of LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 and went on to the international stage to win Miss Universe 2021.
Harnaaz said, “I am proud to help launch this initiative. My mother is a gynaecologist so I am aware of the menstrual inequity in India. Now I can help carry on her work by bringing awareness to this coalition of individuals and organizations who are working together to end the stigma, educate the public, and provide access to necessary products.”
Padma Shri Arunachalam Muruganantham narrated moving experiences of his struggle to break taboos and help women secure sanitary products. He will help the coalition set up affordable manufacturing units in places most affected by period poverty. These units will be run by women themselves.
Shally Mukherjee, founder and head, DDB For Good, said the issue had been close to their hearts for several years. She said, “Our belief is simple—collaborations with shared commitment can truly scale up efforts that bring change.”
Mohammed Asif, executive director, Plan India, said, “Menstrual equity is out of reach for three in five girls. We are happy to help create a national and global initiative to achieve menstrual equity by 2030.”