Hygiene and You participated in the Winter Mela organized by Dastkar, an NGO who brings together traditional craftsmen from all over India to promote their respective products. We participated for a weekend at the 12-day event.
Space was filled with Delhiites and Expats supporting the show with their presence. We were there to promote feminine hygiene and sustainable menstrual practices. We were educating women to switch to healthier & eco-friendly alternatives for menstruation. Menstruation, a taboo in Indian society is seen as a shameful issue to talk about in public which, by nature is a normal phenomenon of the body. In two days, we saw mixed reaction of women as some of them were giggling, murmuring and even walking past the stall in shyness. Ironically, it is very surprising to see how women choose to ignore such issue when they have to go through it in their lifetime. Other set of people were curious, excited and shocked to see alternatives to sanitary napkin i.e. Menstrual Cups and Reusable Cloth Pads.
It amazes me, how most women since years are only using commercial disposable sanitary napkins made of chemicals and plastics. Even after knowing the ill effects of sanitary napkin has on the body as well as the environment, one just continues to use it as a habit and for their comfort. Trying and choosing healthier alternatives like reusable cloth pads for instance, becomes difficult to use as commercial pads are seen as an easier option – “Use and Throw”. One should try other alternatives which are available in the market to save themselves from disease like diabetes, cancer and rashes etc. and also help in saving the environment from non-disposable waste which eventually will never degrade.
In conclusion, hygiene and you is on a mission to change the mindset of Indian women from switching to reusable menstrual products which will eventually benefit themselves and the environment.