Urban India’s Role in Eradicating Period Poverty

When the idea for GiveHer5 first arose, it seemed quite obvious to us that period poverty was a critical issue with a simple solution. “Of course there would be people willing to help by donating,” we thought. We understood that there would be some challenges and stigma to overcome, but we always expected to receive support from those in urban India with access to sanitary products, no questions asked. However, after our extensive outreach, we’ve come across some frequently asked queries that we’d like to respond to.

 

1. “Shouldn’t the government be doing anything about period poverty? Why do you need me to donate?”

Well, the straightforward answer is yes, the government should be doing something about it. And they are: For example, the central government launched the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya
Karyakram scheme in 2014, through which they run free sanitary pad programmes in rural areas. Rolled out in 17 states, over 2.9 crore rural adolescent girls have been helped (as of June 2014). On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2018, they also announced that biodegradable sanitary napkins, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad, will be available at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras.

But government action simply isn’t enough to assist everyone in need. Though our campaign extends far and wide across India, there are many invisible pockets of period poverty speckled across the country, which means we need to dedicate as many resources as possible to effectively reach everyone. Ultimately, collaboration between the private and public sector is what will end period poverty.

 

2. “Even if I donate, I’m only helping one girl for a year. Will that even make a difference?”

Yes! Imagine missing out on two months of school or work every year. Wouldn’t that hold you back from achieving your full potential? Every single day matters to the donees that we are able to help, and they are all incredibly grateful for your empathy and compassion.

It’s easy to feel insignificant when facing such a large issue like period poverty in India, but modest steps forward are better than no movement at all. Your contributions will always be valuable, no matter how small you may believe they are.

 

3. “I can’t donate right now which makes me feel helpless. What else can I do?”

The two best ways to fight period poverty if you can’t donate are to spread awareness and start a GiveHer5 fundraiser. When we talk about period poverty, we collectively end the taboo that surrounds menstruation, erasing our cultural understandings of the shame behind periods. Normalise menstruation by posting about the issue on your social media accounts, engaging in dialog, and staying informed.

And if you’d like to raise money while spreading awareness, a GiveHer5 fundraiser is the best place to begin. Click here to start your own!

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