This Mumbai politician is breaking menstrual taboos with her unique digital sanitary pad bank

At Bharati Lavekar's digital sanitary pad bank, you can donate funds as well as sanitary pads.

Dipannita Saha Dipannita Saha
अगस्त 29, 2017
Bharati Lavekar's Tee Foundation acts like a mediator between sanitary pads donors and beneficiaries. Photo Courtesy: Facebook/BharatiLavekar

 

Sanitary napkins are a basic necessity for every woman. And after the Goods and Services Tax (GST), all menstrual hygiene products have become a little less affordable for many women in the country. Not to forget the numerous taboos attached to this bodily process that makes life even more difficult. But, Mumbai politician Bharati Lavekar is not only trying to break these taboos, but is also making sure that women in her constituency have access to sanitary pads. Wonder how? With her digital sanitary pad bank!

The Tee Foundation by Lavekar, who's the MLA of Versova constituency, is like any other bank--but has sanitary pads. So how does this bank actually work? The foundation's website offers people the opportunity to either donate sanitary pads or money. Women of the constituency are issued orange ration cards, which then makes them entitled to the pads and funds collected through the digital sanitary pad bank.

In an interview to yourstory.com, she said "The expenditure for one girl's monthly pad needs is Rs 70, for about 10 pads. So, you can either donate the pads directly or the amount needed to buy them, for one month, multiple months, a year or multiple years, based on how much you are willing to contribute. The bank is a mediator between donors and beneficiaries, and we at Tee directly funnel the pads to them."

Photo Courtesy: Facebook/BharatiLavekar Photo Courtesy: Facebook/BharatiLavekar

The bank has been working successfully for almost three months now and Lavekar is hoping to extend this initiative to other cities in the country. She is even working towards projects that would help her distribute sanitary pads via vending machines.

So far in her constituency, five schools have already been taken under the wings of her 'Daughters of Versova' initiative that promotes menstrual hygiene. The project makes sanitary pads available to the underprivileged with an automatic sanitary pad vending machine, disposal machine and a menstrual health kit that containing painkillers, fresh underwear, and literature on how to care for oneself during menstruation.

We are just hoping that the sanitary pad bank becomes a reality for women across the country. After all, around 70 percent of women in India say their family can't afford to buy sanitary pads. Most women in rural India still use rags, dried leaves, and other unhygienic things when they are on their period. May be a bank like this can help them all during those painful days of the month.

Also Read: Dear sanitary pad makers, stop irritating us with your insanely unrealistic ads

 

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