Awareness regarding menstrual health and bodily processes along with access to safe menstrual health management practices is largely lacking in India.
70% of women in India say their family cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. In 2012, 40% of all government schools lacked a functioning common toilet, and another 40% lacked a separate toilet for girls. Though there have been interventions targeting use of menstrual health products (today, nearly 6 out of 10 women in India have access to disposable sanitary napkins) and active measures have been taken by the government to improve access to toilets on a priority basis.
Although there are 63 million adolescent girls living in homes without toilets, awareness still remains a largely unaddressed concern. Due to societal conditioning and other socio-economic concerns, vast majority of Indian women and girls remain uninformed or ill informed about their own bodies and since mothers are primary sources for MHM related knowledge for adolescent girls, the cycle continues. 71% of girls in India report having no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. Girls often turn to their mothers for information and support, but 70% of mothers consider menstruation “dirty,” further perpetuating taboos. At menarche, schoolgirls in Jaipur, Rajasthan report their dominant feelings to be shock (25%), fear (30%), anxiety (69%), guilt (22%), and frustration (22%).
Studies based in states including Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have shown that during menstruation, girls are asked to stay away from religious spaces, kept in isolation, not allowed to play outside, or even go to school. This lack of awareness is what Sukhibhava seeks to address.
What We Do
Sukhibhava is a social enterprise working with marginalised women and adolescent girls, to empower them through awareness and improved access to healthy menstrual practices.
We believe that women should take ownership of their menstrual health and hygiene by understanding their body and making informed choices.
Sukhibhava has so far worked with more than 17,000 women and adolescent girls in India, thus, successfully creating awareness about menstrual hygiene and ensuring doorstep accessibility at a low cost.
We are constantly striving towards accessibility and distribution of eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products, keeping in mind sustainability and women’s health. This is in collaboration with innovative organisations who have similar ethos, manufacturing bio-degradable sanitary napkins, menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads. We are of the opinion that there are people focussing on manufacturing various menstrual hygiene products,
However, we acknowledge that the burden of being eco-friendly or sustainable should not fall on women who are struggling to access basic menstrual hygiene.
For now, we integrate technology in distribution, supply, training delivery and impact measurement. The objective is to enable large-scale impact on ground.