Hyderabad: Various NGOs are providing essential supplies and grocery during this time, but the sanitary requirements of women have largely gone unnoticed. In a unique initiative to help women, social activist Ayesha Rubina has stepped up to help women amid during the nationwide lockdown by distributing sanitary napkins to them.
Ms. Ayesha Rubina said, “Menstrual health and hygiene have always been problem. That too one that is sometimes swept under the rug by many.”
The pandemic only exacerbates this.
Ever since the lockdown was announced people have been talking about distributing food and other commodities whereas another essential commodity, the sanitary napkin was neglected. There are still many who are not aware of this. So we are trying to reach out to people in areas where they do not have access to these pads,” she adds.
Through this initiative, Ayesha has distributed over 288 packs of sanitary napkins in slum areas near the Ahmed Nagar division here among women from families of all faiths. She stresses that amidst the curfew, it is important for women to maintain hygiene and take care of their essentials.
The 3384 packs of sanitary napkins, distributed free of cost among poor women, each contain seven pads. This will be continued across the city for the duration of the lockdown.
On the first day of the distribution, she observed that a large number of women who are actually in need. The women were ready to shun the taboo and came out to receive sanitary packs today, though there is still a stigma in these areas when it comes to merely asking for a pack of sanitary napkins.
However, this has only increased her resolve and she will focus on the slums.
On Sunday, Ayesha along with other volunteers of Women Empowerment Center in collaboration with Social Data Initiatives Forum (SDIF) also distributed sanitary napkins in Pochamma Basti in the Ahmed Nagar Division while also maintaining social distance.
While distributing the packs, the activists briefed women about the importance of social distancing, hygiene and precautions women should take during these times.
Plus, SDIF has also launched the ‘freeration’ mobile application which connects the needy to the nearest Kirana store. This unique solution that provides basic ration kits to the needy free of charge is being provided by promoting social distancing during the distribution.
She urged every volunteer and public representative to distribute essential commodities to include Sanitary Napkins kits in their kits.
Ayesha also stated that soon she will launch helpline numbers which people can contact to have these packs delivered to their doorstep. This would surely alleviate the concerns of those who are too afraid to openly ask for this necessity.