Niine Sanitary Napkins, while bringing out some of the best products and solutions for menstrual hygiene has also always stayed committed to driving menstrual hygiene awareness for women. Nine partnered with Junior Chambers International-India (JCI), a non-profit organization, for India’s largest run for menstrual hygiene awareness, Run4Niine in 2019. JCI helped in taking this message of #letstalkperiods to 532 cities, encouraging both men and women to break the shame and embarrassment about a natural biological process and rather openly discuss it.
Continuing the drive to improve the menstrual hygiene landscape in India, #FreedomofNiine was launched in partnership with JCI India under “Project Prayas” this year on World Menstrual Hygiene Day. The campaign aims to mobilize resources, provide free menstrual hygiene to the underprivileged and help them adopt safe and hygienic menstrual practices. Taboos and myths around menstruation are long engraved in the minds of young mothers and gets passed on to their growing daughters. Hence, many young girls hitting their menarche are ignorant of safe menstrual practices and resort to unsanitary and unhygienic alternatives.
Low menstrual hygiene exists even in women and girls who can afford an outlay of 30-50 a month because spending is often discouraged for something that is considered ‘dirty’ or ‘impure’. This campaign envisions to bring about awareness along with giving access to quality menstrual care products to manage periods with ease. With as little as Rs. 300, a young girl can have access to a yearlong supply of sanitary napkin.
JCI India with its pan India network and members are suitably placed to garner support and contribute to the cause of Freedom of Niine. Under the leadership of President JC Anish C. Mathew and JC Arpit Hathi, a team of 25 spirited women, also known as Zonal Ambassadors is working closely to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene. Along with awareness drives, the team focusses on training the community stakeholders and thereby enabling them to effectively reach out to the local communities and engage in dialogues on menstrual care. They have been successful in creating linkages between potential donors and NGOs, further ensuring the last-mile delivery of sanitary napkins.
Undeterred by the ongoing pandemic, the team quickly adapted to virtual medium and continues to regularly conduct workshops and training programs. Several competitions and activities were organized for the local school and college students, to further promote healthy periods and proper management of sanitation. Collaborating with local NGOs, JCI India has set up pad-banks to distribute free napkins to women in slums along with other essentials items to promote hygienic menstrual practices even during the pandemic.