BENEFITING: Auroville International USA
The #periodofchange campaign was launched on April 22, Earth Day and will end on May 28, Menstrual Hygiene Day. It started because of a chance conversation between 2 passionate people striving for better waste management practices in India. I got to know about about a week before it started, and was ecstatic that someone was trying to push for awareness on sustainable menstrual waste management.
Why this matters to me?
I first recognized the issues with menstrual waste management when I was camping at a glacier bed in Himachal Pradesh four years ago as a part of a mountaineering course. While we were told to segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste; sanitary waste was separated as a third category. Some garbage was burnt, some carried back to Manali but the sanitary waste left lying. The instructors didn't know how to deal with it. I left that camping site with the guilt of having polluted the pristine landscape, perhaps, permanently.
I returned with an acute consciousness that sanitary waste is unlike ordinary plastic waste. It is non-renewable medical waste repugnant to every one, and the menstrual pads that I dispose of every month piles up in landfills undealt with.
Why Should This Matter to You?
Fortunately as I have learnt, there are alternatives. And I am fundraising for this campaign because I believe that sustainable waste management is a BIG issue that needs attention, that we 'modern' women need to be aware of the consequences of our choices- With only 12% of Indian women using disposable pads, we produce 9000 tonnes of waste per month- enough to cover a landfill spread over 24 hectares!
The #PeriodofChange campaign calls for concerted action on integrated menstrual hygiene management so that women can choose safe, hygienic and sustainable products. It seeks to create public awareness about best practices in collection and disposal of menstrual hygiene waste and lobbies to promote the same. The campaign features tweetchats and webinars where experts interact and answer people’s questions as well as local events such as workshops and presentations.
Menstrual hygiene management is one of those "wicked" developmental problems that impacts not just the 355 million menstruating women in India, but society at large. This one complex issue touches upon many of India’s challenges: waste management, women’s health, gender-discrimination, right to education, and other basic human rights including caste oppression. The focus is on India, for that's where the team is based, but the body of the earth is one, and all countries in the world face the same problems as India in disposing disposable sanitary napkins and tampons.
To keep the heat on this topic the #PeriodOfChange teams needs support- they need to hire people to help run the campaign. They need funds to support local events connected with the campaign. They also need support for wider outreach, content generation, information dissemination and advocacy. Help to sustain this sustainability campaign. Every dollar counts. You can donate as little $1 or Rs. 50/-
Shortly, after this campaign started, Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake, and one of the partners, Goonj, swung into action by providing relief material, including sanitary pads, to the affected families. 50% of the funds collected through this campaign will go to Goonj for relief operations in Nepal. Also, Flipkart will match your funding to Goonj.
All spending from the funding will be updated on the funding page, so you know that your money was well invested!