The Myna Mahila Foundation
is trying to help Indian women go on with their lives during their periods. The organization employs 15 local women from Mumbai slums to make sanitary pads, while another 50 women distribute them door to door in the slums. The model means stable employment for the workers and easy, affordable access to pads for people in the community. The foundation is hoping this will keep Indian women from having to bring their lives to a standstill when they have their periods.
Girls even drop out of school during puberty because they simply don't have the means to manage their periods.
Interest in Myna Mahila has grown since Britain's newly married royal couple, Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, included the organization on their list of charities to donate to in lieu of wedding gifts. The Duchess, who has spoken out on feminist issues and women's empowerment, had visited the organization in India, and was photographed in a sari as she met with the women working there.
Her involvement has helped spread awareness of menstrual hygiene across India and given the movement a stamp of approval, Jalota said. Tackling the stigma is a major challenge, particularly when it comes to talking about periods between genders.