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give-her-5 sanitary napkins

Did you know that over 80% of Indian women cannot afford sanitary napkins. In a country with over a billion people, can you imagine how many women are forced to adopt shocking, unhygienic alternatives to the basic pad that most of us take for granted? That is where ASHOK KURIEN and SANJEEV SWAMY come in. The inventors of SAAFKINS, a reusable, antimicrobial sanitary pad which costs Rs.150. This is the exact amount that a benefactor will have to donate for a set of two Saafkins to help one girl go to school this year.

give-her-5 sanitary napkins

An online campaign which is slowly gaining traction all over the country, ‘GIVE HER 5’ hopes to help young women all over the country with funds for sanitary napkins.

Why is this important?

Every month, millions of young women have no choice but to use old scraps of cloth, old bits of paper and other alternatives that have been known to cause serious UTI’s and school drop-outs. The other alternative – for them to stay at home. A shocking 20% of menstruating students have to miss out on school because of zero alternatives.

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How does the campaign help?                       give-her-5 sanitary napkins-4

The campaign, which began early in March 2017, seeks to provide ‘Saafkins’ – the world’s first reusable sanitary pad to girls all over the country so that they can go to school. A member of the core campaign team, Shivani Swamy tells us, “Even the cheapest disposable sanitary napkins cost over INR 250 per year, an extremely high ask for something disposable. For the most part, those fortunate enough to afford pads or receive them free of charge, have no place to change or dispose their pads, and are forced to remain homebound for those five days. Finally, there is a solution to India’s feminine hygiene crisis! One that considers the needs of these women and remains conscious of the environment. Rs150 is less than one spends on a movie or a coffee these days, but it is enough to provide a girl safe menstrual protection for an entire year.”

How much does one need to donate?

Rs150.

Saafkins are the world’s first washable, reusable, bacteria/yeast killing/non-leaching sanitary napkins at just Rs150/$2.50 per year. That’s just Rs12 per month! One hundred and fifty rupees will buy one girl one set of Saafkins which she can use for an entire year. We at iJugaad wholeheartedly support Shivani’s request to “Please donate and ‘GiveHer5’ of those days back for a year with just Rs. 150!”

The inventors

The dynamic duo of Ashok Kurien and Sanjeev Swamy. Kurien is perhaps better known for being the founder-director of Zee TV and Dish TV. Whilst Swamy is the CEO of Livingguard Technologies in India – the acclaimed European company which owns a special type of patented technology which mechanically kills microorganisms. Shivani explains that the same technology was used to create Saafkins. “By conducting pilots over the course of a year, Ashok and Sanjeev were able to tweak the design and add technologies such as ‘quick dry’ and ‘stain release’ to the product in order to make it more user friendly.” Livinguard India manufactures gravity-based water purifiers as well as Saafkins.

 The future

The campaign, which boasts of celebrity support from actors Varun Dhavan, Arjun Kapoor and Dia Mirza, hopes to “…touch over a million Indian lives by next year. Saafkins are environmentally conscious, safe and affordable. This is the product the world has been waiting for.” affirms Shivani. “As you can imagine, the final goal is to provide Saafkins to people in need all over the world.”

 

FOR MORE INFO AND TO DONATE  www.giveher5.org

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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!