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Lavanya Bahuguna

Blogger-in-Chief

This Christmas, IWB Is Helping Homeless Women Manage Their ‘Cold Period’

  • IWB Post
  •  December 25, 2017

This Christmas, IWB decided to help homeless women manage their period. Along with environmentalist and founder of menstrual cup RUTU, Seema Pardeshi, we’re organizing an on-ground campaign wherein we personally meet women who live on the streets and introduce them to menstrual cups.

To this end, we’ve met about 50 families so far to hold a dialogue with their women about replacing cloth with menstrual cups during periods. Read how we’re spreading warmth this Christmas by helping them deal with Cold Period (which, by the way, is also the name of our campaign).

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Seema’s Mumbai-based NGO Ashay Foundation promotes environmental conservation. One of its top agendas is to encourage Indian women to start using menstrual cups and, in turn, stop producing non-recyclable period waste. Do you remember how Seema herself got introduced to menstrual cups? She remembers being apprehensive at first, but once she learned that these cups are made of soft silicone material and are FDA approved, she tried one. “The fact that it stops us from mindlessly using and throwing sanitary napkins was the most important aspect. A study has proven that upon absorbing vaginal fluid, the chemical used in pads forms a chemical dioxin, 0.02% of which penetrates in our body during every cycle,” she told us.

Therefore, when Seema spoke to this group of seven women who live by one of the busiest roads in Jaipur, we knew that she would convert all of them into menstrual cup users. This was also a group that took its health seriously, since we spotted a few dustbins in the vicinity.

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To begin the session, Seema took the cup from her handbag and described the process of using it.

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She explained, “This cup is to be inserted into the vagina from where the blood comes out. All you’ve to do is press it from one side using a finger and gently push it inside. Once inserted, it gets back to its standard shape that collects the menstrual blood without any leakage. During the heavy-flow days, you must remove and empty it every two to three hours. Other days, it can be used for straight 10-12 hours.”

The women were amazed. Their eyes sparkled even more when Seema told them that one cup can be used for about 15 years.

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She informed, “Usually you get one cup for Rs. 1000 but my NGO makes it accessible to the masses for just Rs. 555. In this way, we’re able to save the environment in a very cost-effective manner.” Seema was kind enough to distribute these menstrual cups among the women we met during the day.

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Inside IWB’s ‘Winter Period Packs,’ there is a RUTU menstrual cup, a warm shawl, a pair of woolen socks, and an antiseptic soap. Oh, and some candies because, Christmas!

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While sharing the benefits of this reusable product, Seema also encouraged women to ask questions and clear their doubts regarding menstruation, if any. “Can we pass urine when we’re wearing the cup,” asked one.

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Seema showed them the rubber model of the female reproductive system and replied, “Yes, you can because we’ve separate holes to pass urine and menstrual blood. Passing urine won’t put any kind of pressure on the menstrual cup and hence, it won’t ever come out unless you pull it downward using a hand.”

Have a look at our sincere students of the day.

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As this group mainly uses public toilets, women here don’t face communal shame like those we met earlier (read here and here). They were glad we brought them menstrual cups that will simplify their lives in many ways.

If you wish to buy these menstrual cups, get in touch with Seema at +91- 99300 25807. In case you’re planning to conduct the ‘Cold Period’ campaign in your city, get in touch with us at +91-9828288876.

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