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Guwahati: With the aim to help menstruating women amid the national lockdown over COVID-19 pandemic, a section of youths from Assam have stepped up to distribute sanitary napkins to the needy.

Assam-based-NGO Spread Love And Peace (SLAP) is now trying to reach out to people to collect funds and help women from across the nation by delivering sanitary napkins.

“Menstrual health and hygiene has been an everlasting problem. The pandemic is just another addition. Ever since the lock down was announced people have been talking about distributing food and other commodities whereas sanitary napkin was not even added in the list of essential commodities. It is after several days that hygiene products were added to the list of essential commodities but there are still many who are not aware of this. People could get beaten up if they step out to buy sanitary napkins. So we are trying to reach out to people in areas where they do not have access to sanitary pads,” said Jafrin Akhtar, founder of Spread Love And Peace.

Led and run by youth, the collective has been running campaigns and engaging youths towards socio-civic role in several parts of the country

The collective led and run by a group of youth has been running campaigns and engaging youths towards socio-civic roles in several parts of the country. In order to successfully deliver this initiative, SLAP is urging people to donate Rs 30 — the price for a pack of sanitary napkins. The process of collecting donations is done through several measures — for one of them, the NGO has collaborated with MILAP where people can find details of the initiative. The NGO has set an initial target of distributing 1,400 sanitary napkins by collecting Rs 42,000 and are in contact with other organisations across the country.

“We have been working in multiple regions of India from time to time and menstrual health and hygiene is our prime focus. We are urging people to donate the price of a pad that is Rs. 30 per pack which is equivalent to buying a pack of biscuits or a chocolate but can be of so much help. They can reach out to me on 8011387561 or to contribute to the cause and we will ensure its distribution to whoever needs it irrespective of the place across India,” Jafrin added.

Out of all menstruating girls and women in India, less than 20% use sanitary pads; the numbers only rise to about 50% in urban areas. It took six days for the central government to consider hygiene products such as soaps, detergents, diapers, sanitary napkins and several others to consider as essential items. At times like these, young organisations stepping up to help people in need is a heart-warming gesture.

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