The Body Shop India has partnered with CRY for a campaign directly benefiting underprivileged girls and women from slum communities in Delhi/NCR where access to menstrual health and products have been hit severely by the pandemic.
For a long time now, menstruation has been a subject surrounded by stigma. In an attempt to remove the age-old notion revolving around periods, the activist British beauty brand, The Body Shop India partnered with CRY, an Indian NGO, aiming to create period awareness.
In the upcoming four months, the brand, along with the NGO, will work for normalising the conversation about menstruation using its stores, website and social media.
The collaboration will also result in raising funds for period projects in pandemic-hit communities. The brand will ask customers for the support of just Rs 20 if they shop from their stores or through the website.
Further, The Body Shop stores will install Red Period bins so that people can voluntarily donate sealed period products which will be donated to local communities through CRY.
Shriti Malhotra, the CEO of The Body Shop India said, “ There is no denying that the pandemic has worsened the already critical issue of period shame and menstrual access. Shame-free periods, safe menstrual products, and accurate menstrual education are not a womens’ cause – it is a human cause.”
The Body Shop has also come up with an initiative under which it will motivate people to take a pledge for speaking up about period in front of male family members and be honest about the period experiences.
Through this initiative, The Body Shop and CRY are aiming to provide menstrual health awareness, education and free menstrual products to 10,000+ people across 4500 households.
More than a thousand adolescent girls and women will be given period products and Anemia check-up kiosks will screen for a common menstrual health condition.
Shraddha Kapoor, who is the Brand Ambassador of The Body Shop India said, “Period shame is deeply rooted in our upbringing and there is no better time than now to question its existence.”
The Body Shop will also hold Period Pathshala Sessions to educate adolescent girls and boys on menstrual health and hygiene including usage of period products.
The sessions will include videos and Movie screenings with adolescent girls and boys to build awareness and bust myths prevalent around menstruation.
On their partnership with The Body Shop India, Puja Marwaha, CEO of Child Rights and You (CRY) said, “Field experiences gathered by CRY suggest that periods are a major reason behind girls dropping out of schools.”
“It is a fact that is echoed by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data which indicates that only 57% of adolescent girls between 15-19 years are blessed with any hygienic form of protection during their menstrual cycles,” she added.
The organisations are also aiming at Capacity building sessions with Front line health workers from the community including Anganwadi workers, ASHA, ANM and project team members to access the benefit of the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS) and access to public sanitary pad schemes.
“We also attempt to amplify voices demanding the access to free and quality sanitary napkins, safe disposal mechanisms, functional toilets and regular awareness sessions on menstrual hygiene. We both strongly believe that awareness is the key to break the taboo and shame related to periods in our society,” Ms. Marwaha said.