More than 50 percent of rural women use unsanitary methods for menstrual protection states the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 report. They use dirty rags, ash, bark, mud as a form of menstrual protection due to lack of awareness, availability and affordability.
Inspired by Akshay Kumar’s movie ‘Padman’, Jaanvi Singh (15), a teenager from Chandigarh wanted to distribute sanitary napkins to less privileged adolescent girls and women from the rural areas. Thus, she founded the Initiative ‘Stop the Spots – Spreading Smiles’ and her friend Lavaanya Jain (17) joined the campaign later. As a part of the campaign, they not only make and distribute Sanitary Pads free of cost, but also teach adolescent girls and underprivileged women how to make these pads.
Initially, they wanted to buy and distribute the sanitary napkins. However, as that would be too expensive, they decided to make the pads themselves.
Jaanvi’s mother ‘Reeti Singh’ helped the girls take a step forward on the initiative by introducing them to a gynecologist Dr. Ritu Nanda. She taught them to make hygienic pads at home. Each pad costs less than Rs.2 and it takes less than a minute to make a pad.
Sumer veer Singh and Ranveer Singh (Jaanvi’s 9 year old twin brothers’) and Trinabh Jain (14) (Laavanya’s brother) joined the initiative too. The girls and their brothers call themselves ‘The Pad Gang’.
The girls and their brothers put together their pocket money to buy the materials required for the pads. In the first batch they made 5000 sanitary pads in their summer holidays. They avoided plastic packaging and instead used newspapers to make packs of 10 for distribution of napkins in the slums. The girls have distributed more than 10,000 pads so far.
The reel life Padman’ Akshay Kumar appreciated the girls by tweeting about their initiative.