Wednesday March 27, 2019

Red is the new green- Campaign by a Mumbai woman to educate women about menstrual cycles

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Celebrating Womanhood. Image source Wikipedia

A step taken by Deane de Menezes for a cleaner environment

  • Saving the environment from the non-degradable waste is also a very big factor
  • Deane de Menezes takes steps to educate women about both
  • Sanitary napkin vendor machines and incinerators in schools soon

50% of girls in India had no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. According to Arundati Muralidharan of WaterAid India, 88% girls and women who menstruate use unsafe materials, and 70% mothers think periods are dirty found a study in 2014.

Lacking awareness in this sector worries Deane de Menezes. Whispers along the line, menstruation has always been a taboo. But what w really miss is the bigger picture- The Environment.

Hygiene tips. Image source Menstrupedia
Hygiene tips. Image source Menstrupedia

Deane de Menezes, a 22 year old research associate in international analytical company CRISIL decided to do something about it. She started Red is the new green campaign where they are installing sanitary napkin dispensers and incinerators in Mumbai’s schools and create awareness of hygienic practices during menstruation. Not only providing sanitary napkins is a worry, but the waste generated by it is a bigger problem. “Every day, rag pickers are exposed to infections and other health hazards when handling feminine hygiene discards,” Menezes explained. “I’ve spoken to garbage men who have told me stories about how they have to segregate the waste and touch pads with their bare hands.”

Sanitary napkin vending machines in Japan. Image source wikimedia commons
Sanitary napkin vending machines in Japan. Image source wikimedia commons

“An average woman eliminates about 150kg of mostly non-biodegradable absorbents every year.” a study by periodofchange, a campaign that seeks safe, hygienic and sustainable menstrual hygiene products. Menezes aims to educate schoolgirls about alternative methods of disposing napkins carefully. With funding from CRISIL, she is working to install vending machines and incinerators in the Auxilium Convent High School Wadala, an eastern suburb of Mumbai. The vending machines and incinerators will also be installed in the school’s branch in Bandra’s Pali Hill, Bandra. “Other than that, we would like to give the girls a small pouch to keep their pads in a clean and safe manner,” she said. The vending machine and incinerator will be up by June 17.

She has already conducted sessions with schoolgirls about the importance of proper hygiene and how can they do their bit to save the environment.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle- Vrushali Mahajan 

  • Pritam Go Green

    This is highly appreciable. Still our old generation thinks menstruation as a taboo. In schools proper knowledge should be given in the primary level itself. One shouldn’t feel shy in knowing all this or in talking about it. It is just a natural healthy phenomenon. Nd most imp thing one should know that ” No female becomes dirty during her menstrual cycle.” This is totally a rubbish thought !!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, this type of education should be given at a primary level so that girls know what exactly to be done hen they go through their menstrual cycles.

  • devika todi

    this is a great initiative! the lack of knowledge regarding something so natural is appalling. by educating students about it from a young age, we are infusing awareness and acceptance in the society.

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  • Pritam Go Green

    This is highly appreciable. Still our old generation thinks menstruation as a taboo. In schools proper knowledge should be given in the primary level itself. One shouldn’t feel shy in knowing all this or in talking about it. It is just a natural healthy phenomenon. Nd most imp thing one should know that ” No female becomes dirty during her menstrual cycle.” This is totally a rubbish thought !!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, this type of education should be given at a primary level so that girls know what exactly to be done hen they go through their menstrual cycles.

  • devika todi

    this is a great initiative! the lack of knowledge regarding something so natural is appalling. by educating students about it from a young age, we are infusing awareness and acceptance in the society.

Next Story

The Flamboyant Plastic Waste Boat Reminds The Global Policy-Makers The Urgency To Address Impact Of Plastics on The World’s Marine Environment

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plastic waste
The plastic waste was melted, shaped and carved by the team of traditional dhow builders exactly as they would do with wood. Pixabay

This flamboyant nine-metre-long dhow, made from 10 tonnes of plastic waste collected from Kenyan beaches and roadsides, sailed more than 500 km from the idyllic island of Lamu to Zanzibar this year with a message to eliminate single-use plastics.

And it also reminds the global policy-makers the urgency to address and lessen the growing impact of plastics on the world’s marine environment.

The Flipflopi dhow was positioned right at the entrance of the conference venue in the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi where over 4,700 delegates from 170 countries gathered for the week-long UN Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.

“Marine plastic litter pollution is already affecting more than 800 marine species through ingestion, entanglement and habitat change,” UN Environment’s coral reef unit head Jerker Tamelander said.

“Waste continues to leak from land and coral reefs are at the receiving end. They also trap a lot of fishing gear as well as plastic lost from aquaculture. With the impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems already significant, the additional threat of plastics must be taken seriously.”

pollution
“Marine plastic litter pollution is already affecting more than 800 marine species through ingestion, entanglement and habitat change,” UN Environment’s coral reef unit head Jerker Tamelander said.
Pixabay

The majority of marine litter – between 60-80 per cent – is composed of plastic.

Only nine per cent of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has so far produced has been recycled.

The overwhelming majority of plastics – comprising drinking bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, lids and straws – are designed to be thrown away after a single use, ultimately ending up in landfills and polluting the environment.

“The first leg of the journey is over, but the journey continues,” Kenyan entrepreneur and Flipflopi project leader Dipesh Pabari told reporters here.

“When you are on the boat and you come to know that it’s made from your toothbrushes and Pet bottles. You will ask how and that is the real story,” he said.

Coming from a family of carpenters and dhow builders in Lamu, an island off the North Coast of Kenya, Ali Skanda is intimately familiar with what goes into building a dhow – a sailboat that has been used in East Africa for more than a thousand years.

On its maiden 500-km-long sojourn, supported by the UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, the Flipflopi stopped at towns and cities to sensitize the communities on ways to cut down use of single-use plastics.

A report, Plastics and Shallow Water Coral Reefs, released at this UN Environment Assembly, which focus on innovative solutions for environmental challenges, identifies a number of knowledge gaps that must be addressed to strengthen the scientific evidence base for action on marine plastics that impact coral reefs.

Inspired by 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, activist Rebecca Freitag, 26, a UN delegate for sustainable development from Germany, told IANS that the youth should be given participation in environment talks as they comprised 25 per cent of the global population.

Before coming to the UN summit, she collected the plastic waste from roadsides of Kenya, which introduced the world’s toughest laws on single-use plastic bags two years ago, and got her dress stitched to spotlight solutions for the growing impact of plastics on the world’s marine environment.

plastic
“Waste continues to leak from land and coral reefs are at the receiving end. They also trap a lot of fishing gear as well as plastic lost from aquaculture. With the impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems already significant, the additional threat of plastics must be taken seriously.” Pixabay

The Flipflopi is now ready for a voyage next month for a greater political and social awareness of the issue of plastic pollution.

“Now we want to build a 20-m long boat that is capable of sailing to South Africa and beyond,” Pabari said.

For this, $1.5 million is required.

The Flipflopi team has had to pioneer new techniques to craft the dhow’s various components.

Also Read: Biotechnology Can Meet The Growing Energy Needs Of Rural India

The plastic waste was melted, shaped and carved by the team of traditional dhow builders exactly as they would do with wood.

Every single element of the boat has been constructed by hand and the whole boat has been clad in colourful sheets of recycled flipflops.

These flipflops have been collected on beach cleanups on Lamu’s beaches, where they are among the most prolific items found. (IANS)