by Suman Gupta
“Nelson Mandela International Day” celebrates another year of servicing humanity!!
Mumbai July, 2017: Every year on July 18, people around the world celebrate Mandela Day, the day Nelson Mandela was born, with the idea that each individual has the power to transform the lives of those less fortunate. It is on this day, that the Nelson Mandela Foundation urges every individual to devote their 67 minutes of time to make a change and to service humanity. Why 67 minutes? In recognition of Nelson Mandela’s contributions to democracy, racial justice and reconciliation, and his service to humanity, the United Nations has declared Madiba’s birthday on 18 July as International Mandela Day. Every year on July 18, Madiba’s supporters across the world spend 67 minutes helping others with the idea that each individual has the power to transform a way of living.
Like every other year, this year too, people across the globe will celebrate this day by dedicating their 67 minutes to help a cause. With Indian feminine hygiene and affordability of sanitary napkins being a big concern for rural and underprivileged Indian women, the South African Consulate in Mumbai along with the Nargis Dutt Foundation decided to highlight this concern on Mandela Day. According to a recent survey by the National Health Family Survey, almost 88% of women in India do not use disposable sanitary protection. Keeping this in mind, the Consulate will be dedicating their 67 minutes and will be providing packaged hygiene kits for 176 underprivileged girls at Navjeet Community Health Centre, Bandra in Mumbai. The kits comprise of sanitary napkins, soap, hand towel, sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrush. The South African Consulate will further support this cause by providing free sanitary napkins for 176 underprivileged girls for one year. Not only this will help in maintaining hygiene but the making of sanitary pads will also create jobs for women with a special sanitary pad manufacturing machine launched by Nargis Dutt Foundation.
The South African Consulate urges each one of us to come forward and pledge some help to the needy on this day. We can even start doing our bit from our own homes, by just offering our helpers free sanitary napkins every month. The Consulate would be happy to see this change in the coming years and looks forward to more women having access to feminine hygiene supplies at affordable rates.
About Nargis Dutt Foundation : The Nargis Dutt Foundation was started by Shri Sunil Dutt in 1981 in the memory of his wife Smt Nargis Dutt after she succumbed to Cancer. The Nargis Dutt Foundation is passionately working in the areas of HEALTH, EDUCATION and RURAL DEVELOPMENT.
Across these 36 years, NDF has been working silently and extensively with various cancer hospitals in India towards funding poor patients for their treatments, cancer awareness and holding medical camps for the poor. Over 80 rural hospitals across rural India have been equipped with state- of- the -art medical diagnostic facilities. During the 2008 Bihar floods, a three month medical camp treated more than thirty thousand patients.
We are even supporting the education of approximately 120 meritorious poor students under our BETI project and Sunil Dutt Scholarship Scheme.
Under our Rural Development Initiative, we have adopted an entire tribal village in Palghar and holistically working in the areas of health, education, women empowerment, sanitation and solar power. We have developed a Model School of Education in Palghar which includes solar powered computer labs, e-learning, clean toilets, clean drinking water, a musical lab, extra classrooms, sports and a school park and many such initiates for rural schools.