by Suman Gupta
Mumbai, May 2018: Tee foundation’s sanitary pad bank launched today is an initiative by Dr. Bharati Lavekar to ensure that sanitary pads reach women who are from the underprivileged sections of the society.
Under her constituency, Dr. Bharati Lavekar an MLA from the Versova constituency has been educating women about the importance of Sanitary napkins via 53 schools under the wings of her ‘Tee Foundation Sanitary Pad Bank‘ initiative that promotes menstrual hygiene and easy accessibility of sanitary pads available to the underprivileged women.
Tee Foundation has been granted an automatic sanitary pad vending machine, disposal machine and a menstrual health kit, containing painkillers, pack of undergarment, and literature on how to care for oneself during menstruation as well as how the perceptions of both men and women towards menstruation need a change.
On the occasion of World Menstrual Day, Dr. Bharati Lavekar commented, “When I paid a visit to my constituency to see if woman use pads, I observed that majority of them were using cloth instead of napkins, due to social stigma which can lead to many life-threatening infections and it’s essential for women to maintain menstrual hygiene. Hence, it made me think of launching digital Sanitary Napkin Bank for provisioning sanitary pads online to women.”
Apart from this she also emphasized on period leave, wherein she advised that, schools, colleges and workplace should grant period leaves to students and employees. Along with this she also highlighted about disposable machines which have been set up in schools and public toilets by her foundation.
Further she added that, according to statistics in India, only 15 percent women get access to pads, because they either cannot afford them or lack awareness. As many as 70 percent women think menstrual blood is unhygienic and 66 percent girls and women manage periods without toilets.
Over 85 percent of women, who menstruate use unsafe materials, resort to traditional unhygienic practices like cloth, ashes, husk, sand and leaves. And over 23 percent girls drop out of school completely after reaching puberty. All these facts have major repercussions, which we need to change with the usage of and up gradation of technology through innovative solutions and awareness.
About Dr Bharati Lavekar – President Tee Foundation : Dr. Bharati Lavekar is the president of Tee Foundation a NGO that works for women and children & MLA from the Versova assembly constituency in Mumbai. She has been awarded the first lady award by honourable President of India Shree Ramnath Kovind for starting India’s first Sanitary Pad Bank. She has done M.A (Political Science), M. Phil. B.J (Bachelor of Journalism) and holds a Ph .D (Uniform Civil Code). Active in public life for the more than 25 years, is highly sensitive to the plight of underprivileged women, and has made it her life’s mission to fight for their rights.
TEE Foundation : TEE Foundation is a NGO dedicated to tackle women’s issues. Established in 2009, by Dr. Bharati Lavekar, MLA-Versova, the foundation has been constantly active in its fight against the ills plaguing women, be it female foeticide, sanitation & hygiene, women’s education or persistent gender inequality, through well-planned and comprehensive programmes. Some of the programmes implemented by the TEE Foundation under its ‘Sanitary Pad Bank’ initiative include Beti Bachao Abhiyaan – A programme to fight against female foeticide and ensure that the girl child is well looked after, Free Distribution of Sanitary Pads, Installation of Free Sanitary Pad ATM’s and Disposal Machines, Various awareness programmes to promote Sanitary Hygiene TEE Foundation has been consistently working at the grassroots level to eradicate problems facing our under-privileged women folk.