Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. As per the government mandate, businesses with annual revenues of more than 10bn rupees (£105m) must give away 2% of their net profit to charity. Areas they can invest this money in include education, poverty, gender equality and hunger.
We at Saral Designs understand the importance of collaboration for the greater good. We believe in leveraging available resources and utilizing it for creating a lasting impact. In the last one year, to increase our reach and improve last mile access, we have partnered with over 5 companies working towards eliminating the problems around menstrual hygiene.
Our partnership includes conducting awareness about menstrual hygiene among women and girls across all age groups, social and economic backgrounds. The awareness program is focused towards the menstrual education of girls, educating them about the biology behind menstruation and best practices which need to be followed at the time of their menstrual cycle. To properly understand the need of each school or community we select to work in, we first conduct a pre-test to see how much the women know about menstruation and the conduct a post-test to analyze the impact of the awareness session conducted by us. After each session, we distribute to girls and women free packets of Active Ultra sanitary napkins sufficient for one cycle. A typical MHM session conducted by us covers the following topics:
- Menstruation and body anatomy
- Puberty and changes in body
- What is menstruation?
- Learning menstrual cycle
- Sanitation, hygiene& products
- Hygiene practices during periods
- Track your periods & Myth-busting
- Right disposal practices for used pads
We recognize our limitations as a social enterprise and know how imperative it is to partner with local NGOs and individuals for the smooth execution of the program. In the past two years, we have developed strong partnerships with over 25 such non-profit organizations having well-built networks in the most remote parts of the country.
In a recent survey conducted by us to track the increase in knowledge about menstruation, health benefits and usage of hygienic menstrual products in the schools we work with, we found the following:
- 100% of the girls went back and discussed the awareness session with either their mothers, sisters or friends
- 82% girls used Active Ultra pads that were given to them.
- 97% of the users found the pad quality to be excellent/good
- Teachers from the schools observed a drastic reduction in the number of girls taking half day/ full day leaves due to period emergencies.
So far, we have :
But our work does not end here! There is still a long way to go and we will continue to make sanitary napkins more accessible to women, create awareness around menstruation and ensure every woman has a healthy period!