The Padman effect might have educated many in India about the menstruation taboo and the ways to fight it; but even two years back, period conversations were still hush hush. Women and young girls – especially in rural parts – were not encouraged to speak openly about it. In fact, many of them didn’t even have access to basic menstrual hygiene products.
This stark divide, when it comes to sanitary essentials, between haves and have-nots inspired 26-year-old Deane De Menezes on the journey of social entrepreneurship. She quit her cushy, corporate job as a research analyst and went on to launch an initiative called, Red is the New Green (RING).
Today, her not-for-profit organisation (of the same name) not only promotes an open dialogue on menstrual hygiene and awareness but also ensures than sanitary napkins are accessible in more than 50 educational institute. Particularly, amid the COVID-19 crisis, Deane and her NGO has been instrumental in ensuring accessibly to menstrual products in urban slums. They reached out to more than 12,000 women and distributed over 2,39,932 sanitary napkins.
Produced and interviewed by Sutrishna Ghosh; Video edited by Amith Ediga