RutuChakra– Celebrating and Embracing Womanhood
THIS CAMPAIGN AIMS TO RAISE FUNDS TO PROVIDE 1,00,000 SANITARY NAPKINS TO 500 UNDERPRIVILEGED GIRLS AND WOMEN FOR A YEAR.
LET'S HELP WOMEN & GIRLS LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE WITH DIGNITY
Menstrual Hygiene is vital to the health, well-being, dignity, and empowerment of women and girls. However, the issue of menstrual hygiene has been neglected in our society. Today in India, over 88% of the menstruating women do not have access to sanitary napkins and many more do not have any information regarding the same. In the absence of these napkins, many resort to using leaves, ash, bark, etc. which could potentially lead to several health problems.
Menstruation is a natural biological process, yet, it remains a sensitive topic in our society. Cultural perceptions and myths have etched their way into our society over the years and have impacted women in a negative way. This can often lead to misinformation and the promotion of dangerous menstrual hygiene practices.
Through RutuChakra, I intend to make a positive change: to make an effort towards embedding measures within society to promote menstrual hygiene. This is entirely a youth driven initiative.
ABOUT ME & THE CAMPAIGN
Hi! I am Sanjana Dixit, an 11th grader from National Public School HSR. I have started RutuChakra to provide sanitary napkins to the underprivileged girls and conduct health and hygiene workshops for them. I am a sports enthusiast, grade 7 trinity keyboard and an avid reader. But apart from all of that, I am also an ardent social worker: volunteering and helping at various organisations since I was seven. I have previously conducted summer workshops for reading and writing for various organisations, book and stationery collection drives. I have been teaching two underprivileged girls mathematics for the past year.
I have already had a fundraiser in January 2018 and conducted a workshop in an organisation for ~50 girls. I have provided a year’s supply of sanitary napkins. I am now scaling this initiative in order to reach out and help a larger section. For this I have collaborated with several organisations. To begin with, I will be supporting ThayiMane, Samarthanam, Sandesh and Vidya Organisation to name a few. I have personally worked with these organisations.
HELP ME RAISE FUNDS TO PROVIDE SANITARY NAPKINS TO 20 UNDERPRIVILEGED GIRLS AND WOMEN FOR A YEAR.(COSTS 1000 INR PER ANNUM PER GIRL). AS A GROUP WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO RAISE FUNDS TO IMPACT 500 GIRLS/WOMEN.
By supporting my cause, you are helping me provide the necessary menstrual products and education on the same (through workshops) to girls who otherwise would not be able to afford it. You would be giving them a chance to practise safe menstruation and understand the changes taking place in their body; A chance to speak about this in a society where there is a social stigma and this is regarded as a sensitive topic.
Helping one person might not change the world but it can change the world for that one person. So I urge you to give your support. A simple act of kindness can have a profound impact on someone else's life and with your help I can truly make a difference here. After all, no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted
WE have partnered with the very reputed Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar for the sanitary napkins to be given to women across various NGO's. Rotary Bangalore is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting changes in communities at home and abroad. For over 110 years, Rotary Bangalore along with its members have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, they are committed to always working to better our world.
HOW DO WE CHOOSE WHICH ORGANISATIONS TO WORK WITH?
Till now while choosing an organisation, I looked at 2 main points :
1. I should’ve worked with the organisation or spent time in the organisation before:For me, this step is really important. As I would have visit the organisation and worked with them, I will have a good understanding about them. This also helps maintain our credibility. So it is a personal and thoughtful decision we make as to whom to work with.
2. They should really require sanitary napkins or menstrual products in general. I want to make sure that I help out the people who really require menstrual products .etc. It doesn’t matter if these organisations are located in extreme parts of Bangalore as long as I am able to help someone and make a positive change in their life.
In future, I am also planning to extend this initiative to girls/women in slums.
NOTE: However, in organisations that are relatively self sufficient in this regard, I am always open to conducting workshops because, I believe, knowledge should be given to everyone.
ORGANISATIONS THROUGH WHOM THE SANITARY NAPKINS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED
We have selected organisations that work with underprivileged girls / women and provide them with various facilities such as education, skill based training and residential homes. Some of these organisations are also supporting PWDs ( People with Disabilities ).
Some of these organisations also have government schools under them. We would be supporting these girls as well.
Listed below are the organisations that we will support:
Mitra Jyothi - http://www.mitrajyothi.org
Vidya Organisation - http://www.mitrajyothi.org
Sandesh - https://www.sandeshindia.org
Samarthanam - http://www.samarthanam.org
ThayiMane - http://www.thayimane.org
Couple of government schools
HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING IN THIS FIELD BEFORE?
Yes! Before taking forward this crowdfunding campaign, I had already initiated a fundraiser and conducted a workshop in ThayiMane (Children’s Home). This took place in the month of January, 2018.
The Fundraiser was largely spread across my school, apartment and social circles and I had received an AMAZING response. Through the funds generated, we were able to supply sanitary napkins for 1 year for ~50 girls.
The workshop touched upon :
- General Health and Hygiene.
- Safe Menstruation.
- Addressed questions / myths / concerns relating to this topic.
- Safe Disposal of Sanitary Napkins
It was conducted by Ms. Sunita Shekokar (Gynaecologist)
The girls were also given Health and Hygiene Kits consisting of items of basic personal Hygiene.
NEWS PAPER ARTICLES
What are the crowdfunding charges and the cost to support one girl/woman for a year?
Fueladream charges 10% as crowdfunding charges. There is a payment gateway fee of 2% (for both the Indian and foreign gateway) plus a GST component of 2.16%. This adds up to 14.16%. There is also an initial fee of 3000 INR which is being waived for us
There are several different types of sanitary napkins that we aim to provide. This depends entirely upon the interest of each organisation we work with. The cost break down is given below for one girl’s requirements for 1 year.
When do I get the receipts?
It takes up to 3 weeks after the campaign is closed for the monies to be transferred to Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar whom we are partnering with. The receipts will start getting processed about 3-4 weeks AFTER that and will be sent to you directly.
How does crowdfunding work?
Crowdfunding in India is a relatively new concept & is growing very quickly. It’s a concept that allows a large number of funders (like you) to fund an Idea or a cause or event by giving small amounts of money online. Fueladream.com is a crowdfunding platform in India that allows for such a pooling of funds. You can fund innovations & ideas on FuelADream and be the first to get these products or make them come true. You can also do a good turn by funding charities and causes. When you fund a charity it’s more like a donation.
How did this idea come about?
ThayiMane is a children's home that provides underprivileged children with a loving environment to grow and mature. I had been to ThayiMane a quite a few times earlier so I was already familiar with the place and the organisation. In November, I celebrated my birthday at ThayiMane. While we were there, I happened to visit the washroom and while it was quite well maintained, it raised a question in my head regarding the Health and Hygiene of the children.But the main thing that came to my mind was the sanitation requirements of the girl. Being a girl, I felt this was something I could relate to.
When I spoke to Mrs Pratibha Nathji, Headmistress of ThayiMane school, I realized that while there are several people and corporate who come forward to donate books, stationery, clothes, and other needs., there are few donors for sanitary napkins and other health/hygiene related material. So the supply was irregular. Moreover, the first priority of the organisation was to meet the basic requirements such as food and education but health and hygiene is one area where additional help was required. So, I decided to take this matter up.
What are the challenges that you faced?
Event Coordination: Initially, I thought that this would be very simple. But, there were hurdles along the way. Co-ordinating all the logistics for the workshop, arranging doctor required multiple follow-ups.
Sanity Napkins Supply: At the last minute (just 2 days before the event), I got a call from Mythri (from where I got the sanitary napkins) that they would be able to deliver only about half the required number of sanitary napkins before the workshop because they had other orders as well. I had to run around to find a place where I could get the remaining supply.
Tests and Pre-boards: Being in 10th grade, I also had my pre-boards and periodic tests. So coordinating and balancing my academics, sports and initiative posed a challenge.
Finding a Doctor: I had approached several doctors to conduct the Health and Hygiene Workshop for the girls. However, many of the backed out due to some personal commitments .etc. A week before the workshop, I was still in a tight spot. Fortunately, Dr. Sunita agreed to conduct the workshop.
Mindset of the People:In our society, for decades and centuries, girls and women have been taught that the menstrual cycle is something dirty and polluting: something to be ashamed of. Social stigmas, cultural perceptions and myths have etched their way into our society over the years.
There is a need for a serious change in the way that people perceive this topic. I am not talking about only in the rural areas but in the urban areas as well. RutuChakra will try to make a positive change in the people’s perspective and spread knowledge to eradicate the myths and superstitions that still exist.
What was the most rewarding moment / or aspect of your earlier experience for you?
Seeing the radiant smiles on the girls faces was the most rewarding moment. I was also happy that this session clarified some of their myths and superstition. I want to make a positive change and through this initiative I think I have made a beginning.
"I alone cannot change the world. But I can cast a stone across the water and create many ripples." This is my favourite quote because I can relate to it. Another heart-warming gesture was at the time when we were leaving and the girls asked me when I was going to come back again. This gesture really meant a lot to me.
English NewsPaper – The Economic Times – 27th Feb
2. English NewsPaper – Bangalore Mirror – Cover Story – 4th March
3. Kannada Newspaper – UdayVani – 6th March 2018
4. English NewsPaper – Mumbai Mirror – 4th March
5. Hindi NewsPaper – NavaBaharat Times – 5th March
6. Kannada News Paper – VijayKarnataka – 6th March
- English Newspaper – The Hindu
- Web Portal – BookofAchievers.com
- Web portal – SheThePeople.tv
- Web Portal – mynewscart.in
- Web portal –indianews-today.com
- Web – Portal –cxostroies.com
- Web Portal – Indiawave.in
- Web Portal – World-news.press