Miss World Manushi Chillar is touring the nation with 7 other beauty queens from the Miss world team, leading her ‘Beauty with a Cause’ tour with her ‘Feminine Hygiene Awareness’ campaign. The former medical student is touching lives by spreading awareness on the sensitive topic of Menstrual hygiene. After touring Kolkata and Hyderabad Manushi attended an event on Menstrual Hygiene in Delhi on Tuesday. Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar will spend 45 days scouring her native country with the aim of busting myths about menstruation and raising awareness among millions of women.
The initiative is supported by the Aakar foundation which is a charity that aims on producing sanitary napkins using biodegradable pads using jutes, thus aiming at maintaining the ecological balance and providing affordable sanitary napkins to the populace. Founder Jaydeep Mandal of Aakar Foundations brought up the subject of 12% taxes on pads. “It is double the tax which was there earlier. At least, for the green products and the ones that can be turned into compost, there should be no tax. This is something unique we are doing,” he said. This project was proposed by Ms Chillar in her Miss World Contest which eventually led her to victory.
“We have been underlining the importance of health and hygiene in our conversations with women,” Chillar told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
We have early 375 million women of menstrual age in India, but only 12% use sanitary napkins and other hygiene products. Most women in India still use rags or unsterilized cloth, and many in rural areas use sand, ash and dried leaves as menstrual absorbents, increasing the risk of infections. Chillar called on governments across the world to increase access to sanitary pads by making them tax-free.
The latest release of the movie Padman compounded further by this campaign is a revolution in the conservative society of India.