One Step towards Hygiene, Protection, and Prosperity…एक कदम स्वच्छता, सुरक्षा, और समृद्धि की ओर

Project initiated on: 13.05.2022

Menstrual health is a much neglected necessary part of our public health. The stigma surrounding menstruation has led to women falling behind; the impact is visible on their health and education. Almost 23 million girls (1 out of every five female students) drop out of school annually as they lack awareness and access to hygiene, bathrooms, and period products. In addition, more than 40% of female students in India choose not to attend school during their menstrual cycle due to the inability to access menstrual products to properly manage their menstruation. The Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India (MHAI) estimates that of the 336 million menstruating girls and women in India about 121 million (roughly 36%) are using sanitary napkins. These 121 million women dispose about 21.78 billion pads annually amounting to 2lakh tons of waste, reached India’s landfills every year.  About 125 kg of menstrual waste is generated by each woman during her entire menstrual cycle. Sanitary pads can be seen littering in garbage piles, ponds, fields, trains, behind school buildings, and even on roads, posing a major threat to the country’s waste management crisis, environment, and HEALTH. From here, it would either washed into drains or end up in dumpsites. In most cases, it is disposed in bins even without wrapping. The waste collector separates this waste from other household waste with bare hands, making them more susceptible to infections and diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis.  Most sanitary pads have Super Adsorbent Polymers such as polyacrylate, which can further lead to water clogging and contamination.

A couple of decades ago, when everyone from brands to NGOs to the government started promoting the idea of making sanitary pads available for all women, no one could perhaps foresee the magnitude of its negative impact then. The convenience of using pads has silently given birth to the burgeoning pollution in landfills and health issues, and it is rising faster than we can imagine. Data on menstrual waste management from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation shows that 28% of pads are thrown in mixed waste and end in the landfill, 28% are thrown in the open, 33% are disposed of via burial and 11% are burnt. A sanitary pad has more than 90% plastic, which is equivalent to four plastic bags. It takes 500-800 years to disintegrate. These plastic traces reach inside human bodies through food and water. The UK has just recently done research according to which 1,000 plastic microscopic particles reach inside our body in a single meal. More than 80% of plastic fiber particles have been found in samples collected across five continents.

Apart from creating environmental problems, researchers have found that synthetic menstrual products disrupt the vaginal pH balance and also cause rashes/chafing. Prolonged direct contact during menstruation can lead to many diseases such as vaginitis and toxic shock syndrome (TSS) too. Harmful chemicals like dioxins present in the sanitary pad can be carcinogenic. According to Feminism India, those who cannot afford menstrual products resort to unsafe alternatives such as rags, hay, sand, and ash, which are breeding grounds for bacteria and can lead to infections. Period poverty is a continuing issue in India due to the cultural stigma surrounding menstruation. The accessibility to menstrual hygiene products is correlated to one’s income.

Awareness session by Dr Sangita at Modern College, Pune on the launch of SANGINI

SANGINI is our PAN India awareness and donation initiative striving towards making India Period-poverty free by promoting the use of eco-friendly and sustainable period products. SANGINI also strives to make India plastic pads free. Today, we have a lot of sustainable menstrual products like cloth pads, menstrual cups, reusable period underwear, and many more. But in India, only sanitary pads are being marketed and channeled all around neglecting all the other means. If women and adolescent girls use sustainable menstrual products like menstrual cups during menstruation, it will be an important step for the environment, as one menstrual cup can last a woman for 10 years. Being made of silicone, a cup is safe for the body and disposal is not harmful to the environment. The menstrual cup has a n-number of advantages, to mention a few:

  • Hold more blood than other methods (Up to 12 hours)
  • Healthy and safe. Free from the dioxins and bleach found in tampons and sanitary pads. No risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)
  • No restricted movement, no rashes, no dampness, no itching, no infection.
  • Enables one to indulge in sports activities like swimming, cycling, and running.
  • Eco-friendly alternative. No chemicals. No landfills. No Carbon footprint. No blockage. No pollution.
  • You’re leading a zero-waste lifestyle.
  • Can wear it while peeing. No one comes to know you are menstruating. No awkwardness.
  • No infection to waste collectors/ segregators.
  • Budget-friendly. Reusable cups can last you up to 10 years and prices start from Rs 200.
  • Require less water to wash compared to cloth pads
  • Reduces girls dropping out of schools without toilets when menses begins

Menstrual cups can be the key to liberation and access to education and a better livelihood. The municipality of Alappuzha in Kerala is the first civic body in India to distribute 5,000 menstrual cups for free, in an eco-friendly sanitation drive named “Project Thinkal” in 2019.  Neha Jain, the chief development officer of Firozabad, had recently launched a pilot project concerning the use of menstrual cups in the district with 50 women, including ASHAs, ASHA Sanginia, and the ANMs. To help minimize environmental degradation and improve menstrual hygiene in adolescent girl students, the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Karnataka, is planning to conduct a pilot project on the use of menstrual cups in two districts. If the pilot project succeeds, Karnataka will be the first state in the country to introduce and promote menstrual cups in its public health policy.

Campaign by SANGINI


Under this campaign, one can donate a cup/ cups of any brand which will be distributed to rural women of India

Shipping address for donation



Collaborating partner to make menstruation green and India period-poverty free

An innovative sustainable (green) menstrual brand, by Care Form Labs Pvt Ltd

To order a Cup of Onpery® for donation at 60% discount, use Code:- DONATE_SANGINI




Join us in making India #PeriodPovertyFree and #PlasticPadFree