Who We Are ?
Sundra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation is resolutely committed to empowering women and girls from disadvantaged and marginalized communities leading to amelioration of their well beings and livelihood. We focus on the empowerment of women and girls of poor families and slums because they are acutely affected by poverty, illiteracy and discrimination; and suffer abuse and violations in the realization of their rights, and deprived of entitlements and access and control over resources. We directly reach out to slum dwelling women and girls in Delhi/NCR as well as in five different states of India with a view to distributing sanitary napkins and educating them about how to manage menstruation hygienically that is essential to the dignity and well-being of adolescents and women under the banner of Mohalla Tola Scheme. It constitutes an integral component of basic hygiene, sanitation, cleanliness and reproductive health services. Our intent is to break the cycle of ignorance and inadequate awareness, above all, dispelling myths, misconceptions, taboo and notions that the menstruating women are contaminated, polluted, and dirty, which badly affect their health and social lives. Ironically, it is still considered to be an anathema to many societies, shrouded in a culture of silence and shame.
According to 2011 census of India, the number of women in the reproductive age group (15–49 years) is over 31 crores. Taking into account the quantum of morbidity and deplorable quality of lives of women and girls from poor and slum areas, Government of India has incorporated Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) into national policies and programs as part of initiatives for improving health, well-being, and nutritional status of adolescent girls and women, as well as for minimizing school absenteeism of adolescent girls owing to menstruation. Besides MHM, other scheme of the government is “Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya” for making sure that every school in India should have well-maintained WASH facilities including soap, private space for changing, adequate water for washing, and disposal facilities for used menstrual absorbents.
Following the policies of Government of India, Sundra Foundation has resolved to providing technical guidance and support toward raising awareness, addressing behavioral change, capacity building of marginalized and slum dwelling girls & women and sensitization of key stakeholders, and distribution of the sanitary pads and installation of sanitary pads vending machines. We endeavour to provide sanitary napkins to the poor school-going girls and slum dwelling women by installing napkin-vending machines at schools, public places, slum areas and other backward localities to enhance accessibility of environmentally safe disposal mechanisms such as low-cost incinerators attached to the girls’ toilets in schools for disposal of used sanitary products.
Taking a cue from the report of IndiaSpend in 2017, on the use of sanitary pads by only 7 per cent of females across India, Sundra Foundation resolves to dissuade from traditional practices of using cloths, rags, ash or husk for protection during menstruation but promote and encourage the uses of sanitary napkins in order to prevent the disease such as urinary and reproductive tract infections and bacterial vaginosis.