Dr Bharati Lavekar and her journey of Digital Sanitary Pad Bank

MUMBAI: Tee foundation’s sanitary pad bank launched is an initiative by Dr. Bharati Lavekar to ensure that sanitary pads reach women who are from the underprivileged sections of the society.

Under her constituency, Dr. Bharati Lavekar an MLA from the Versova constituency has been educating women about the importance of Sanitary napkins via 53 schools under the wings of her Tee Foundation Sanitary Pad Bank initiative that promotes menstrual hygiene and easy accessibility of sanitary pads available to the underprivileged women.

Tee Foundation has been granted an automatic sanitary pad vending machine, disposal machine and a menstrual health kit, containing painkillers, pack of undergarment, and literature on how to care for oneself during menstruation as well as how the perceptions of both men and women towards menstruation need a change.

Apart from this she also emphasized on period leave, wherein she advised that, schools, colleges and workplace should grant period leaves to students and employees. Along with this she also highlighted about disposable machines which have been set up in schools and public toilets by her foundation.

Further, she added that, according to statistics in India, only 15 percent women get access to pads, because they either cannot afford them or lack awareness. As many as 70 percent women think menstrual blood is unhygienic and 66 percent girls and women manage periods without toilets.

Over 85 percent of women, who menstruate use unsafe materials, resort to traditional unhygienic practices like cloth, ashes, husk, sand and leaves. And over 23 percent girls drop out of school completely after reaching puberty. All these facts have major repercussions, which we need to change with the use of and up gradation of technology through innovative solutions and awareness.

Dr. Bharati Lavekar is the president of Tee Foundation a NGO that works for women and children & MLA from the Versova assembly constituency in Mumbai. She has been awarded the first lady award by honourable President of India Shree Ramnath Kovind for starting India’s first Sanitary Pad Bank. She has done M.A (Political Science), M. Phil. B.J (Bachelor of Journalism) and holds a pH.D (Uniform Civil Code). Active in public life for the more than 25 years, is highly sensitive to the plight of underprivileged women, and has made it her life’s mission to fight for their rights.