Sirona’s Menstrual Cup Awareness Drive and Helpline in Uttarakhand Witnessed an 86pc Success Rate in Switching Menstruators to Cups

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New Delhi: Sirona is India’s leading FemTech brand that offers innovative period, intimate, and toilet hygiene products. Recently, Sirona Hygiene Foundation, the CSR arm of the company joined hands with DivIn Pro, an impact and strategy-driven contact and support centre that works towards empowering marginalised sectors, successfully concluded a menstrual cup awareness drive that impacted the lives of 3100 women across Uttarakhand and “cupverted” 86 per cent women in the region. The focus of this drive was on sharing knowledge about menstrual hygiene and the benefits of switching to a menstrual cup, followed by the distribution of 3100 free menstrual cups sponsored by Sirona.

This project was one of its kind initiative to reduce period poverty in rural and most difficult terrains of India. The project involved four steps to ensure a high rate of adoption of the cup. Across the State, sessions on menstrual health and hygiene were conducted inviting men and health workers as well. Next, hands-on training was given to beneficiaries on using the menstrual cup. The training was followed by the distribution of free menstrual cups. Lastly, follow-up was done physically by local stakeholders and a menstrual cup helpline was activated that offered answers to queries users had related to using cups.

The project, executed over the last year, impacted more than 3100 women in three districts (Dehradun, Uttarkashi, and Tehri) and 25 villages of Uttarakhand including Dhargaon, Kafolgaon, Dhansani, Lashyangaon, Taluka, Douni, and others. In District Dehradun, the collaboration was done with the Uttarakhand Police Wives Welfare Association and the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. In District Uttarkashi, the project was done in collaboration with the Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development, and in Tehri District, with Mount Valley Development Association. The project is still active in three districts of Uttarakhand and aims to serve other districts as well this year.

This project was a part of Project Lakhon Khwahishen undertaken by Sirona Hygiene Foundation with the aim of ‘cupverting’ one lakh menstruators in India to menstrual cups. The Foundation aims to empower women with menstrual cups and offer hygienic and safe menstruation. DivIn Pro was the execution partner for training, Menstrual Support helpline, and leading the project successfully. The sessions were led by Dr. Aarushi Kehar Malhotra from the foundation highlighting the importance of sustainable menstruation – how it positively impacts lifestyle, substantially reduces sanitary waste generated, impacts the environment positively, and proves to be a highly economical option for period management.

Elaborating on the initiative, Dr. Aarushi Kehar Malhotra, Lead – CSR Initiatives at Sirona said, “Our aim at Sirona is to help every menstruator manage periods safely and with dignity. We do this by not just providing innovative products, but also by spreading education and awareness about why they need to switch to sustainable, cost-effective practices of menstrual hygiene such as menstrual cups. We are continuously working with relevant partners to equip menstruators with the right information on menstrual hygiene and ensure easy access to related supplies.”

Dr. Juhi Garg, Founder-DivIn Pro spoke on the project implementation, “Partnering with Sirona for the project ‘Lakhon Khwahishen’ is part of our vision to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We started this project last year and are still continuing the helpline supporting women in hilly areas of Uttarakhand, helping them cope with challenges related to menstruation. Our success rate of “cupverting” menstruators has been highly encouraging and has generated many impact stories. This partnership with Sirona has helped us bring about a significant change in women’s lives and we will continue to work together to sensitize the needs of women in Uttarakhand and beyond.”

Due to poor menstrual hygiene, 40,000 women lose their lives in India. India also has about 60,000 cases of cervical cancer every year with poor hygiene being one of the most common underlying causes. Addressing menstruation is not only an individual issue but is linked to achieving many developmental goals. As a socially conscious organisation, Sirona Hygiene Foundation is trying to fill the critical gap of the availability of sustainable material to manage menstruation with project implementation partners like DivInPro. The projects aim at eliminating period poverty while contributing to sustainable development.

Sirona’s soul lies in giving back to society. From initiatives like AAAN  that helped sex workers of GB road switch to menstrual cups to contributing a rupee from the sale of every product Sirona sold to the Sirona Hygiene Foundation, the brand undertakes social responsibility initiatives diligently. Sirona so far has donated over 20,000 cups to underprivileged menstruators in an effort to end period poverty under Project Lakhon Khwahishen.