Goan NGO Human Touch Spreads the Message of Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Solutions

Given the hazardous impact of sanitary napkins on the environment, the Human Touch Foundation has begun an initiative to spread awareness regarding sustainable menstruation options and other alternatives in Goa. The journey of a sanitary napkin, from manufacturing to disposal, is a hazardous one. Further, the lack of proper disposal also means health hazards for waste pickers and dumping in landfills. ‘Even if it is incinerated, it releases toxic fumes in the air. So there is really no safe disposal mechanism for pads,’ observes Peter F Borges, Chief Executive Officer.

Amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, access to sanitary pads was difficult, and the Human Touch Foundation included a supply of menstrual products for its beneficiaries with a partnership with Padsquad. Peter F Borges explains, ‘Then the idea of making women move away from sanitary napkins towards safer and ecologically sustainable options was brought into the programme.’

‘Through awareness sessions, we are planning to reach out to more girls and women of different ages and social strata with information about cups, cloth, and biodegradable pads and how to correctly choose and use them. This will create an intimate and open space for conversations around menstruation. These products are eco-friendly, save our body from health risks and are easy on the pocket,’ says Applesta Da Costa, Psychosocial Support Officer.

‘We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative. We have ourselves been “Cup-verts” for some years now. It’s the first time a product has been designed to understand and work according to the needs of a woman's body, instead of merely considering her an economic unit. We would love for more and more women to adopt it, so we are very excited to have more Cup conversations in conjunction with the stellar work that Human Touch already does in terms of sexual and reproductive health,’ says Oishrojyo from Padsquad.

Althea Fernandes, a member of YWCA Goa, who led the awareness session on 12th September 2020, expressed that we must make the Goan woman aware of the smarter menstrual options available to her. By moving to the menstrual cup, she will help the environment, save money and, more importantly, will have the most comfortable, rash-free and stress-free period ever.

Human Touch Foundation is a youth-focused organisation based in Goa, with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations.