As per the DASARA Report 2019, India has around 355 million menstruating women and girls who face multi-layered barriers to effective Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) due to various social and economic factors. According to the latest data collated by the ministry of health, only 12% of women and girls have access to sanitary napkins in India. As per National Family Health Survey 2019, more than 77 percent of menstruating girls and women in India use an old cloth, which is often reused, ashes, newspapers, dried leaves, and husk sand during periods.
Discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, and lack of basic services often cause girls’ menstrual health and hygiene needs to go unmet. Collectively, these gap results in stigma, harassment, and social exclusion. They restrict their mobility; affecting attendance and participation in school and community life. The intensity of this grave situation can be understood well by the fact that 1 out of 4 menstruating girls report missing school during menses and every second girl considers menstruation as abnormal.