*Picture shows Pad Squad led by Niiya Kumar and its three fresh Ranchi based members Anchala Singh, Indira Singh and Seema Singh distributing pads among poor women inside Patragonda village in Ranchi on July 15, 2020.

At a time when male volunteers have come forward to help needy and underprivileged members of the community amid COVID-19 pandemic, a group of three conscientious women from Ranchi joined Pad Squad to distribute sanitary pads.

They were Anchala Singh, Indira Singh and Seema Singh. Under the banner of Pad Squad, they were backing its nationwide campaign to popularise sanitary pads among the women of the backward areas who can not afford to procure it from the market.

Under the leadership of Niiya Kumar, one of the co-founders of the national movement, who is in the capital city of Jharkhand right now, they have successfully organised a pad programme at a tribal village-Patragonda, Kanke road on Thursday.

During the event, they distributed over 1700 pads among the poorest of the poor women. While distributing sanitary pads, they taught and shared some 'tips' on menstrual hygiene and the right way to dispose of them. The recipients appeared to be in cheers while getting the napkins free of cost."It's a taboo in their society to talk about menstrual health, leave aside buying a sanitary napkin. Also, even with volunteers around, these tribal women don't hesitate to accept napkins", said Indira Singh.

The mother of a two- year old boy Sangita Devi, who had attended the programme and received napkin, expressed a sense of gratitude for them."Nobody had taught us about menstrual hygiene. Forget donating napkins", Devi said.

Anchala, Indira, and Seema are thankful to Niiya Kumar for inspiring and motivating them to join Pad Squad. So perhaps they plan to cover more backward areas in the coming months. Records show that Pad Squad was launched on June 1 in Mumbai when its founders Chitra Subaramaium and Taranjit Kaur, while distributing ration and other necessities in slums, realised that the women there needed nothing except sanitary napkins during menstrual days.

Soon, other activists cum co-founders such as Mayuri Joshi, Gillian Pinto, Devashish Majkhija, Monica Raheja, Surya Balakrishnan and Niiya Kumar joined the movement. They were involved in many other relief works since the lockdown was enforced on June 24-25.

As of now, Pad Squad is credited to have distributed over 60000 pads and its units are located in 20 cities. In fact, the Pad Squad movement, apart from distributing sanitary pads, entails spreading awareness for normalising periods."The fact that women bleed every month, sanitary needs during this time are like any other necessity such as food, medicines, and so on", says Niiya Kumar.

The model of this campaign is based on a simple appeal -donate sanitary pads, especially biodegradable one( as many such products are available in the market these days)."You may order online or deliver them locally -1 packet or 100 whatever one wishes to donate. The donor can message on 9934504213 or 9835540000.

NOTE: For more details and stories check Pad Squad on Instagram and Facebook as well. 

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