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New Menstrual Hygiene initiative in Sukma

Women’s health tracker, Maya has launched an initiative – Project Sunshine–in India through which it aims to promote good health and hygiene among women and young girls. The project has been initiated in government schools in Naxal-affected Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

As per the initiative, for every sign-up through a user referral, Maya will donate one month’s worth of sanitary pads to women and girls with limited access to hygiene products. So far over 1,417 sanitary pads have already been donated. 

As per a report by HEEALS, a non-profit organization, approximately 23% girls drop out of school every year in India due to lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. The percentage of girls having access to menstrual products is dramatically less in India and this is one of reasons of decline in number of girls in secondary and higher education courses, a statement issued by Maya said.

 â€˜Project Sunshine’ conceptualised as Maya believed that their work should impact the lesser privileged as well. The project will help in creating awareness both among the women who receive the products as well as the community of users on Maya who contribute to the cause. 

To drive ‘Project Sunshine’, Maya has partnered with Saral Designs and Shiksharth Trust. While Saral manufactures high quality sanitary pads at a low cost with machines designed and developed in-house at their unit, Shiksharth is a platform which operates out of Sukma region in Chattisgarh and is working towards the holistic development of tribal and rural children by bridging the gap between community and schools. Maya is working in collaboration with Saral towards procuring high quality sanitary pads that are distributed to women. It has partnered with Shiksharth to equip girls in tribal belts to overcome the limited access to menstrual hygiene products. 

Shiksharth Trust will be facilitating the process of distribution in schools with Danteshwari Mahila Mandali (Women’s Club of Sukma) and Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, Sukma Administration. Maya aims to expand the scope of donation to other geographies in India and extend partnerships with other organizations in facilitating and distributing sanitary pads. Though the project has been initiated amongst school girls, the goal is to expand to menstruating women in the country with little or no access to sanitary pads irrespective of their age. 

Project Sunshine aims to enable access to women in areas where availability of menstrual pads is an issue and inadequate sanitation is one of the major causes for reproductive health issues and has an impact on school dropout rates in developing countries, including India.

The project also aims to empower women by providing them better access to healthcare and sanitation resources which would improve women’s health. It also seeks to bring about a change in thought since menstruation is still a taboo subject in countries like India.  

“Since the inception of Maya, we have obsessed about decoding each day of the monthly cycle to help women across the world manage their health better. Project Sunshine is our way of contributing to this mission beyond the tier 1 cities in India. The project is driven by the community of users on Maya who are motivated about supporting women who are less privileged”, said John Paul, chief executive officer and founder, Maya.

Maya has recently raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Rajan Anandan, Vice-President, Google, Southeast Asia and India. The company had also raised seed funding of 5 crore from Prime Venture Partners earlier this year. Maya is building a personal health assistant that uses data, analytics and machine learning to provide women actionable insights around their health. Using the tracker, women can record vital health information and trace out patterns that help them manage their health better. 

Maya (previously LoveCycles) is the world’s most comprehensive women’s health tracker. Founded in early 2012 by John Paul, Maya logs more than 1.3 million active users every month. Maya enables women to keep track of their menstrual and physiological health via a mobile application. Led by John Paul and Raghu Mallena (CTO of Maya), the tracker has over 7 million downloads across 190 countries. 

Globally, the tracker supports 14 languages including Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French and very soon will support popular regional languages in the country. The tracker has garnered a consistent 4.5-star rating across Android and iOS based on more than over 100,000 user ratings. Maya has also been featured on the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play Store regularly, the statement added.”

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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