Run4Niine: Come March 8, International Women’s Day, over 500 cities in India will resound to the slogans of menstrual hygiene as part of the Niine Foundation’s Run4Niine, a marathon which seeks to liberate Indian women and girls from unsafe sanitary practices during periods. The run is part of

Niine Foundation’s programme to draw awareness to the unsavoury facts that almost 90 percent of women and girls in India still continue to use cloth, hay and ash among other things during their periods. One of the bigger reasons for this is that sanitary napkins aren’t available in the hinterland where taboos ensure that shops don’t stock them. Niine, a sanitary napkin brand, seeks to undo the taboo and make it available in rural areas through their women-led informal networks that also ensures a livelihood to their volunteers.

Niine founder Amar Tulsiyan, who set out on this project to ensure every girl and woman in the country has access to menstrual hygiene, says: “I am delighted to be launching Run4Niine. The first event of its kind, we aim to galvanise the population into action and hope to get every woman, man and child running to break the taboos around menstrual hygiene. I would like to thank JCI and FOGSI for their support to help extend the reach of Run4Niine further, and to thank Akshay Kumar for his continued support.”

Due to centuries-old taboos about menstruation, millions of women and girls in India are subject to ridicule, isolation and shame when they have their period. Some 82% women and girls in India are using unsafe methods to manage their periods. A staggering 88% of adolescent girls are unaware of complications that can arise if they use hay, old rags and even ash. These startling facts paved the way for the Niine Foundation to formulate a 5-year plan to tackle the taboos associated with menstruation by engaging all genders and ages to step forward and join hands to promote the importance of menstrual hygiene awareness. Run4Niine is one such endeavour.

Here’s what Dr Narendra Malhotra has to say to participants in Run4Niine.

Dr Jaideep Malhotra has this to say to those who will set to break the taboo of willful ignorance and bias by joining Run4Niine.

Watch JCI India former national president Arpit Hathi’s call to Run4Niine participants.

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