On the 3rd of October, 2019, Sharmada Shastry, our SochGreen volunteer in Bangalore, was invited to conduct a session on reusable period products to the teachers of Vivero International Pre-school in Bengaluru. Here’s her account of the wonderful event!
It was a sunny Thursday afternoon when I entered the beautiful building of Vivero International Pre-school in Sarjapur Road, Bangalore. The building was bustling with the young teachers of the school who had gathered for a two-day teacher training event. The teachers were from all the nine centres that Vivero has all across Bangalore.
The SochGreen session was the first session after lunch break. There were nearly a 100 teachers gathered around in a big room where all the sessions were being held. After a quick introduction about myself and about what the participants could expect from the session, I played a hilarious comedy video by comedian Aditi Mittal; the video talks about all the hoopla around sanitary napkins. The women were roaring with laughter and using this video as an ice-breaker was definitely a fantastic idea.
We then moved on to talking about the types of period products that are available in India – both disposable and reusable.
We went through each of the disposable period products available, starting from sanitary napkins and then moving on to tampons. The important point of this discussion was to bring up the question – what happens to your used sanitary napkins once you dispose of them? We emphasized on the aspect of a waste picker having to manually handle your period waste and then transport it to a landfill near the suburbs of the city where it is eventually dumped. And since disposable sanitary napkins take easily more than 500 years to start decomposing, in the meanwhile, it pollutes the soil and water resources around the landfill. Once this scenario was explained, the teachers were more inspired to know how they could change this situation.
The answer to the problems raised by the use of these products is making the switch to reusable period products. That being said, we moved on to the next section of the session – discussing the different reusable period products that are available for women in India.
By the time I finished talking about SochPads and SochUnderwear, the women were getting excited to flood me with all questions related to menstrual cup use. And flood, they did. This was probably the session where I received more than 25 questions. As I answered each of the questions, it was evident that the women were sold on the idea of SochCups.
Before we ended the session, we did a quick bit on how to identify a China cheapie and where NOT to buy your menstrual cup.
The session wrapped up on a great note and the energy in the room was positive! The women got to touch and feel the products displayed. I hope to conduct many more such informative and useful sessions in the near future!