Menstrupedia- An introspective look
Is Menstrupedia an NGO or a For Profit Organization?
Menstrupedia is not an NGO. Menstrupedia is currently a partnership firm, therefore it is a for-profit legal entity. We were initially supported by individuals who contributed towards our crowdfunding campaign. Currently, we generate revenues by selling the Menstrupedia Comic to sustain ourselves. That makes us focus on improving the Menstrupedia Comic as much as possible for parents and teachers who use our resource to educate their daughters and students about periods.
Menstrupedia is one of the thousands of startups that are created by passionate individuals everyday to come up with innovative solutions to various problems around the world. Unfortunately, many startups fail (even though almost all of them are ‘for-profit’ entities), but Menstrupedia has managed to sustain and grow while affecting positive change. We believe in being a part of the solution rather than just complaining about the problem. We are coming up with more solutions around menstrual issues.
What is Menstrupedia’s impact model?
Menstrupedia generates profits from urban regions and uses these profits to distribute books free of cost in the rural complex through its collaboration with various NGOs and grassroots organizations. Menstrupedia also accepts donations from individuals and organisations like the Nirav Modi Foundation. These donations are added to the pool of funds which are used to make the Menstrupedia Comic available free of cost to children from low income families. Till date,the Menstrupedia Comic has been translated into four different Indian languages and 3 foreign languages which has educated more than 70,000 girls in understanding Menstruation better. Out of these, 10,000 girls have received the books free of cost.
Not only in India, but elsewhere as well, Menstrupedia has collaborated with local organizations in countries like Eco-Ser in Uruguay (South America) and Putali in Nepal to make the comic available in those countries in their respective local languages.
What is our association with Whisper?
The Menstrupedia comic is created and owned by Menstrupedia, while Whisper is a sponsor. Because of Whisper’s sponsorship, we have heavily subsidized the book for schools and NGOs. We love Whisper’s touch the pickle campaign that raises its voice against menstrual myths and is supported by many celebrities who speak against menstrual myths and taboos.
We always believe in making our readers aware about the various options (like sanitary napkins, cloth pads, tampons, menstrual cups) that are available and leave the choice to our readers. We quite often conduct workshops for grown women and introduce them to all the different options available to them while telling them about the pros and cons of each of those options.
In the Menstrupedia Comic, we talk about sanitary napkins, cloth pads and how one could make a cloth pad at home. We have left out tampons and menstrual cups to keep the content easy and simple for 9-year old girls. Our aim with the comic is to make girls prepared for their periods and make them curious so that they can find out other alternatives themselves.
Where is Menstrupedia heading to?
The idea of Menstrupedia was drawn from our own experience of facing stigmas around periods. Over the course of time, we have realized the enormous work that is required to be done to address the menstrual needs of girls and women ranging from awareness to availability of menstrual products to their safe disposal and have drawn a lot of inspiration from individuals and organizations who have been working in this field for the past many decades addressing these issues with innovative solutions.
Armed with the knowledge of this menstrual scenario, we as designers and engineers will always be focusing on the existing problems related to menstruation and in creating effective solutions and in collaboration with others to address them, not just in the domain of awareness but well beyond that. To achieve this end goal of creating a menstrual friendly ecosystem, it is of utmost importance that all the stakeholders whether they be individuals or organisations serving in this field, must contribute their perspectives and approaches towards its realization.
-Aditi, Tuhin and Rajat6