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Polygence Scholar2022
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Ayana Kashikar

American High SchoolClass of 2023Fremont, California



  • "The Mental and Physical Impacts of Period Poverty in India" with mentor Lana (Sept. 13, 2022)

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The Mental and Physical Impacts of Period Poverty in India

Started Apr. 6, 2022

Abstract or project description

Currently, hundreds of thousands of girls across India are impacted by period poverty, being defined as the inability to access safe, hygienic menstrual products to use every month. As a result of this inability, girls and women are often subject to using unsafe products and methods to control their bleeding, using old rags, sawdust, or even cow dung. Though these items pose physical detriments to the people that use them, they also can cause and/or inflate mental health issues. For one, anxiety and depression seems to be associated to the lack of available menstrual products across India. The embarrassment and stigma that plagues the country also takes a toll on the girls' school attendance and sexual health, as several have had to resort to transactional sex in order to have access to safe menstrual products. Luckily, however, there are companies and actions being taken to help prevent these challenges Indian women face, physically as well as mentally. For one, and increased availability to WASH systems across the country allows for the impacted women to change and clean themselves within safe and dignified quarters. Moreover, the availability of new, cheap, and reusable banana-fiber pads serve as a way for ladies to make their own menstrual products for cheap. Lastly, the distribution of more reusable pads across the country paired with a preliminary education, instructing the women how to properly clean and prepare the pads, also seem to serve as a stepping stone to the cause of mitigating the effects of period poverty.