In a country where menstruation is still a taboo, Indian startups are breaking stereotypes

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  • Here are the startups that are fighting for menstrual hygiene awareness in India.
  • In India, while menstruation is still taboo in several regions, a wave of change has been seen through Indian films and startups.
In India, menstruation is still a taboo and women still fight many stigmas. From superstitions that keep them away from the kitchen or holy places, to traditions that restrict them to the household, period is still a tough subject in India.

But a wave of change is coming in. Companies now allow ‘period days’ where women can take the day off if they suffer from pain while menstruating.

The otherwise stereotypical movie business which stays away from relevant topics, welcomed movies on menstruation like Padman. The movie ‘Period. End of Sentence’, won an Oscar for the best documentary short film. The movie shows Indian women who come together to build accessible menstrual hygiene products.

The Indian startup industry is not too far either with apps that help track periods to building products for women’s hygiene. On World Menstrual Hygiene Day, here’s a look at Indian startups that are working on this topic.

Nyra App

Vivant is a B2B data driven healthcare startup based out of Singapore. On World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the startup launched Nyra an app that can be used by women to track their period, fertility, ovulation, mood, lifestyle and physical activity.

“In India it is estimated that around 23 million girls have dropped out of school due to menstruation and lack of awareness of women’s health issues. Nyra aims to help address this by giving women everywhere access to feminine health information and advice, and control over their feminine health journey. We have initially launched the app to include Hindi, but are actively looking to make the app available in other vernacular languages,” said Adrit Raha, CEO, Vivant.

Sirona

Gurugram-based PeeBuddy which has been working on women’s hygiene with its disposable, portable urination device for women has also launched Sirona, a range of products for menstrual hygiene. The products introduced by Sirona include herbal feminine pain relief patches, oxo-degradable disposal bags, tampons, reusable menstrual cups, panty liners etc.

Sirona is already present in 150 outlets across Delhi-NCR through retailers. It plans to amplify its presence to 5 cities by FY21.

FLOH

FLOH is a feminine health and hygiene brand by Visionaari, a Delhi-based personal care startup. It has its own line of tampons, and recently also launched Crampfree – herbal period pain relief patches.

“Since its inception, making sure women forget that they are on their period has been the core of FLOH’s ideology. As menstrual cramps affect most of the women out there, it was our natural progression to address this problem. Just like FLOH tampons, Crampfree will change the way women perceive their periods, helping them have a bloody good period,” said Gauri Singhal, Founder and CEO, Visionaari.

Azah

The organic wellness startup Azah produces and sells cotton sanitary pads. According to the company, these sanitary pads are fabricated with the finest organic cotton and do not contain harmful chemicals such as chlorine, dioxins, or artificial fragrances.

The startup, which was founded by engineering graduates, Shashwat Diesh and Aqib Mohammed, in November 2018 had recently raised an angel investment of $200,000.

See Also:
Women’s day in numbers: 9 grim reminders that Indian women are still a long way off from empowerment
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