Doon’s Padman Jai Sharma conducts record-setting 10 lakh sanitary pad distribution drive


To spread awareness about menstrual hygiene and normalize periods, the founder of Dehradun-based NGO Just Open Yourself (JOY), Jai Sharma, has been conducting a record-setting sanitary pad distribution drive in Uttarakhand. The distribution of sanitary pads by Uttarakhand’s ‘Padman’ Jai commenced in April this year amid the second COVID-19 wave and aims towards distributing 10 lakh sanitary napkins to the underprivileged.

Speaking about the pad distribution drive, the Founder of JOY, Jai Sharma, said, “Menstruation is nevertheless taboo in several parts of India. Parents seldom discuss period hygiene with children as 70% of them consider it a dirty subject. Even now, gender equality, poverty, humanitarian crisis, and toxic beliefs can transform menstruation into a phase of deprivation and stigma and influence female health. Sanitary napkins are the primary step towards menstrual hygiene. This distribution drive will endeavor towards spreading awareness for how imperative this need is and what would happen if you had a period and didn’t have a sanitary napkin.”

Adding further, Jai said, “We need to make constant battles on spreading knowledge on menstrual hygiene and not only respond to emergencies and crises. This campaign will be a solid derivation towards bringing in the much-required difference. We look forth to creating awareness about using a sanitary pad, and through this initiative, we will be empowering nearly 1 million underprivileged women of Uttarakhand!”

The team of Just Open Yourself, spearheaded by Jai, had started with the distribution of sanitary pads in April during the second wave of the coronavirus. Even though the second wave had passed, JOY did not halt with the distribution drive and continued with its tireless efforts. For this, JOY has also collaborated with several brands for an uninterrupted supply of sanitary pads. The team has since covered several areas in the state, including Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, among many others. The distribution of sanitary pads has been completed by 70% already, and the rest 30% is to be completed by the end of 2021.

Just Open Yourself has also been actively supporting the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NGO has procured and distributed oxygen cylinders free of cost as medical supplies with no refilling and security charges. The team also distributed COVID medical kits, sanitization kits (included sanitary pads, sanitizers, masks, soaps) along with other medical equipment to those in need. JOY made every effort to provide help to distant areas in the state and supplied ration kits, including atta, rice, sugar, spices, dal, and oil.


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