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UAE: Siblings collect 45kg of sanitary pads for rural women in India

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on April 2, 2021
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Abu Dhabi siblings were moved by the plight of women in rural villages during a recent holiday.

Two Abu Dhabi siblings have collected 45kg of sanitary pads through donations and will deliver them to needy women in India.

Indian sister-brother duo of Benita Benoi and Brian who launched the online donation drive ‘Power to Periods’ will soon send the cartons of sanitary pads - now kept in their flat - to women in a rural village in Madhya Pradesh.

“In February while spending my vacation here, I wanted to do an initiative with a social cause. I did some research and stumbled upon reports on menstrual poverty issues. Though there is no issue in the UAE, I found out about problems faced by underprivileged women and girls in Indian villages. There is lack of knowledge and access to good menstrual hygiene products,” Benita said.

Benita who is pursuing mechanical engineering at University in Manchester is a former student of Bright Riders School Abu Dhabi, where Brian is currently in Grade 9.

Seeking support, Benita reached out to ‘Pad Woman of India’ Maya Vishwakarma, who runs a volunteer-driven NGO Sukarma Foundation, and Swara Patel, founder and president of the Period Society – both based in India.

“Maya man asked me to collect sanitary pads and it will be then distributed among women in a village,” Benita said.

By March, Brian was also onboard to help his sister by marketing the campaign ‘Power to Periods’ and spreading awareness on social media platforms and creating online posters, T-shirts and certificates for donors.

“My sister has always been active in social and environmental activities. I wanted to follow her. When she came up with this initiative, I was happy to get involved in whatever way I could,” Brian said.

He felt that promoting a subject considered taboo by some would inspire others.

“It is very uncommon for a boy to support such a sensitive cause, so through my involvement I would like to be a role model to other children and show that even boys can support such causes related to women’s health,” Brian added.

As soon as they launched the campaign, they got good response from friends and residents in Abu Dhabi. Soon, they had sanitary pads of different sizes and brands.

Parents Benoi and Inish are supportive the initiative by their children.

“During this pandemic, we believe that just a small help would be a great support to the needy. We got a good response from many ladies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But because of the travel limitations, we restricted our collection within Abu Dhabi City. We are happy with the success of our kids,” they said.





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