Name: Ms. Bharti Singh
Born: 27th October 1979
Marital Status: Married
Spouse: Mr. Bhuvnendra Singh Chauhan
Children: Kavya Preet Singh Chauhan
Parents: Late Shri Anant Ram Tikkiwal (Father), Smt. Lata Devi Tikkiwal (Mother), Shri Umesh Tikkiwal (Brother)
Languages Known: English, Hindi,
Birth Place: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Current Location: Jaipur Rajasthan
Awards / Achievements:
Website : www.pls-ngo.org
Bharti Singh Chauhan is a famous social activist and a social entrepreneur called Bhabhisa in her community is the Founder & Chairperson of Praveen Lata Sansthan, an NGO based in Jaipur, Rajasthan that works to empower underprivileged girls and women across Rajasthan by providing community-based solutions in the area of Education, Health, Safety & sustainable Livelihood.
She has done her Masters in Business Administration from Rajasthan University and Fellow from School of Social Entrepreneur India, Incubatee from Atal incubation center Banasthali, Fellow of tech for good. She is an award-winning Social Entrepreneur. She has more than 15 yr of experience in the area of Banking, Print Media & the Telecom Industry.
Bharti has been working across Rajasthan at grassroot level since 2013. In this sequence, under one of her innovations Spotless Dame which talks about proper and safe menstrual managementBharti has been leading the Mera Pad team of over 100+volunteers from India and abroad and staff engaged in spreading awareness, distribution of pads, and production. They have distributed 171052 disposable and 34018 reusable sanitary pads free to needy and adolescent girls and women.
Along with the International Girl Rising Campaign which was launched by First Lady of USA Micheal Obama for Promoting Girls Education across Rajasthan and is was the Ambassador of Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Program, she is also the ambassador of the World of Difference Campaign, Bio Ayurveda, and many more.
An Award-winning Jaipur-based NGO named Praveenlata Sansthan Foundation working across Rajasthan, a voluntary organization built on humanitarian values and working for girls and women Education, Empowerment Employment and Environment is supporting and embracing Girls and Women focusing on their health and sanitation needs with low-cost eco-friendly cloth pads. In 2017 NGO developed reusable pads from bamboo fiber, charcoal, and cotton cloth and named it “Mera Pad.”
Talking about work for women’s menstrual hygiene this NGO has proven to bring change in society for women.
As the Founder and Chairperson of Praveenlata Sansthan Foundation, Ms. Bharti Singh Chauhan has started the project “Spotless Dame” (Bedag Nari) under which she along with her team have been working on capacity building of girls/ women on Menstrual Hygiene Management and also supporting women with free Hygiene Kits.
OI: How did you get the thought of making reusable Bamboo Charcoal Pads? What was the idea behind it?
BS: While working on doing research work on grounds about Menstruation we found that women in rural areas have problems disposing of pads because of taboos and myths associated with periods. In addition, we found that they were aware of the environmental issues caused due to disposal pads. This led us to understand more about their needs and we decided to come up with a Pad that met their requirements. This led us to do research on existing pads Disposal and Reusable pads available across the Globe.
The notion and stimulus forme and my team were to bring low-cost eco-friendly, Budget-friendly, and Human-Friendly Pads.
OI: Why did you use bamboo charcoal fiber?
BS: Bamboo fiber is made up of 100% bamboo pulp fiber which is completely a natural substance. As bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet, it can reach full maturity in 1 to 5 years. It’s a renewable resource as after being harvested, it can grow new shoots from its root system hence using bamboo fiber will not give damage the environment. It contains a natural bio-agent known as Bamboo Kun which is naturally anti-bacterial. The fiber is antifungal, hypoallergenic, and resistant to ultraviolet light. Bamboo charcoal is extremely porous and can absorb large odors makes it a deodorizer and smell fresh. Bamboo can take in three times more water than its weight which once made into fabric, means that it also is able to get rid of moisture faster. It is one of the softest fabrics on the planet you’ll love the way it feels. Bamboo charcoal absorbs impurities in water and releases its natural minerals like calcium and magnesium so it works as an impurity absorber. It is bio-degradable which makes it environment friendly too. Hence the Pad has High Absorbency & Natural Anti Bacterial features which is one of its kind.
OI: How hygienic is Mera Pad compared to disposable pads?
BS: It is worth mentioning that before coming to the cloth reusable sanitary pads, I did about 3 years of long research and came to the conclusion that bamboo fabric is a better option for “those days” which are free from stains and skin-friendly. As these pads are organic, chemical-free, and eco-friendly bamboo charcoal made up of all-natural fibers these pads are resistant to bacterial and other infections so, these pads are better than disposable pads in many ways.
As long as one follows the proper washing and drying process reusable pads are totally legit and amazing you use them you love them. Most women have irritation issues because of not equal and proper absorption and wetness of the pad but these cloth pads are made of proper absorbent material and are designed to sit properly so you’ll have no issues of wetness.
As disposable pads are made from chemicals, dioxins and plastic are more prompt to cause rashes, irritation, yeast infection, and other reproductive problems which leads to so many problems in most women and now on the other hand cloth pads are completely organic and chemical-free can only make you happy with its softness and easiness of touch which makes many women shift to renewable pads.
OI: How are cloth pads are economical than disposable pads? Are reusable pads worth it?
BS: Yes, definitely reusable pads are worth it. As you see women/girls spend around Rs 120 monthly on buying disposable pads which is almost Rs 57,600 for her complete lifetime menstrual period for 40 years. Compared to this, the Mera Pad kit cost Rs 500 which comprises four pads 3 Regular pad, and 1 Overnight pad. These pads are long-lasting and can be reused for 5 years. If someone buys these same kits 8 times it will cost them only Rs.4000 which is even less than the one-eleventh of this huge price which they pay which we give free to girls and women. If you spend Rs 10-12 for buying a single pad on the other hand you are only spending around Rs 8 for an entire month. So you see these pads are easily affordable, accessible, and healthy. For these reasons, we have made many girls and women happily switch from disposable pads to Mera Pad.
OI: What are the challenges you have faced while working on this subject?
BS: While working in more and more rural areas we have encountered so many myths and taboos among the girls and women like periods is a kind of disease in women or a curse and lack of knowledge among women about menstruation make them believe it too. You all are heard about what girls and women are using as a substitute for pads – sand, ash, dry wood chips, rags, and cloth which is hard to see, what is even more disturbing is that mothers don’t talk about periods and puberty to their girl child. Many girls are dropped out from schools by their parents after getting their first menses which lacks them from their right to education. All these reasons give me and my team to work harder on debunking all these myths and taboos in society and giving a bright and healthy future to our girl child.
OI: How do you promote period hygiene with your brand?
BS: To promote this campaign we have extended our reach to100+ villages of 15 districts of Rajasthan and given over 321 workshops on MHM training spreading awareness and distributing pads for safe menstrual management planning. To promote this campaign and period hygiene we come up with the idea of “Mera pad Meri Saheli” basically a concept of the pocketbook. This book is a true friend of the girls, in which the solutions of all problems and doubts related to the menstrual period of girls is illustrated in easy language. This book talks about the safe MHM and tries to show that it is not a curse or a demonic process, but a common physical and natural process that occurs to every woman. This book talks about hygiene, doctors’ advice, and physical changes occurring from puberty to menopause. With all these, we are reaching more and more girls and women who don’t have access to knowledge on MHM and pads.
OI: What are your plans for launching these pads to more remote areas? And how you are working for it?
BS: The best way to connect people for the campaign is social media, where this campaign got a lot of support. Right now this campaign is being carried out from far-flung rural areas for the women of banjara, bheel, and tribal tribes. We are also raising funds and connecting to Corporates for CSR for helping us to get these pads to women who cannot afford to buy them and help these girls and women with Free Merapad Dignity Kit including – Merapad Pack of 4, 2 Panties, Soap, Towel, Pocket Diary
OI: What has your product impacted the Environment?
BS: Since MErapad has come into existence we have been able to save our mother earth from Landfills of 178.5 Ton of Plastic waste caused due to Disposal Pads.
OI: We heard that the reusable Pads provide Livelihood Opportunity Also, is this true?
BS: Merapad Cloth pads are made by Girls and Women coming from the deprived community who are trained on making cloth pads, Once they learn it they become a part of SHG Group and they start making these pads and earn an average of around 5000 to 7000 Rs a Month