Japanese Woman’s Spinning Pad Dryer Helps Send Menstruating Teenage Girls Back To School In Africa & Asia

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While cloth pads are gaining popularity among environmentally conscious urban users, most Indian women with access to menstrual hygiene still opt for sanitary napkins because of its convenience and hassle-free disposal. Though organic, reusable and chemical-free, many women shy away from using cloth pads since washing and reusing a dirty, used pad is either frowned upon with disgust or avoided due to the fast-paced lifestyle.

The story is almost entirely different if we look at the women from a lesser privileged background in developing countries. For them, cloth pads don’t come in fresh, fragrant cotton fabrics with quirky patterns, colours or motifs, and sanitary napkins are a luxury outright. Mostly they settle for discarded bits and pieces of clothes and unclean rags, owing to the taboo of being ‘impure’ during menstruation.

No one has ever become poor by giving
-Anne Frank

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If men see these menstrual rags being dried in the sun, they would lose their sight. This is a very popular belief prevailing in hinterlands across India. Or if one considers the African nation of Niger, where village women go to clean and dry their rags only at households where there is no male member. Such stigma leads to the rags being cleaned & dried in secrecy in some dingy corner, which causes bacterial overgrowth in the objects that demand utmost hygiene.

Mariko Higaki Iwai’s solution – Flo

The issues are endless and difficult to eradicate in a whisk, due to the age-old prejudices, but Japanese design student Mariko Higaki Iwai seems to have found a near-perfect solution. Her simple yet lifesaving innovation Flo is a menstrual hygiene kit that might save thousands of young girls from dropping out of school after getting their periods. Aside from having a compact pouch that enables young girls to carry pads (both clean and dirty ones) inside their skirts without having to worry about stains, the most intriguing component of Flo is perhaps the spinning dryer that dries the pads fast with less water, less energy, less time and of course, much lesser mess.

The innovation has bagged many international awards since it was debuted in 2014.

It is specifically designed for women from disadvantaged families surviving on less than Rs 86 a day. In an interview with Fast Company, Iwai revealed, “There are people who are already making reusable pads and doing great stuff. There was no use for us to make a better pad.” That is why her team’s focus was on developing a low-cost, easily portable menstrual kit which lets the girls dry their cloth pads faster and in relative privacy. An outer cloth cover hides the washed pads inside the dryer basket once it is left outside for drying in the sun.

About Flo

A waistbelt with two pouches enables girls to carry both their used and fresh pads to school and back, hiding it under their skirt. The zip lock system prevents any leakage of fluid or odour from the used pads.

Flo Menstrual Hygiene Kit

A single Flo kit costs around INR 207 and can be used for a prolonged period. As of now, commercial marketing and distribution of the kit have been started by global non-profit foundations in developing countries.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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