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Breaking the Shame: Rajasthan  Royals partnership with Sanitary napkin is a move to be celebrated!

Players of Rajasthan Royals will don the jersey with the logo of Niine, a sanitary napkin producer

India is a country where the majority of people do not want to talk about periods as they consider it a taboo. But the collaboration of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals with the sanitary napkin brand is a new start of awareness. The move is very significant socially as millions of people will see the logo of the sanitary napkin on the jerseys of the players in the biggest T20 cricket league of the world.

Rajasthan Royals, the IPL franchise have become the first IPL franchise to partner with a feminine hygiene products brand – Niine. In a very welcome move, Niine has become the principal sponsor for Rajasthan Royals for the IPL 2020 which is scheduled between September 19 to November 10 in UAE. Homegrown brand Niine wants to amplify their campaign and create awareness about the adoption of safe menstrual hygiene practices. They have already partnered with the Shah Rukh Khan-owned CPL franchise Tribango Knight Riders.

Read more: Vaccine Nationalism: Why India needs to understand this term?

How the collaboration will normalize the conversation about mensuration?

The stereotype and silence about the mensuration exist because of cultural conditioning over the years, but this move is one step up towards normalizing the conversation on a normal biological process which every woman goes through. The collaboration brings the conversation out in a space which is largely inhabited by men as IPL is most favoured by men.

Cricket is the most popular game in the country and the audience of the game cut across all the regional, communal, socio-cultural and economic boundaries. Thus, the significance of this collaborations speaks the volume of the impact it can create when millions will watch the logo of a sanitary napkin brand on the jerseys of players like Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer and more.

It could be just a Corporate Social Responsibility for Rajasthan Royals but the impact it will have in helping the cause of women’s empowerment is enormous. The aim seems to be to use the platform witnessed by millions to increase the awareness and importance of menstrual hygiene.

Mensuration: A taboo

As per the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, In India, only 36 per cent of women have access to sanitary napkins. Many young girls are not aware of mensuration until they start experiencing their cycle. Apart from these numbers, there are so many misconceptions and restrictions around periods for women. In many parts of the country, women are prohibited to enter temples, kitchens while they are menstruating. Also, there is a taboo of the visuals of sanitary napkins which is preferred in a non-transparent poly bags.

However, the situation is changing, especially in urban areas where people are understanding it as a natural biological process like any other processes – breathing, sleeping, growth of hair and others. Advertisements on television, public discourse by famous personalities and honest depictions are helping in a great way. A few days back, Zomato, a food delivery service was in news for introducing a period leave for its women employees.

In a time like this, a feminine hygiene product company collaborating with IPL highlights the issue of menstruation and stigma attached to it. Feminine hygiene shines a ray of light on the topic which has been long ignored by society.

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