Project #11869

60 Dignified Days for a Woman

Jul 9, 2014

NJPC-A Million Voices...A Global Campaign by GOONJ

NJPC - A Million Voices...
NJPC - A Million Voices...

A piece of cloth OR a tool to break the silence and shame!!

“Sharm kee baat hai sahab, izzat ka mamla hai..kaun bolega? Saara gaon jaanta hai kee, vo tetanus sey mari thee.. hook key karan..” (It is a matter of shyness/modesty, a matter of dignity; who will speak about it? The entire village knows that she died of tetanus.. because of the hook)

These words still echo.. almost a decade ago we found this ghastly reality of a woman who died of tetanus due to a rusted hook in the piece of blouse, she used during menses !!  This was shocking and unreal and it acted like fuel to go deeper into the non-issues of sanitary pads and menstruation..

An extensive search on Google yielded nothing..  no major research and no solution in this part of the world, hardly a decade back. We started traveling to rural India to understand the realities and what we found this still holds true!! Millions of women use sand, ash, dry grass, rugs, rags to plastic sheets in the name of sanitary pads. Over the years we came across a deep rooted culture of shame and silence around this. Somewhere women are forced to sleep in cow sheds while at many places they can’t enter the kitchen. Suppression, isolation, superstition, rituals, lack of a viable solution.. it’s a saga of indignity and trauma around this most taboo issue.

We started turning small pieces of clean cloth into sanitary pads - now called ‘MY Pad’ and started raising our voice on different national and international forums. Instead of just using these pads as a product Goonj uses them as a tool, as an entry point to open up the subject, create awareness and force people to think and open up.. In the last few years, Goonj has been able to create over 2.5 million environment friendly, re-usable, economic cloth sanitary pads - MY Pads. This hascertainly made a small dent in turning this non issue into an issue. 

To mainstream this non issue, Goonj has recently launched NJPC- A Million Voices’ a global campaign to bring together a million voices from across the globe. The campaign aims to highlight the culture of shame and silence that countless young girls and women face all over the world, around menses. The main element of the campaign is the questionnaire (, which aims at getting one million men and women from all walks of life to share their thoughts, opinions and practices around menses. YOU too should fill this form. The site also shares a lot of global disturbing facts, practices, case studies and research on the issue. The objective is to mainstream the issue and to shun the taboo around this natural biological process.

Goonj has been working on this issue for almost a decade now. Through the ‘Million Voices campaign’ we want to start a dialogue among the masses, making it a normal thing to talk about…because we feel shattering the silence is the starting point to deal with the taboos, embarrassment and health risks associated with menses. Some disturbing facts highlighting the need for this campaign;

  1. Around 70% of women in India say their family cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.
  2. A study from UNICEF revealed that 1 out of 3 girls in South Asia knew nothing about menstruation prior to getting it while 48% of girls in Iran and 10% of girls in India believe that menstruation is a disease.
  3. At least one in five girls drop out of school when periods begin, according to research by AC Nielsen and Plan India. It is very common (41% and 28%, respectively in Nepal and India, WaterAid survey 2009) that girl students go either absent from school or perform poorly due to lack of facilities.

The million voices collected through this campaign will be a part of Goonj’s sustained efforts to bring about a mindset change in the civic society on this issue. This campaign is an extension of Goonj’s ongoing work across India. Six activities that you can do to be a part of this campaign could be accessed at

Please spread the word in your own network. Get as many people as possible to share their thoughts, experiences and opinions through the Million Voices campaign form. Click

It’s time you make your voice heard…

6 Simple ways to Join...
6 Simple ways to Join...
12% of India
12% of India's menstruating women use sanitary pad
70% of Indian women can
70% of Indian women can't afford sanitary pads
Menstruating women in Nepal isolated in huts..
Menstruating women in Nepal isolated in huts..
23% menstruating girls drop out of school..
23% menstruating girls drop out of school..
No access to safe menstrual hygiene products..
No access to safe menstrual hygiene products..



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information


Location: New Delhi, Delhi - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Priyanka Tiwari
New Delhi, Delhi India

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.