When you shop with us at Matr Boomie you can feel good knowing that your $$ directly impacts the lives of artisan makers who made your unique items and also goes towards creating change in at-risk and marginalized communities in India. We are continuously looking for ways to create greater opportunities for social and economic independence, with a special focus on women.
In some very marginalized communities in India, often hidden from the rest of society, women are desperately in need of sanitary hygiene products during times of menstruation. Societally, menstruation is a taboo subject in India and the lack of awareness, conversation and supplies leads to women feeling shame and embarrassment often resulting in them secluding themselves further from society and missing out on important activities such as school or family obligations. More importantly due to lack of hygiene and unsanitary practices in these areas the community members' health is at high risk.
To address this issue at large our team in India worked with us in Austin, Texas and one of our long-term retail partners Raley’s, a local to California grocery chain store to set up a project to provide much needed sanitary napkins to one of these communities in need. The team in India set up a survey period from July 4th-29th, 2022 to determine the needs of the women across fifteen low-income, slum areas and prioritized one to start. In this area, known as Kathputli Nagar, most residents do not have a regular source if income. The living and sanitation conditions are extremely poor. Housing conditions are raw and temporary without sewage systems and women suffer from lung disease due to materials used in their work of puppet making. Additionally, due to lack of funds they do not have access to efficient medical treatment. Conversations took place on several occasions with this community, to build trust and raise awareness around the topic of women's health related to menstruation and the importance menstrual health and hygiene. Local women volunteers were hired to create an all day camp and a drive to create awareness and community mobilization.
The campaign was a huge success! Both Matr Boomie and Raley’s provided the funds for our team on the ground in India to work with a distributor to purchase 37,200 sanitary napkins which were distributed across 1200 women in this low income community/slum in NW Rajasthan on July 30th 2022.The coordination across states and countries for this project was time consuming, labor intensive and entailed many moving parts on the ground in India, including many community conversations to raise awareness and understanding, however the positive impact and smiles on the faces of the women and young women served far outweighed the efforts!