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To break the taboo around menstruation and to address awkwardness issues, Roca, the bathroom space brand, along with its CSR wing, We Are Water Foundation India, has kicked off a campaign comprising various initiatives — a digital campaign for mass awareness, installation of unique pad library for female employees and installation of pad vending machines at nine rural schools for free access to sanitary pads.

The digital campaign includes a vox pop video and user-generated content with the hashtag ‘#FlushTheAwkwardness’.

The Digital Film:

The video captures various awkward experiences faced by real-life women in different situations during their menstruation cycle. The campaign aims to remove the social stigma around menstruation among males and initiate a behaviour change by urging them to kill their silence, question the indifference, remove judgement, end the insensitivity, stop shaming, deal with the unease, wipe off the smirk and change the ‘it’s a lady’s business’ attitude.

Commenting on the initiative, Mayuri Saikia, Marketing Head, Roca Bathroom Products, said, “Many myths and awkwardness exist around menstruation even in the 21st century. Our initiative is to sensitise males and apprise them with the challenges faced by women during their menstruation cycle and lending normalcy to it. Being reminded that a woman is menstruating affects the perception of her competence and likeability.”

The company has also taken steps to comfort their female employees in the office by setting up first of its kind ‘Pad Library’. Based on self-sustaining mechanism, the company has installed small containers inside female washrooms that will have a set number of sanitary pads and will be regularly filled and maintained by the women themselves in a ‘take one and return one’ practice.  The brand urges corporates to support their female employees by installing ‘Pad Library’ and help reduce avoidable stress during periods.

Additionally, as a part of We Are Water Foundation’s project ‘Better Sanitation & Health for Girls’, the foundation has set up sanitary pad vending machines at nine schools in Bhiwadi, Alwar, Vellore and Chennai to help girls adopt hygienic practices and access free pads to live a healthy life. This is to ensure behavioural shift and promote adoption/usage of sanitary pads to improve the menstrual hygiene condition of school girls in rural India. As part of this initiative, almost 60 women were trained and work under various self-help groups in different communities for manufacturing and selling the products.