Meet The Politician Who Opened India’s First Digital Sanitary Pad Bank

Bharati Hemant Lavekar is a politician and a member of the Bhartiya Janata Party, who is the brain behind India’s first digital sanitary pad bank.

Samyak Sheth

Bharati Lavekar is a term member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Lavekar was representing the Versova constituency and won from there. It is the motto of Lavekar’s life to always fight for the rights of women and children.

Lavekar is born and brought up in Maharashtra, finishing her Bachelor of Journalism from the Marathwada University. After this ,she achieved MA in Political Science, along with a PhD in Uniform Civil Code.

Lavekar has been in politics since 25 years, but her ways, notions, spirit is of an activist. She owns an NGO and the only focus of the NGO is the rights of women and children.

Bharati has helped the people of Shirur Kasar Taluka in the Beed district of Maharashtra, comprising of nearly 120 villages that had a very bad sex ratio of 669 girls to every 1000 boys.

Lavekar orchestrated a scheme that every girl child born after 15th August 2011, would have Rs 5000 deposited in her account. This scheme changed the face of the village resulting in a much better sex ration of 921 girls for every 1000 boys.

While reading upon the social taboos, Lavekar got to know that more than half of the country cannot afford sanitary pads. There are more than 27% deaths due to the cervical cancer, which happens when during the time of menstruation there is usage of unhygienic materials to soak the menstrual blood. So how do we solve this?

Lavekar’s solution was the best one, as she only wanted to open a Digital Sanitary Pad Bank, which was launched on May 28th 2017. It was inaugurated by first lady of Maharashtra Amruta Fadnavis and beautiful veteran actress, Zeenat Aman.

This bank acts a middle way between the donors and the beneficiaries, the operators of the banks directly supply the pads to those girls who cannot afford it. The money can be donated through Paytm or money even through a bank transfer. Lavekar’s mission till now has distributed over 2 Lakh pads.

Lavekar has utilised the funds of the Vidhan Sabha for the installation of Sanitary Pad Vending Machines at schools and public toilets. Till now five schools from Versova have adopted the policy of installing the vending machine.

The initiative promotes menstrual hygiene and increases availability of sanitary pads for the underprivileged. There is also the facility of an automatic sanitary pad vending machine, disposal machine and menstrual health kit. The kit contains painkillers, fresh underwear and guidelines on how to take care of yourself during menstruation.

Lavekar is coming up with another agenda that there should be sanitary pads available at the public toilets.

For an instance at the time travelling at night it is difficult for a female to go searching for a chemist so this will be out soon. She has got the backing of the current Finance Minister of the State Sudhir Mungantiwar.

Lavekar says that, she has stressed on this issue for so long because since ancient times, females have been stayed away from discussing this issue with anyone. She has requested everyone to celebrate and welcome the birth of a girl child in the family. Lavekar personally visits the family at their house or invites them over to her office to congratulate them and always gifts them a small present.

There is another commendable initiative that Lavekar has taken up where she has set up medical camps along with gynaecologists, as the females in our country do not seek specialised help whenever they come across a problem which is related to the reproductive system.

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Samyak Sheth
Samyak Sheth

A traveller and journalist who views the world wearing multi-coloured goggles. He believes that life is to live not to survive.

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