With the world fighting the COVID 19 pandemic; there has been no problem on the supply chain of essentials like food and medicine. And these essential products also include products of personal hygiene such as sanitary pads. In the times of pandemic, sanitary napkins are the basic requirement for women to stay healthy and free from infections during their menstrual cycle.
The earliest disposable pads were made of cotton wool covered with an absorbent liner which was later found to be unsuccessful. But before this most of the women around the world used a lot of unsafe methods to control their menstrual blood, such as paper, grass, etc. which was folded inside a cloth and used as sanitary pads, which was unsafe and had high chances of causing a lot of harm to the human body.
Indian homegrown sanitary napkin brand Paree decided to reach out to women in need and introduced the initiative #SheFirst as they strongly believe that #PadsAreEssential especially during COVID 19 pandemic.
In an exclusive conversation with Medianews4u, Sahil Dharia, CEO of Paree spoke about this new initiative and shared some insights about it.
Considering the current situation and understanding the role played by sanitary pads in women’s life, how did Paree come up with the campaign called ‘She First’, what was the idea behind it?
Women are the backbone of our society and the primary caregivers in our families. Yet, she always puts everyone else ahead of her own needs when in fact, she should come first. Our belief that pads are essential for every menstruating woman is driving the dialogue that at a time of crisis, she comes first. Sanitary pads, in particular, are the most essential product for women, to maintain menstrual health in a dignified manner as they are more susceptible to infections during this time. Personal cleanliness and hygiene are important in staying safe and protected. With this in mind, we at Paree, took up the cause to reach out to women in this time of need and to encourage them to prioritize their health
Our initiative #SheFirst & #PadsAreEssential is about making menstrual hygiene products available to women, especially to those who need it the most during this lockdown.
What were some of the insights that helped you decide or take up this initiative?
In the midst of the lockdown we realized that while there were a lot of initiatives to distribute food and groceries to the needy, there were muted conversations about women’s hygiene and the product necessary for the upkeep of the same – Sanitary Pads. This urged us to do our bit in this regard and not only distribute pads to the women in need but also start a conversation to bring the issue of women’s hygiene to the forefront. That’s how #SheFirst was born.
Women across India usually struggle a lot to gain access to the basics and with menstrual hygiene products being the most important to them, any associations that Paree has done or is doing to highlight this campaign and spread the message to the masses?
Paree is keeping with its brand ethos and commitment towards women’s needs launched the campaign #SheFirst #PadsAreEssential to dawn upon the fact that women’s menstrual hygiene is a priority, especially during a global health crisis like the one we are facing right now.
We have so far distributed over 1 lac free pads amongst women in need and this would not have been possible without the enormous support that we got from our collaborations, in association with CII IWN, Rasoi on Wheels, Punjab Police and in the second phase connected with Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, Government of NCT and District Administration of tier-II/III cities to amplify it and maximize our outreach Pan-India.
We also roped in celebrity shareholders and women influencers to ensure high impact visibility over social media platforms through their voices. Some of the Sheroes that supported our initiative are Ms.Gurpreet Kaur Deo, IPS- ADGP- Punjab Police, Saina Nehwal, Garima Avtar, Manika Badhwar (Co-Founder, Rasoi On Wheel), Rinki Dhingra (Chairwoman CII-IWN).
With ace badminton player Saina Nehwal now supporting this cause to the fullest, how has that helped the brand?
Saina Nehwal is not only an ace sportsperson but an inspirational woman who has always been an active & vocal supporter of women empowerment causes. She inspires trust just like Paree who wants to assure women, that we are there for you, in crisis or not and you can trust us. Saina understands that maintaining menstrual hygiene is essential to a woman’s overall health and wellness especially during such a pandemic and her lending support and pledging #SheFirst helped amplify the reach of this message.
Paree a progressive homegrown brand is stepping forward to help the women of India, any key learnings that you would like to share?
At Paree, we understand the many avatars of an Indian woman and create products for their needs. We believe that the Paree girl is progressive yet traditional and is not looking for help to get ahead as she is already there. Through the #SheFirst campaign, we got to meet and associate with many such strong and progressive women who reinforced our belief that we just need to get out of their way for them to shine in their moments of glory.
Tell us about the gender parity of the workforce at Paree?
I would also like to add, Paree is a women-centric brand, our overall workforce at Soothe Healthcare comprises of 40% women with 80% Women as Corporate office staff, the CEO’s direct management team as well includes 64% of women.
This means we understand the needs of our customers and strive to work harder to address them, especially because even the board & shareholder level includes strong and inspirational women like Saina Nehwal, this is why Paree claims to be a brand that women can trust.