Mumbai NGO Supplies Essentials to Women in Slums During Lockdown

Amidst the lockdown, Mumbai NGO Myna Mahila Foundation supplies sanitary napkins, ration to women in Govandi.     

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Video Producer: Ankita Sinha
Video Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan

First hit by COVID-19 and then the lockdown, Mumbai’s slums have been the most affected due to the coronavirus crisis. With no jobs, barely any food and supply of essential services severely impacted, the city has been dealing with a severe healthcare crisis.

At a time like this, Govandi-based NGO, Myna Mahila Foundation, has been prioritising women’s healthcare and employment. The NGO has been distributing sanitary napkins and ration to the women living in the slums. They have reached out to over 1,500 women in the last one month.

“Govandi area, the Indian Oil area, Shivaji Nagar, we have been working here primarily for the last few years and we realise that the situation is really bad on the ground where there are constantly cases of people who are trying to hide their symptoms because of the fear of being self-isolated, there are women who are reprioritising their own needs and essential goods to support their families.”
Suhani Jalota, Founder and CEO, Myna Mahila Foundation 

Aside from distributing sanitary napkins, the NGO is also providing ration and food packets to over 500 families daily. Each of these relief packages consist of a packet of sanitary napkins as well.

“We have started these home distribution centres to increase access to sanitary products where we keep the sanitary products in our team’s houses where they are distributing the pad packets in their own localities as well.”
Suhani Jalota, Founder and CEO, Myna Mahila Foundation 

Aside from making pads in their boutique, the members of the foundation are also manufacturing face masks and distributing these masks in the Shivaji Nagar area in Govandi. But food, masks and sanitary napkins are not the only essential products that Suhani’s organisation is offering.

“We also have a women’s helpline where people can call in with any orders they might have and also any challenges, counselling services that they might need as well. This encompasses the challenges they might be facing at home in terms of dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault cases which we have unfortunately seen rise and receive more complaints about as well,” she said.

Aside from counselling women who call them for help, the organisation also relays the information to government authorities in case the women do not want to call official helpline numbers directly.

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