Healthcare For All! This Cannabis Startup Is Providing Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Among Sex Workers In Delhi

Image Credits: HempStreet, Zee News

Healthcare For All! This Cannabis Startup Is Providing Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Among Sex Workers In Delhi

HempStreet has been actively working towards improving women's health. It has been leveraging the age-old science of Ayurveda to manufacture 'natural relief' products from cannabis to treat chronic pain and menstrual health.

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HempStreet, India's first research to retail venture in the ayurvedic cannabis sector, has launched a menstrual hygiene awareness campaign for sex workers and women residents of low-end areas in Delhi.

The campaign is launched in association with The Joint Target Initiative and Women's Action Group Chelsea and aims to level the playing field in healthcare access for 'everyone'. The startup aims to counsel women and reinforce the importance of menstrual health among them.

Since its inception in 2019, HempStreet has been actively working towards improving women's health. It has been leveraging the age-old science of Ayurveda to manufacture 'natural relief' products from cannabis to treat chronic pain and menstrual health.

With the vast scope of cannabis-based medication in Ayurveda, HempStreet is set to redefine how mass ailments around women's health, especially menstrual health, are tackled.

Essential Step Towards Fulfilling Social Responsibility

According to the company's press release, the menstrual hygiene awareness campaign is an essential step toward fulfilling the social responsibility of women to the community.

Under this campaign, HempStreet arranges doctor-led camps and over 150 women from the area attend each camp. The campaign was launched on April 30, 2022, with a seminar and health check-up, followed by free sanitary pad distribution to all the women participating in it. Similarly, the second camp was held on May 5.

"Menstruation is still a hush-hush topic in India and is a 'black plastic bags or newspaper wrapped' affair. While this has begun to change in recent times, only 36 per cent of Indian women reportedly use sanitary napkins. That number goes even lower for women from marginal backgrounds," Dr Pooja Kohli, AVP, Community and Outreach, HempStreet, said.

She added that more than 50 per cent of sex workers rely on cloth pads during menstruation, leaving them vulnerable to infections.

"At HempStreet, we are trying to raise awareness about the ailments caused by poor menstrual health and are taking an active step via the distribution of sanitary pads," Kohli said.

Joint Target Initiative And Chelsea

The Joint Target Initiative is a project started in 2009 by Shakti Vahini and the Indian Medicine Development Trust (IMDT) to prevent HIV/AIDS among Sex Workers.

Joint Target Initiative works on spreading awareness in the community, conducting HIV testing services along with providing general health services related to HIV/AIDS and Women's Action Group Chelsea is a leading non-profit organisation based in Delhi, working vigorously to deliver high-quality health and educational services to the marginalised communities of society. The organisation has been working in the social work field since 1992.

Talking about the significance of this campaign, Dr Naghma from Joint Target Intervention shared that low rent areas like the Bastis around Zakir Hussain college often have a wide prevalence of ailments associated with bad menstrual hygiene. She added that spreading awareness about it is key to the good health of women living in such places.

"Joint TI and Chelsea have been jointly working with HempStreet to work towards the same," Dr Naghma said.

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