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Hyderabad, 04th October 2018: 

Happy Smiles Foundations, in partnership with Days for Girls International (DfGI), is leading India by inaugurating a Social Enterprise in Hyderabad aimed at providing affordable, environmentally-friendly menstrual health solutions for women and girls. In celebration of the UN International Day of the Girl, the group is launching the Enterprise this month.

DfG Founder and CEO, Celeste Mergens visited Hyderabad on October 3rd and 4th and met with various organizations and government officials to discuss menstrual health management (MHM) and the needs of Indian schoolgirls and women when managing their menses.

Days for Girls supplies empower women to make a choice that supports the Swachh Bharat initiative.

Days for Girls is a global movement breaking menstrual stigma while improving access to quality, reusable menstrual care products. The US-based nonprofit organization has a 10 year successful history of delivering menstrual supplies and health education to women and girls around the world; to date, they have reached over 1 million women and girls in over 120 countries with Days for Girls Kits, which include beautifully-patterned, comfortable washable sanitary pads that are eco-friendly, and designed to manage menses without stigma or shame.

In India, more than 40% of women report lack of access to sanitary pads, and many social and cultural taboos leave women and girls feeling uncomfortable discussing their menses or purchasing sanitary products. One in five girls drops out of school after starting menstruation. India has recently seen a surge in efforts to address this issue from local NGOs, community leaders, and government officials, especially as menstrual health management has become recognized as an important barrier to gender equality, women’s health, and girls’ education.

DfG uses a multi-tiered approach to menstrual health challenges that involves a global network of over 50,000 volunteer Chapters and Teams.  DfG has more than 80 Social Enterprises globally, like the one launching in Hyderabad, with a mission to increase access to menstrual care and education. Happy Smiles Foundation and Days for Girls International are partnering to forge change around the issue of MHM and act as a catalyst for local leaders to continue speaking out and creating solutions to this taboo subject.

Ms. Celeste Mergens, Founder Days for Girls International; Ms. Stephanie Stewart Schmid, Days for Girls International; Ms. Starry Laurie, Days for Girls International; Ms. Reetu Rai, Co- Founder, Happy Smiles Foundation; Ms. Ch. Himabindu, Co Founder, Happy Smiles Foundation; Mr. Venkat Sunkari, Co Founder, Happy Smiles Foundation; Mr. CVS Kiran, Co Founder, Happy Smiles Foundation, Mr. M V K Dinesh, Executive Member, Happy Smiles

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