COVID-19 may have brought much of the world to a halt, but periods don't stop for pandemics. The Desai Foundation, a nonprofit that works to elevate health, livelihood, and education for women and children in India and the U.S., knows that basic needs must continue to be met, said a press release. Throughout the month of May, the Foundation has been running Pledge Your Period, an awareness and fundraising campaign that strips away the shame and stigma around periods, culminating in a Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration May 28.

People around the world have been posting pictures or videos on social media, explaining why they're "pledging their period" and donating to the Foundation’s Asani Sanitary Napkin program, which trains women in rural India to manufacture and distribute low cost, high quality sanitary napkins and educate communities on menstrual hygiene.

"The lockdown in India has exacerbated existing challenges and introduced entirely new ones," said Megha Desai, Indian American president of the Desai Foundation. "Women and girls need our support now more than ever, and we're committed to our mission of menstrual health, pandemic or no. It's been so inspiring to see people around the world come together to celebrate the cause."

Several celebrities and influencers have participated in the campaign previously, and this year, best-selling author and entrepreneur Miss Malini, personality and activist Sasha Grey, Poorna Jagannathan of “Never Have I Ever” and Delhi Belly, and Arianna Afsar of “Hamilton” and “American Idol” were among the notable participants, added the release. Students from across the country also competed in teams to raise money for the initiative. The campaign is on track to fund the donation of 20,000 pads through the Asani Sanitary Napkin program. 

The May 28 Menstrual Hygiene Day marks the final day of the campaign, and everyone, whether they have a menstrual cycle or not, is invited to pledge their period to support menstrual equity. Visit https://pledgeyourperiod.com/ for more information on how to participate today and throughout the year.

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