In many stores across India, shopkeepers wrap maxi pads in black polythene. If they don’t have that, the products go in a small carton or brown paper bag. Absent those, “we try hiding it while walking down the road because of how people would react," says Khushboo Navani, a 23-year-old woman who lives in Bikaner. "People give you weird looks," she adds.
Menstruation is still considered a taboo in India. Lack of accessible and affordable menstrual products, coupled with the shame and silence surrounding them, contributes to millions of girls in India missing school after puberty, according to research conducted for UNICEF in 2015. The survey estimated that 1.9 million girls leave school during their periods each month.