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Registration open for run4niine - india's largest nationwide run –to drive menstrual hygiene awareness

A niine initiative with the support of padman Akshay Kumar

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MUMBAI: Online registrations have been launched for Run4Niine, India's largest nationwide run for menstrual hygiene awareness, on 9th February to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the world’s first major feature film on menstruation, Pad Man. 

Megastar and India’s ‘Pad Man’ Akshay Kumar will join forces with the Niine Sanitary Napkins for Run4Niine, which will take place in hundreds of cities across India on the 8th of March 2019 to mark International Women’s Day. With Runs taking place in Lucknow, Gurgaon, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Amritsar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Goa and several other cities across India, registration for the run have officially opened.

Run4Niine expands the nationwide #18to82 campaign initiated by the Niine Sanitary Napkins, under its Niine Movement to bridge the gap between the 18% of menstruating females in India who use sanitary napkins, and the 82% predominantly engaging in unhygienic and unsafe alternatives such as old cloths, rags, hay and even ash. This will be achieved by tackling the age-old taboos associated with menstruation in India, which have resulted in school dropouts and severe reproductive health ailments for girls.

Run4Niine aims to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind due to her biology, whilst also engaging the men and boys of India to help show support for the cause. As an inclusive initiative, Run4Niine will bring together both genders, across all ages, backgrounds and abilities - to run, walk, jog and wheel across their cities, and help break the silence associated with menstruation as part of the Niine chain.

Run4Niine partner Junior Chambers International-India (JCI), the non-profit organisation encouraging young people to be active responsible citizens, will help take the ‘Let’s Talk About Periods’ message to the streets of up to 500 cities in India, which has been made possible through JCI’s chapter networks.

Speaking about JCI India’s involvement, JCI India 2019 President Shirish Dundoo and JCI India 2018 President Arpit Hathi, who are mobilising support for Run4Niine across cities jointly said:“India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and it is important that the youth of today is encouraged to come out for topics like these. It is shocking to believe that 70% of girls in India have no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. We need to bridge this gap and I am proud to be a part of Run4Niine initiative by Niine Sanitary Napkins. We are looking forward to taking the message out to the streets of India this International Women’s Day”. 

Runs will take place in Lucknow, whereFuture Sahara hospital will support as medical partner, Gurgaon at Leisure Valley, where Niine will be supported by Gurgaon Women Police members and senior legal counsels, Fortis Hospitals will be supporting Run4Niine as Medical Partner across the country in cities they are present in.

The Pad Man of India and Niine Movement champion Akshay Kumar will flag off Run4Niine in Lucknow. In addition to starting this unique nationwide campaign, Akshay Kumar will also be a part of a special event extravaganza where guests will be entertained and inspired to talk about the importance of menstrual hygiene awareness. 

Speaking about his association with Run4Niine, megastar Akshay Kumar said, “When I made the movie Pad Man, I was hoping for it to turn into a conversation. But today, after a year, I can proudly say that it has grown to become a phenomenal movement, truly at a grass roots level. I am therefore excited to announce my partnership with the Niine Movement to take this to the streets of India and invite my fellow citizens, compatriots, change makers and pathbreakers to join me for Run4Niine, to raise awareness and initiate action on menstrual hygiene. Each of us joined together will form a chain – an unstoppable force fighting an improbable stigma.” 

Speaking on the significance of the event taking place to mark International Women’s Day Akshay Kumar added “International Women’s Day is a significant day for women and girls across the world; a day when not only women are celebrated for their achievements and contributions in all sectors of life but a cold reminder of the inequalities that exist in our society which have kept girls and women back for centuries. International Women's Day serves as a fitting day for Run4Niine, where EVERYONE can come together in solidarity to tackle menstrual taboos.” 

The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), a long-term partner of Niine and one of the largest membership-based organizations for specialized professionals within the field of obstetrics and gynaecology in India, also supports Run4Niine. Niine will work with FOGSI to further strengthen the Run, with FOGSI workshops set to be established in each of the cities where Run4Niine activities will be taking place, to help encourage more people to take an active role. 

FOGSI 2018 President, Dr Jaideep Malhotra said, “2019 has definitely created new hopes and beliefs, with little steps from introducing a Period Emoji on smartphones, to the government of India installing sanitary pad vending machines on the trains. There have certainly been noticeable steps taken. That said, it is a long road ahead as there are still 82% of women in India who do not use sanitary pads.” 

Echoing Dr Malhotra’s sentiments, FOGSI 2019 President, Dr Nandita Palshetkar said: “We are extremely proud to be associated with Run4Niine and truly believe in their vision to tackle menstrual taboos. We will be conducting workshops across India to help encourage people to start a dialogue on periods.”

Run4Niine marks the next step in the Niine Movement’s 5-year ambitious plan for action on menstrual hygiene awareness, which is to engage the youth. The inclusion of young children – both girls and boys – in Run4Niine represents everything at the heart of the Niine vision. At its core lies the belief that engaging the future minds of India in their formative years now, will make for a better tomorrow. 

The Niine Movement and Niine Sanitary Napkins, the made-in-India, affordable yet premium sanitary napkins brand was co-founded by leading Gorakhpur social-entrepreneurs, Amar Tulsiyan and Gaurav Bathwal andKanpur entrepreneur Sharat Khemka. Speaking about the launch of Run4Niine, Amar Tulsiyan said, “I am delighted to be launching Run4Niine. The first event of its kind, we aim to galvanise the population into action and hope to get every woman, man and child running to break the taboos around menstrual hygiene. I would like to thank JCI India and FOGSI for their support to help extend the reach of Run4Niine further, and to thank Mr. Akshay Kumar for his continued support. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work with such esteemed organisations and brilliant minds and we look forward to expanding our partner footprint further to truly create a Chain of Niine.”

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