Dia Parasrampuria: The warrior princess of Mumbai
To be a Wonder Woman, you don’t really need a suit. That is exactly what this 16-year-old girl from the city, Dia Parasrampuria, has proved during this pandemic. She, with the help of a few NGOs in the city, has distributed more than 25,000 sanitary napkins to women in the slums. Parasrampuria, who started her initiative, She Matters, feels that the “pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities and exposing vulnerabilities in social political and economic systems which.”
She says, “In the unfortunate events of the pandemic, the economic stress on the underprivileged families has extensively increased and most of them are struggling to stock up basic household supplies and non-perishable goods. The importance of menstrual hygiene for teenagers and women is often overlooked. While everyone was focusing on distributing ration and meals, sanitary products were forgotten.”
When she started out, she says that her initial plan was not just to distribute them, but to also educate young girls in slums about the significance of menstrual hygiene, However, she could not, due to the lockdown. “My idea was not just to distribute, but also to educate young girls in the slums about menstrual hygiene. However, as I was also home-bound, I had been communicating with various NGOs as they had the permission to carry out these distributions. I reached out to them for help and they were happy to collaborate with me.”
Besides Mumbai, Parasrampuria has managed to reach out to the Amphan Cyclone victims of Kolkata, West Bengal, and the migrant workers in Goa. Ask her how her parents have stood by her, and she says, “My parents were ecstatic to hear this idea and encouraged me to help as many people as I could. My mother, Aarti Parasrampuria, also helped me pack the pads in packets of 10 and 20 so it would be easier for the NGOs to distribute it.”
This is not the first time Parasrampuria has gone out of your way to help the needy. When she was in the ninth grade, she started the Back-On-Their-Feet initiative, which was a campaign to crowd fund and give mobility to villagers of Vidarbha, who have lost their legs to amputation. “I managed to raise 1,50,000 to give prosthetics (artificial limbs) for those who have lost their leg to accidents, disease and birth deformities,” she shares.