Seema Khandale- The “Cup Woman”

Seema Khandale, the ‘Cup Woman’,  a social activist, and a mom of two wonderful children.

In 2015, I founded the Ashay Social Group, a non profit organization, to work for awareness of environmental care. So far, we have accomplished two important goals:

Founder of Ashay Social Group, NGO, Registered in Oct 2015.

* Educating people on how to avoid plastic carry bags and use cloth bags instead.
Avoid Plastic Carry bags and Use Cloth bags:- This is 3R project, Recycle, Reduse, Reuse. We ask for old used sarees, dupattas, blouse pieces, make  cloth bags from them and distribute them to the people of our society. Till now 30,000… have been distributed. I personally believe in gifting, and this is my one way to return something back to our society.

Today I’m here to share about  my journey  which  transformed  my life with a  solution  of a very  natural  process-menstruations and also making  difference  in the lives of more than 5000+  women
One day, I read a news article which explained about something innovative as a cup, which was to be used at the times of our periods.

Here came my second project….

*Awareness and promotion of hygienic, healthy, sustainable menstruation options including menstrual cups and cloth pads. I got an opportunity to design the menstrual cup, which I named it as RUTU menstrual cup, and have shared the knowledge generously to over 3075+ users. I have also shared other sustainable options to thousands of women. For instance, I have trained people to make their own cloth pads by reusing household clothes.

Being  a  comfortable user of this innovative product,  I started  thinking of Why this product is not so popular? Every one around here is using  sanitary napkins or tampons…
I started sharing about this with my friends and almost everyone else around me! Bought  few cups and started knowing more about the menstrual cups.
I realised that higher price and not knowing the proper technique  of use were few  issues to give a start to this new concept.
In the last 4.10yrs of my awareness campaign, I got connected with diff schools,  colleges,  maids, anganvadi  sevikas, govt and corporate offices, mahila mandals, street women’s, sportspersons, visually challenged, physically challenged and even the Doctors. I try my best to guide them wherever needed. Have encouraged many thousands of women’s till today.

I also came across with different types of women with different classes. Young girls, married women, housewives, anganvadi sevikas, teachers,  women from government offices, corporate sector, maids, street women, visually challenged,  runners, swimmers, and even Doctors. All are comfortably using the menstrual cup.
Adding to this, I help in the concept of MAKE OUR OWN CLOTH PADS, to the users who can’t buy these costly options. I help them with the material what they have with them. Many schools, colleges, NGO groups, helped me to conduct such workshops.
I’m located in Mumbai, but I try to manage traveling or request volunteers to come at my place to learn this and spread this awareness forward.
This is just a Giving Back to the society in a small manner.

In the year 2018, honoured as BaiManoos for the Facebook Live by Lokmat on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Honoured by Lokmat as Social Entrepreneur Awards 2018 for my social  work. 
On 11th Dec 2018 I was honoured  by  BahinaBai award, for working for Women’s Health, by Gurunath Foundation, Muktainagar, in Guidance of Shri Eknathrao Khadse Sir and RakshaTai Khasde in Bhusawal.
Tarunai award from Jantaraja Pratishthan, Pune.
Honoured by REA Foundation, Panvel.
TedxKharghar and TedxTaraBaiPark Speaker.
Dhasu Womania, from India Top 30 Awardee, from 1000 nominations.
Best 5 from Maharastra, selected by Fandry Foundation.
Guruvarya Samman 2021, by HETS, Bangalore.
Recently honoured as Working  Women  Achiever Awards, 2021, by Ooruni Foundation, Chennai for being the one among 50  Women Achievers.

I have been a TEDx speaker at TEDx Kharghar, Mumbai, as well at TEDx TaraBaiPark, Kolhapur. I completed her Masters in Social Work after 20 years of marriage. My passion of social work has inspired me to continue soaring all through the pandemic, and through other such challenges while gaining support from family, friends and complete strangers.
About the Author- Seema Khandale


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