Doing someone a favour is one thing but doing something just because you feel happy for making a difference is absolutely another.
Deepa Natarajan and her now-happening campaign of #VoiceOutPeriod is not just aimed at doing a favour for those who are in need of awareness about menstrual hygiene but promotes a happier-living for every woman out there.
From being a HR at a top firm to becoming a self-taught designer with stints in acting as well, Deepa has done it all. But what makes her special is her empathy. After battling between the choice of opening a HR consultancy or Boutique for designer clothes, Deepa chose to follow her heart and set-up her own design brand. Initially it was all about turning beautiful sarees into elegant gowns and party wears. This turned out to be a great learning experience for her and she started working on Bridal gowns as time progressed. Acting being her next favourite thing to do was happening simultaneously as she shuttled between "Art vs Art". This opened doors to work for a feature film, which she later dropped-out of but the experience became all the more sweet as her courtship bloomed right out of that space. Deepa, also a consultant at Voice foundation had her first fundraising experience for an event called Diya, as she recalls. With help of her friends, she managed to anchor the event successfully and build computer labs for a school in Tuticorin. She has also been part of a Secret-Santa campaign where they used to collect clothes in mint condition for the underprivileged and distribute it during Christmas.
Voicing out #VoiceOutPeriod
Voice Foundation aims at uplifting the lives of every child in the society. Mostly targeted around the marginalized children of our society, they believe it is through voices that community transformation can truly be made. Voice Foundation created a research and identified a village in which the kids don't even have access to basic hygiene and sanitation. Deepa was later called in to pitch ideas for the "Reach-out" program. Best friends are the best indeed, that goes without saying. Deepa, with the help of her best-friend, Gautham Kumar, founder of a restaurant-chain Madurai Idly Shop (Bangalore), came up with an initiative to set-up kiosks at the outlets to raise funds for 1 crore. The "Eureka moment" then happened. With a plan to raise funds by selling out badges on awareness and after a few discussions, the name "VoiceOutPeriod" came into place. The minute they reached out to a famous Illustrator and Entrepreneur, Alicia Souza, she was more than happy to lend her hands to craft the badges for this campaign. All the badges are manufactured and sold from Alicia Souza's brand as a CSR activity.
The second fund-raising activity as part of this campaign involves donating sanitary napkins to the girls in need. When Deepa had a discussion with Aditi Balan, lead actress (Aruvi), she was enlightened about Bio-degradable napkins and Cloth-pads which promote cleaner and healthier living compared to the disposable plastic sanitary pads that we get from the store. She has made it a point to create awareness about the bio-degradable napkins and cloth pads among her inner circle.
Happiest souls involved in this initiative:
The core organisers - Gautham Kumar (Madurai Idly Shop) and Deepa Natarajan (Founder, Vastra), the super-promoters - Lipi Jobson (The Voice Foundation) and Abishek (Youtube star - Open Pannaa), the content churners - Gautham Gangadharan (Freelance content writer) and Shreya Anand (Blogger), the one who decides what goes on Social Media - Kritima Arora (Freelance Illustrator/Designer), the design master - Pradeep Vijayaraj (Creative Director, Supersymmetry studios), the fundraiser - Newton Anbarasu (Software Developer - Yourstory), the movement strategist - Rahul Vincent (CSR Expert) and the Merchandiser - Saurabh Sharma (Director - Alicia Souza Studios).
If you happen to walk in to a "Madurai Idly Shop" outlet, you would notice the staffs sporting #VoiceOutPeriod badges and also if you would like to gift a napkin kit you are more than welcome to do it. But make sure you donate only cloth-pads or bio-degradable napkins and spread goodness.
Also, if you would want to volunteer for this campaign or spread awareness about this initiative in your college/office/locality, you can reach out to Deepa via her Instagram account, as she finds Instagram to be her happy place.
Instagram handle - @deepa_rahmaniac
With just two weeks into the campaign, #VoiceOutPeriod has already made a visible change amongst the crowd.
If you would like to donate for this cause, you can purchase the badge on Alicia Souza's website.
You can also donate a hygiene kit that comprises of basic hygiene elements like toothbrush, soap, towel, etc. by contacting Deepa.
If you happen to spot a #VoiceOutPeriod volunteer, make sure you show some love by purchasing a badge from them.
Let's make this world a Happy and a Better place! Yayyyy!