A UPES student’s quest to make periods pain-free for women
Nuveni Raina, a second-year design student at UPES, has built a start-up ‘Vindyavasini’ to manufacture period pain relief belts. They are meant to alleviate cramps by giving out regulated heat and vibrations
Around 80% of women across the world suffer from period pain or dysmenorrhoea, according to a study by Women’s Health Concern. Characterised by pain in the lower abdomen, it is the most common symptom of menstruation. Women experience cramps at some stage during their lifetime – from early teens right up to menopause. For 10% of the women, the pain is so severe that it can disrupt their daily lives.
For Nuveni Raina, too, the problem was no different. She researched and found that period pain affected females at schools, universities, workplaces, and social activities. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, period pain led to nearly nine days of lost productivity per woman per year. One in five young women reported missing school or university due to dysmenorrhea. And out of those who attended classes while feeling ill (presenteeism), two in five said that pain impacted their concentration and performance in class. Several young girls fell behind during their final years of schooling.
So, Nuveni decided to take the matter into her hands, quite literally. A second-year design student at UPES, she developed ‘Vindyavasini’, a period cramp relief belt that alleviates period cramps by giving out heat and vibrations. Users can change the heat intensity with an app.
However, there are several products in the market that claim to relieve period pain. “But no one offers this particular product in India,” Nuveni says. She explains, “There are heating belts, which are not very handy, so you cannot carry them to say your workplace; hot water bags need to be reheated several times, and then there are heating patches, but you cannot regulate the heat and it does not last for more than five hours per use.”
The target audience of this product is women of all age groups. Nuveni says, “First, I am focussing on the women working in the urban sector. Then, I would like to expand the reach to rural areas. I will try to tie up with governments and NGOs so we can take it to the grassroots level. The goal is for every woman, irrespective of their geographical location and economic background, to have access to the product and live better lives. Every woman deserves a pain-free period.”
How does she plan to market the product? “I would like to advertise the product on every channel possible. I would also give the prototype to women to try for themselves and then pass the information to more women around them. I would also reach out to the companies already working in this sector,” Nuveni says.
Her promising start-up recently raised a funding of INR 1 lakh from investor Rahul Narvekar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The India Network, through the Runway Incubator. “I will be using the money to improve my prototype by making changes to accommodate the needs of the user. I am looking forward to helping women get through their period without pain,” Nuveni signs off.