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Vistara To Provide #PadsOnBoard. Progressive Or Just Token Feminism?

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Women don’t have it easy. There are glass ceilings, discrimination, unequal pay, safety. Yeah, it’s like we are fighting a battle almost every day. But on one day in March, every man, child and brand takes it upon themselves to thank women for being amazing. On 9th March, all is forgotten and it is back to treating women as second class citizens. Frankly, it can get quite exasperating. So when Vistara announced that it was going to be giving away sanitary napkins on board, 8th March onwards, we weren’t sure what to make of this.

Of course, we love that we can get #PadsOnBoard for free. At the core, it seems like a good idea. Deepa Chadha, the Senior Vice-President for Vistara said, “The initiative to provide sanitary pads to our customers is a meaningful one that reflects our core philosophy that ‘small things make a big difference’.”

Is it going to be convenient? Yes. Is it thoughtful? Yes. But meaningful? No, that might be taking it too far. It is a nice gesture but should it be lauded as progressive and the best thing to happen since non-reclinable seats? Absolutely not.

Let’s also consider this.  We saw things like Wifi and 4G making rounds much sooner in the country, much before someone said, perhaps it would nice to have sanitary napkins provided on board. Obviously, it was not a priority. Because passing the proposal of allowing people to make calls while on an aircraft seemed far more critical than providing bleeding women some care.

Vistara made a statement saying, “The airline will provide ISO 9001:2015 certified, bio-degradable and organic sanitary napkins made from plant-based fibres that are free of plastic, toxins and perfume.” And we can expect the service to kick in from Friday, where in the cabin crew would be making announcements in every flight, letting people know of the fact.

We like that they have this thought but right now, we think they are just riding the #WomensDay wave.

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