Suki(formerly radicalancient) (radicalancient) wrote in menstrual_cups,
Suki(formerly radicalancient)

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Pad vs cup costs in India

Seems like the fact that a cup is worth five years of pads in India is causing some surprise(ref. to my previous post). I thought I'd explain that.

1. Exchange rates. 1 USD = Rs 50 and more, currently. Rs 50 in India is going to buy you a LOT more basic amenities than $1 in the US. For example, I can get a chicken roll on the street for Rs 15($0.3), or at the best places for Rs 25($0.5). A piece of pastry at well-known chains in the city for Rs 35($0.7). An 8-pack of Kotex is - I kid you not - Rs 22. Yes, that's hardly forty-five cents. O.B tampons are Rs 166 for a pack of 20, that's $1.5 for 10.
I was a Whisper Ultra/Whisper Choice girl in my pad days, and since I bleed light, I'd need hardly a dollar's worth every month. Whisper, manufactured in India and doesn't have to pay for the international Kotex brand name, so provides twice the quality Kotex does, at about 1.5 times the price.
Most of the rural population still uses rags. Yes, rags. Not our beautiful and comfortable cloth pads.

2. Average standard of living. In my city, a healthy young adult can survive easily on Rs 10,000. Which is $200. Including house rent. The Rs 2000($40)-odd I'm spending on my cup is equal to my travel+snacks+cellphone budget for a month(I'm a college student so that's how I measure, lol). Of course, Kolkata is probably the cheapest metro in the world ... living in Mumbai is nearly 10 times that expensive.
But yeah... the postage for my cup would get me a pair of nice pump shoes, lol. Or a T-shirt. The cup itself costs me as much as 50 mL of Nina Ricci perfume, lol.
Electronics obviously cost the same everywhere, since it's a global market. Then again we also get Chinese stuff dirt cheap, might be cheaper here than there. Not sure really.

3. Things are, in general, cheaper here. Reason #1: It's available in plenty. The land is fertile, we have an ENORMOUS population so labour is incredibly cheap... cost of production gets slashed right there.

I guess I'm rambling now... basically I just wanted to give you guys an idea of how ridiculous the Alicia Cup thingy is. And also to show you exactly how hard it's going to be to create a market for menstrual cup users in India.
On the other hand, a 5-day bleeder who uses OB tampons would have her cup pay for itself in about two years... less if you count inflation. And given the benefits of a cup, I feel it's worth that much. So slowly, I guess the rich women in India might get interested in cups and find a way to produce them locally. I'm sure that'll work out cheaper. And then there are people like me, who feel that the long lifespan + increased comfort + "I love my cup factor" outweigh the majorly steep cost.

PS: Mods, I'm not sure how to tag this!

Tags: activism, alicia

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