Rato Baltin Project -Red Bucket- Chhaupadi Nepal

What’s the Problem: Chhaupadi

In Nepal, placing menstruating girls and women in sheds or huts is a centuries-old tradition called chhaupadi.

During their periods, women are considered impure, dirty, contaminated and bad luck. They can’t touch their husbands, other family members, water sources, fruit trees, or cattle, among a host of other things. They may only eat beaten rice and salt.

The belief that menstruation is impure is so deep-seated that families overlook extreme risks involved in the practice.

Extreme temperatures expose them to health problems including pneumonia, diarrhoea, chest and respiratory tract infection. Every year 3 or 4 women die during this banishment, because of asphyxiation, hypothermia, snakebites or other wild animal attacks, and nobody knows the true numbers of how many are raped.

The practice is supported by community elders, husbands, mothers-in-law, traditional healers, and priests who have a profound influence in the community. Villagers believe that letting menstruating women inside the family house will infuriate the gods, which will have serious consequences for both families and the entire community.

You can make a donation here: https://donorbox.org/against-chhaupadi

Our Solution: The Rato Baltin Project, Education and Menstrual Cups

The Rato Baltin Project is a Menstrual Health Management and sexual education program that aims to eradicate this practice. We work on the ground since 2017. We are working with community health workers, teachers, political leaders and local NGOs to this end. The Project is for girls, boys, women, and their communities. We think that education is the only way to change these deeply held beliefs. With participative photography we invite them to speak about their menstruation, with an important part of the project being the distribution of a healthy and environmentally friendly solution: the menstrual cup.

We have already distributed more than 4800 menstrual cups to girls in remote villages. Each girl received a cup and training on how to use it. They are also given a metal bucket (baltin) to have clean water and somewhere to boil the cup.

Our goal is to destigmatize menstruation as a normal biological function, reduce the prevalence of chhaupadi, and mitigate its consequences. Through these ends, girls, and women are also empowered with the confidence to continue to attend school and be active in public spaces.

The Issue

We believe that it is urgent for the project to make “noise” in as many Municipalities as possible. It is through the project being present in Municipalities that menstruation and Chhaupadi are discussed within the context of change, and we can gather information as to people’s beliefs. We are confident that our project can assist in averting the death of girls into the future.

The Project cost

The total cost of the project, to reach as many women and girls as possible, is around 130.000 € per year.
Between 15 and 20 local girls are working with us.

Ruby Cup donate to be artsy the menstrual cups.
But it is very important for us having associates for to pay the total cost of the project.
Please help us to help more girls in Nepal. It is a matter of life or death, we assure you.

How You Can Help: Donating, Becoming a Member, Sharing, Volunteering

If you would like to become a regular donor, or you are a company that is interested in being a sponsor, your generosity will be met with regular updates and a company mention (logo) on our web page. Please do contact us at: https://beartsy.org/contact or become a member at https://beartsy.org/become-an-associate

Sharing: Share our page with your friends, on social media, etc.

Volunteering: please contact us at: https://beartsy.org/volunteer

You can make a donation here: https://donorbox.org/against-chhaupadi

To all our recurrent donors and those considering becoming donors, if you give a minimum donation of 70 euros (equating to 5 euros per month plus the cost of the crowdfunding platform), you will be, if you want, an associate collaborator. Leave your mail, so we can inform you of the results of the project!

Our video for the project (English subtitles):

There are several reasons why we decided to name it the Red Bucket Project (Rato Baltin in Nepalese).

Firstly, because red is a relevant colour in Nepal, it is used very frequently, even in its flag, and is one of the colours most favoured by girls and women.
Secondly, because red is a colour which is related to menstruation for obvious reasons.
And finally, because we hand the girls undergoing training a kit that contain in a bucket – hence, the red bucket.
The said kit consists of the bucket itself, a menstruation cup, a towel, and a bar of soap. The metal bucket (baltin)  serves the purpose of containing the rest of the items when not in use; more importantly, be a means for the girls to carry clean water to the latrine, and also where they can boil water for sterilization of the cup.

The idea and long term goal is to mitigate the negative effects of Chhaupadi.

Development Priority

The UNDP states menstrual hygiene is “A Neglected Condition for the achievement of Several Millennium Development Goals”. Poor menstrual hygiene is unequivocally linked to educational, employment, health, and overall developmental outcomes (see a report here). It’s a problem in terms of safety, health, finances, and also economic and educational participation. Some programs are working to overcome these barriers by making safe, economical, and functional products like menstrual cups available.

There are a lot of studies and analysis about Chhaupadi in Nepal, such as:

The only way to abolish this practice is through mass awareness and education at a community level.

If you ask yourself if that will be good for Nepali women, lets us take a look at previous evaluation programs in Nepal:

MIT Poverty Action Lab Programs

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Poverty Action Lab, have been supplying the MoonCup brand in India and Nepal as part of evaluation programs.

According to reports (“No Menstrual Hygiene For Indian Women Holds Economy Back” – Bloomberg July 25th 2013), parts of India lack adequate plumbing, let alone sanitary disposal units. Around 88% of women in India’s poorer regions “make do with little more than scraps of old cloth”, and “sneak out at night to bury soiled rags in the dirt”.

Women who have been supplied with cups report feeling greater freedom and mobility. One woman said the cup “improved her life and stoked envy from other women”. In Nepal, women and girls said “they were able to bicycle, and that they even forgot they were having their period”.
Results from Nepal suggest that the cups can overcome significant barriers, even if they don’t solve bigger problems.


We will have three broad aims for the project: making voices heard, encouraging self-development, and providing the means to generate income.

You can read our annual reports in the News and Transparency section.


We have been working on the field since February 2017, and the project has spinned off into 3 main branches:

1- Rato Baltin: An outreach menstrual and reproductive education programme for the community and schools, provide menstrual cups for girls and women who wish to move towards sustainable menstrual management, and encourage girls to express themselves on menstruation through photographic art. The main aim is fight against harmful menstruation taboo Chhaupadi.

2- Edufem: Every year, girls are forced to early marriage, terminated from their study due to poverty. The Rato Baltin mentors, who are the beneficiaries of Edufem (stands for Education for Females), have accessed scholarships allowing them to study and live in Mangalsen. They are the engaged trainers to outreach to other girls and women in their communities.

3- Happy Women: It is a training centre where single women, mostly widows, will be able to learn craftsmanship and various trades and eventually become freelancers. be artsy may buy and/or sell their production and profit made is to fund the Rato Baltin project and to reinvest in training more single women. But the idea is that they can make and sell their products in their remote villages.

During the Rato Baltin project, we offer microcredits to widowed women to finance the establishment of an economic activity related to the workshops we offer at the “Happy women training center” in Mangalsen. This allows them to increase their income and improve their financial situation, as well as contribute to local economic development.