For a Mumbai non-profit, the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle has become a cause for celebration. The Myna Mahila Foundation, based out of the city's Govandi area, is one of the seven charities picked by the couple that will receive donations in place of gifts for their royal wedding on May 19.The Myna Mahila Foundation was founded in 2015 by Suhani Jalota who was only 20 at the time. It employs women from urban slums in Mumbai to manufacture and sell affordable sanitary pads into the communities they come from. Its aim is to not only offer employment to women living in some of the most impoverished neighbourhoods of the megacity but also break taboos around menstrual hygiene. The programme has helped thousands of women across 12 slums in Mumbai.
Suhani Jalota founded the Myna Mahila Foundation when she was 20.
Ms Jalota says she says she picked the name because the Myna bird speaks a lot and the foremost goal of the organisation was to give these women a voice. For her work, she won the 2017 Queen's Young Leader Award.
The charity was chosen by Ms Markle after she saw its work "first-hand" during a visit to India last year, Kensington Palace has said. Ms Markle liked the idea of very small grassroots based organisation that focused on women within it as well as those that it was catering to.
Ms Markle had written about the charity in 'Time' magazine after her visit to Mumbai in March, 2017.
"During my time in the slum communities outside of Mumbai, I shadowed women who are part of a microfinance system where they manufacture sanitary napkins and sell them within the community," the American actress wrote.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will get married on May 19.
"The namesake of the organisation, Myna Mahila Foundation, refers to a chatty bird ('Myna') and 'Mahila' meaning woman. The name echoes the undercurrent of this issue: we need to speak about it, to be 'chatty' about it," she said.Kensington Palace said Prince Harry and Ms Markle do not have any formal relationships with the charities chosen.
"The couple have chosen charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women's empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the armed forces. Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work," the palace statement said.