“We have already procured the tools and machinery required for the unit and the
workforce is also ready. Within next 15 days the SHG will start manufacturing
sanitary napkin,” said Bipin Rout, chief executive of the executing agency ORMAS
(Odisha Rural development and Marketing society). On a pilot basis, the unit has
been set up in Tigiria which, after assessment of its success, would be extended
to other blocks of the district and other parts of Odisha as well in later
phases. The unit will produce over 1000 napkins in a day. The napkins will be
provided to the women at an affordable price and would cost almost half of the
price of branded products of similar quality available in the market.
Along with technical guidance,
administration has also provided training to the SHG members to market
their product among the target group. “Majority of women in the rural
and slum areas do not adopt hygiene practices during their menstrual
cycles and thereby are vulnerable to many diseases. The SHG has been
trained to market their product while creating awareness among the women
folks about the menstrual hygiene practices,” said a district official.
The SHG members will be actively involved in creating awareness among
the rural and slum women about the significance of personal hygiene and
would advocate the use of sanitary napkin for better menstrual health
besides marketing their product.
“The initiative will ensure affordability
and accessibility of sanitary napkin in the most interior areas and will
also help empowering women. A member involved in the work would be able
to earn more than Rs.2000 a month,” added Rout.
[Binita Jaiswal is a
Journalist from Odisha and is a media fellow of National Foundation for
India (NFI). This article is written as part of the NFI fellowship