I’d grown up thinking that using a
Sanitary Napkin was my right,
Well! In fact it’s a privilege….
As we live in a country where our
Women who has attained
the age of Puberty, can’t afford it….
True that! As per the findings of the latest study, “Sanitary Protection: Every Woman’s Health Right”, undertaken by AC Nielsen revealed that only 12 per cent of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins (SNs). Inadequate menstrual protection makes adolescent girls (age group 12-18 years) miss 5 days of school in a month (50 days a year). Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like unhygienic cloth, ashes and husk sand. This study reveals the dismal state of feminine hygiene care in India and shows rampant unhygienic sanitary practices.
Deepalaya noticed that when it comes to menstrual hygiene in India, the story is horrifying. Women use anything available from rags to cow dung for protecting themselves. They are hardly aware of the precautions that are necessary to adopt during menstrual cycle. We surveyed the slum localities and tried to find the reason for not using the “Sanitary Napkins”. Affordability was on reason why women do not use sanitary napkins and asking a male shopkeeper to give them a sanitary napkin was another.
In view of this, Deepalaya and Amway India joined their hands together to kill two birds with one stone – by promoting women entrepreneurs and helping them in manufacturing cheap and easy-to-use sanitary pads. As the unit was to be established in Delhi, we identified a place in slum area of Dwarka & started our “Sanitary Napkin Project” at JJ Colony, Sector-3, Dwarka.
The whole purpose of this project doesn’t end with making the women of this area aware of using the Sanitary Napkin but also helping them in becoming self-reliant and addressing the age-old issues related with menstruation. Keeping that in mind, we created a Self Help Group of women named as Deepalaya Umang SHG to run this project. We helped them in setting up the machines and understanding the process involved in making sanitary napkins. The sanitary napkins are available in the market in the name of “Sangini”. The material used to make this product is fully tested and is harmless to our skin. In their initial stage, we also helped them to market it at very low cost but now this unit is being completely run and managed by the women of the community.