Page 26 - MHM Report-2023
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CoMMuniTy liveliHoods &                               Skill Training: With a focus to provide
            susTainaBle saniTary produCTs                     the three A’s – accessibility, availability and

            Providing access to sustainable absorbents for    affordability – to menstruating women and
            safe and hygienic menstrual management is a key   girls, the MHM team has set up skill-training
            component in the MHM programme. Typically,        programmes for women. These workshops
            women use pads made by folding cloth. But these   teach women to stitch washable and reusable
            need to be washed and dried hygienically to be safe   menstrual pads using safe, sustainable and easily
            for reuse. The Trusts promote the importance of   available material. The women make pads for
            keeping such cloth pads clean and dry.            themselves as well as for sale in the market.
                Girls, women and men are also made aware      Women entrepreneurs are guided and encouraged
            of the product of baskets available to practice   to sell these reusable cloth pads directly and
            menstrual hygiene. Large parts of India lack      through local shops. The embedding of livelihoods
            garbage handling facilities; throwaway products   within the MHM programme helps to develop a
            tend to become environmentally-damaging litter or   sustainable eco-system.
            end up in landfills.                                  Cloth Pad Production Units: The thought
                The MHM team works to bolster awareness of    behind initiating cloth pad production is to
            the need for environmentally sustainable products.   make women self-reliant for their needs during
            Access to menstrual hygiene products is a key pillar   menstruation. The team works with CRPs who
            of the MHM programme. Developing a supply chain   reach out to local women SHGs to set up these units
            for sustainable sanitary pads has led to the creation   (see box 10). Where necessary, The Tata Trusts
            of community livelihoods, specifically for women-  provides the initial capital to set up these units.
            led self-help groups (SHGs).                      Cloth pad production units are running in Uttar
                                                              Pradesh and being planned in Assam, Maharashtra
            loCal supply CHains                               (Nashik, Nandurbar & Amravati), and Gujarat.

            The MHM programme sets up supply chains
            through formation of self-help groups (SHGs)      susTainaBle disposal MeTHods
            in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh State     Branded sanitary pads available in the market
            Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM). These          are typically throwaway but non-compostable.
            SHGs in turn set up cloth-pad producing units     They have an extremely damaging outcome on
            with support from the Tata Trusts’ MHM team.      the environment. Often, menstruating girls and
            Tata Trusts ensures the supply side is met with   women are not aware of how to segregate and
            demand. This demand is primarily created through   dispose of used products in a safe and effective
            awareness programmes. The Trusts also ensures     manner. Making them aware is key to developing
            further availability of cloth pads through social   sustainable long-term solutions for menstrual
            entrepreneurs, retail channel and depot holders.   waste management.




               diy cloth pad stitching video


               During the pandemic, when field visits were not possible, the MHM team came up with a communication
       10      solution, to make women self-reliant and capable of managing their menstruation with safety and
               dignity. The MHM team created an animated video on ‘How to stitch your own Cloth Pad.’ The video was
               circulated by CRPs and through WhatsApp and other social media channels.



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