Page 34 - MHM Report-2023
P. 34

The Matka Incinerator:

            A unique, cost-effective disposal method

            for used pads

               nnovative mud pot incinerators, popularised by   benefits of the safe disposal of used sanitary pads
               the Tata Water Mission team*, ensure easy and   through a mud pot incinerator.
           Ihygienic disposal of used sanitary pads in the        In Survani village in Dhadgaon block of
            villages of Jharkhand and Maharashtra.            Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district, a mother-
                Forty-year-old Dhaneshwari’s family has       in-law and daughter-in-law duo emerged as the
            six members — including two daughters of          frontrunners in the use of matka incinerators.
            menstruating age, a son, and her husband.         Thirty-two-year-old Pramila Balwant Padvi works
            She and her husband are actively involved in      as an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA
            all the programmes conducted by Collectives       worker), and is constantly on the lookout to learn
            for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI, an   new things with the support of her mother-in-
            associate organisation of Tata Trusts) since 2015.   law. In fact, the older woman came forward with
            She was one of the early adopters of a matka (mud   an old pot when none of the other villagers were
            pot) incinerator in her premises.                 willing to provide one for the incinerator. Pramila
                In 2019, the MHM programme was initiated      was the only one to use it initially, but two of her
            in Dhaneshwari’s village, Kajri, with self-help   friends, Jayashree and Vaishali, joined in later.
            group members. During the training sessions,          The installation of the matka incinerator
            there were discussions regarding the methods of   brought small, yet significant changes in
            safe disposal of used sanitary pads. The matka    Dhaneshwari’s and Pramila’s families and
            incinerator was one of the methods advocated. Not   surrounding communities. “One of my daughters
            many women welcomed the idea of installing one    suffers from severe physical discomfort during
            in their backyards, but Dhaneshwari volunteered   her menstrual periods. When I came to know
            to do it. Her daughters used sanitary napkins     about the matka incinerator, I got one installed
            during their periods and were disposing of their   at my house. Now both my daughters use it
            used pads by burying them in the soft, muddy      to dispose of their pads. They are aware of the
            ground near their hand pump. However, they        importance of menstrual hygiene management,”
            did not like this disposal process because during   says Dhaneshwari.
            summers, the used pads were exposed and were          The innovative mud pot incinerator is slowly,
            seen by everyone, including men, and caused them   but surely, finding acceptance and momentum
            much embarrassment. Additionally, burying them    among rural and tribal communities. Along
            near the hand pump caused a health hazard. The    the way, it is helping community members in
            MHM training enlightened Dhaneshwari about the    destigmatising and normalising periods.

            * Tata Trusts is committed to promote cost-effective and alternate technological solutions that can be easily
            managed by the local communities. Trusts aims to facilitate in identifying suitable solutions by the communities
            for their requirement, which are locally available.

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