Page 37 - MHM Report-2023
P. 37

Sustainable Sanitary Pads:

            The DIY route

                   eriods-related products and the safe disposal
                   of sanitary waste are emphasised in the
            PMHM initiative. Under the Trusts’ efforts
            to ensure access to good-quality and eco-friendly
            menstrual absorbents, sanitary pad production
            units have been established in Uttar Pradesh,
            Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Additionally, the team
            teaches women and adolescent girls to stitch their
            own cloth pads.
                Another part of the MHM module emphasises
            the different types of products available in
            the market and explains the pros and cons of          “My thighs used to chafe due to the sanitary
            each. This empowers the women to make more        pads since I was working on the farm all day,”
            informed decisions.                               says Khushboo, a project beneficiary. “Ever since
                An informed product-choice needs to be        I learnt about the reusable cloth pad through
            supplemented with easy access, availability and   MHM’s awareness sessions, it has been a boon.
            affordability of the said products. Bearing this in   Especially since these pads are beneficial to my
            mind, the Trusts have rolled out various measures,   health, environment-friendly and economical.”
            such as workshops that train women to stitch their    17-year-old Arju, from Kaisarganj, Bahraich,
            own cloth pads, SHG-driven local supply chain of   Uttar Pradesh, shares “I used to use pads
            pads, and local production units.                 bought from the market. But then, a Tata Trusts
                Rami Bai from Pindwara block of Sirohi        representative showed us a video - Stitch our
            district in Rajasthan stitches her own cloth pads.   own cloth pads. We learnt it and now we make
            She learned this skill at one of the pad-stitching   our own pads, which last for eight months”. Arju
            workshops organised under the MHM programme       is happy as this helps them save money. She has
            by the Centre for microFinance (CmF, an associate   recommended the same process to her mother,
            organisation of Tata Trusts), as part of its multi-  sisters and other women in the neighbourhood.
            thematic development programme in South               The initiative has been supplemented with
            Rajasthan — the ‘Transformation Initiative’ (a    the setup of local cloth production units, making
            collaboration between the Rajasthan government    it easier for women to access and afford cloth
            and Trusts).                                      pads. Ten of these units are already operational in
                Today, she motivates others to do the same    the states of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan,
            and practices hygienic menstruation management.   Jharkhand and Assam.
            The ‘stitch your own cloth pads’ workshops            Further, the Tata Trusts also engage with
            empower and encourage women to adopt safe and     local SHGs to put in place a supply chain to ensure
            hygienic menstrual health products, without facing   access to good quality and eco-friendly menstrual
            access or affordability issues.                   absorbents for communities.

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