Lucknow: A home-maker in Gilaula village of Shravasti, 30-year-old Khushboo had chafed thighs from using low-quality sanitary pads available near her house. During the lockdown, even that was not available and she had to use outdated, unhygienic methods during menstruation.
Now, it is only with the use of reusable pads produced by women from self-help groups that Khushboo has finally found a comfortable solution to her problem.
|Around 10 women stitch reusable eco-friendly pads, thereby improving their livelihoods while raising awareness among rural women|
“The reusable pads are a boon for women like us who slog all day in the fields and home. The cloth pads are not only beneficial in terms of health and environment but are also economical,” she said. Khushboo is among 20,000 women whose lives have changed after Tata Trusts, in association with UP State Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM), set up cloth pad production units in Lucknow and Bahraich last year.
Around 10 women stitch reusable eco-friendly pads, thereby improving their livelihoods while raising awareness among rural women and adolescents on the affordable, reusable and ecologically safe cloth pad. So far, the women have stitched more than 14,000 pads.
“At first, I was clueless about what a cloth pad was, but after I underwent training for stitching these reusable pads, I understand the importance of eco-friendly products and menstrual hygiene,” said 34-year-old Premlata Yadav from Sarojininagar, Lucknow.
The need for such a production unit was felt after a field study in rural Lucknow found 34% women using cloth (not cotton) during menstruation. During the lockdown, the figure was 94% as women had to travel 3-5km to purchase sanitary pads. According to the head, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at Tata Trusts, Divyang Waghela, the idea is to provide dignity to women.
Mission director, UPSRLM, BC Goswami said, “The production of reusable pads has assured access to menstrual facilities and awareness about menstrual hygiene in villages.”
Source: The Times of India, May 28, 2022