Seema Devi, member of a self help group (SHG) in Simdega district is among the hundreds of women being trained in making of environment friendly sanitary pads in the district.
“This is a very good initiative to not just make the women in SHGs empowered and financially stronger but also spread awareness about using sanitary pads among women in the villages,” she said.
Simdega district administration started providing training to SHGs for making sanitary pads earlier this month. The training is being provided by Udaipur based social organization, Jaatan. The women are being trained to use cotton cloth for making sanitary pads in four different ways. Also, these women are being informed about making the maximum number of pads in least expenses possible.
Deputy development commissioner of the district, Anany Mittal said, “Simdega district has a huge strength of SHGs. There are around 5500 SHGs in the district with around 60,000 women linked with them.”
He added, “The social organization approached us with the idea of training when we had launched a project ‘Garima’ to make women aware of menstrual hygiene. It seemed like a perfect plan to spread awareness and make women empowered at the same time.”
The sanitary pads which are being made will be marketed at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas as a start.
Mittal said, “There is no restrictions for the SHGs for selling these pads and if they get an option they can start selling it in the open market too. KGBVs are just a starting platform.”
The pads will be branded as Missi Garima Pads. “Missi, in Mundari language means sister. The SHGs are already making a number of products like bed sheets, sarees, organic produce and much more which are being marketed by the brand Missi. The sanitary pads will be a part of this brand,” Mittal said.
The pads being made by the SHGs are chemical free and environment friendly. This will not just prevent the women using these pads from various diseases but being biodegradable, these pads will not lead to polluting the environment either.
Deputy Commissioner Vipra Bhal informed that sanitary pad making centres will be set up in every block of the district.
She said, “The training has been provided at district level now and gradually we will move to block level where women will not just be encouraged to make these pads but also use them.”