The Trivandrum Municipal Corporation has launched a project called ‘cloth pads’ to make sustainable menstruation a reality and to ensure that all women have access to sanitary pads.
At present, less than 50 percent of girls in India have access to sanitary pads. Even when available, they are made of non-biodegradable material, which makes India more prone to a huge bio-hazard. Hence it is both a health and environmental concern.
The civic body plans on addressing this issue by joining hands with Hindustan Latex Ltd (HLL) to produce and distribute cotton cloth pads. Talking about this to The News Minute, an HLL official said,
“After the onset of puberty, girls are not that mature and shy to go to a medical store and ask for sanitary napkins. In order to promote the use of these napkins, vending machines will be installed even in schools, so that the student can use one and carry the rest home, in a way cultivating this hygienic practice.”
The vending machines will be installed in public places like railway stations and also in schools and public toilets. Rs 10 will be charged for three pads after the initial 1,620 pads which would be free.
At this juncture, it is important to mention that Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective (SMKC) conducted a one-day event called 'celebrating menstruation' in Trivandrum last month. It was aimed at spreading awareness about menstruation not just among women but among men as well. Shradha Sreejaya, one of the members of the SMKC told The Times of India,
"The expo was welcomed by the womenfolk and to our surprise, many men as well. Some of the men enquired about cloth pads while some were more curious and asked if it is safe to use menstrual cups. A youngster came to us to enquire about menstrual cups which he wanted to gift his fiance on her birthday. It is definitely a big step to hold such an expo, they feel. The students from city schools were given awareness sessions on menstruation. Around 12 menstrual cups which are made of silicon material and almost all cloth pads were sold."