This woman manufactures eco-friendly and biodegradable sanitary pads, distributes it for free
To start manufacturing eco-friendly and biodegradable sanitary pads, social activist Param Saini bought machinery from Padman Arunachalam Muruganantham for Rs 3.40 lakh. These pads are distributed free of cost to government schools, women prisoners, etc.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of his Mann Ki Baat sessions addressed the need to eliminate single-use plastic products, for they end up choking our rivers and landfills. Since then, the government has considered taking a huge step by enforcing a blanket ban on single-use plastic products, and aims to eliminate plastic by 2022.
Besides the government, various NGOs and individuals are making proactive efforts in providing sustainable alternative solutions to plastic-based products.
Param Saini, a social activist from Ludhiana, Punjab, is providing free eco-friendly biodegradable sanitary pads.
Located on the upper floor of a residential building in Krishna Nagar in Ludhiana is a small workshop consisting of three workers, Rajinder Kaur (52) and Shikha (28), and Madan Pal Verma (52). Together, the group, led by Param Saini, produces 20,000 sanitary napkins per month. These sanitary pads are made from wood pulp, cotton, and organic fibre, and each pad is shipped with a note that says, Gift For Change - Girls in Freedom Trail.
Speaking to Indian Express, Param said,
“We are currently supplying napkins to girls in government schools in Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, and even some schools in Palampur of Himachal Pradesh through Rotary Club workers. Also, we distribute them in slums and women’s prisons. Women tell us how these napkins are changing their lives as they never used one before. They used cloth before that led to rashes and infections. We are taking gynaecologists to schools to educate girls on menstrual hygiene.”
To start the venture, Param bought machinery from Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as the Padman of India, for Rs 3.40 lakh while the space for the setup was provided free of cost by Prof Jagmohan Singh, nephew of freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh.
When the enterprise began in November 2018, the Ludhiana unit of Rotary Club supported Param in purchasing the machinery. Now, Param only has to pay the salaries of the three-unit workers, which comes from the donations she receives. If there is not enough money, Param pays the workers from her own pocket, reports Indian Women Blog.
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Sharing her personal experience, Rajinder said,
“Girls should know how important it is to use sanitary napkins for health. I faced a lot of problems personally. Kapda use karde si oh vi Chupa Chupa ke (I used to get a cloth that too in hiding). We never got access to napkins and were always at risk of infections. Now even my 28-year old son appreciates that I work here and comes to help me with work whenever he is free,” reports Indian Express.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)