Meet Pune’s Padman who produces reusable pads that can be used for 3-4 years
The resusable cloth pad has seven layers of brushed or combed cotton cloth – brushing makes it softer and more absorbent. The bottom-most layer is treated with PUL, which makes it leakproof.
Thanks to Arunachalam Muruganantham, the Padman of India, and his efforts in promoting menstrual health and hygiene, the subject is being talked about both in urban as well as rural areas.
Following in his footsteps, many others have also come up with the idea of sustainable menstrual products.
Forty-five-year-old Omkar Sathe, from Pune, has been vocal about the use of reusable sanitary napkins for the past two years. Omkar also recently conducted a workshop titled, ‘Used Sanitary Pads - Plastic With a Vengeance’. It was held as part of the Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF), and was aimed at sensitising people on the issue.
All the pads produced by his organisation, All For A Smile, which he started in 2010 provides opportunities for women with certain skills like stitching.
Speaking to The Logical Indian about the pad, Omkar said,
“The pads are completely made out of cotton cloth. There are seven layers of brushed or combed cotton cloth - brushing makes it softer and more absorbent. The bottom-most layer is treated with PUL, which makes it leakproof.”
According to him, the layer in the pad can last for 75 washes, which means it would last at least three to four years.
The initiative began when a CSR organisation approached Omkar in Pune, two years ago. After this, Eco Femme, based in Puducherry provided the team with the necessary knowledge and methods to develop the pads.
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The organisation has also gone a step ahead and initiated a project, ‘Pads For Daughters’ Project, under which school girls mainly in rural areas are sensitised on the use of reusable sanitary pads. The organisation provides a set of four pads for Rs 400.
The team lead by Omkar also conducts awareness sessions on menstrual health and hygiene. Omkar led team also takes certain steps in consulting people with menstrual hygiene questions as well.
“We work with them continuously for several months. When we start talking to them, we carry out sessions and we distribute the cloth pads. We then go back to the same girls after about a month-and-a-half to understand how their experience was and to know if there were any problems,” reports The Logical Indian.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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