Self-help groups to manufacture sanitary napkins

Self-help groups to manufacture sanitary napkins

Women to get them at low cost to ensure hygiene

The State government has come out with a scheme to supply sanitary napkins to menstruating girls and women in rural areas at affordable prices. This would ensure hygiene among them and protect them from infections.

The government will involve self-help groups (SHGs), popularly known as Sthree Shakti Sanghas, in the manufacture of napkins at the taluk level. The government has accorded administrative approval for the scheme. It is being implemented by the Department of Women and Child Development.

To start with, the government has given sanction for setting up 50 sanitary napkin manufacturing units in all 30 districts. At the end of the first year of implementation, a compulsory evaluation will be made on the utility of the scheme. Depending on the success, more units will be started.

The infections resulting from the failure to use sanitary napkins have, for a number of women, resulted in infections, infertility and cancer. A majority of women use old cloth available at home during menstruation.

Some of them use the same cloth for the subsequent month by washing them, while some others throw it away, posing a problem of disposal. Sanitary napkins can solve all these problems.

According to a study, only seven per cent of women in urban areas and three per cent of women in rural areas use napkins. More than 90 per cent of women use old cloth making them vulnerable to infections.

According to an estimation by the department, the cost of setting up a napkin unit per year is Rs 6 lakh and an amount of Rs 3 crore has been earmarked in the current year.
The scheme also aims at economic empowerment of SHGs as they will be involved in the manufacture of napkins. The beneficiaries include schoolgoing girls, inmates of women’s hostels run by different departments, of corrective homes and girls covered under Sabala programme.

The members of the selected SHGs will be provided training by institutions engaged in manufacture of sanitary napkins. It is planned to train about 600 members of SHGs in 50 taluks.

It has been proposed to set up three napkin units each in Belgaum and Tumkur districts and two each in the districts of Bagalkot, Bellary, Bijapur, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad, Gulbarga, Hassan, Haveri, Mandya, Mysore, Raichur and Shimoga. In the remaining 13 districts, one sanitary napkin unit each will be established.