Only 12% of women in India use Sanitary Napkins, and rest of the 330 million women use rags, leaves and even ash instead. Moreover, 23% girls drop out of school when they reach puberty. Almost 70% of households cannot afford sanitary napkins at the market price.
Life is about to change for the better for the women of Burgula and other villages in rural Telangana and AP, more especially for the school-going girls. Pragathi Welfare Society (PWS) has started a not-for-profit Sanitary Napkins Unit at Burgula, Telangana State, which was inaugurated on February 8, 2018, by Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary to Government of Telangana, I&C and ITE&C Department. The Unit forms part of the Pragathi Rural Development Center (PRDC).
Eco-friendly Sanitary Napkins Unit is the first in the small scale industries which are being set up at PRDC. The biodegradable sanitary napkins will be made from indigenous wood pulp material. The unit will provide employment to about 20 villagers eventually. Partial financial support for this project is provided by Wheels Global Foundation of USA and technology support has been provided by Aakar Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Under its Integrated Rural Development Project, PWS is addressing an important health and hygiene issue through the Sanitary Napkins Unit. This will definitely have a great impact on the dropout rate of girls from schools resulting in their completion of education. And as we all know an educated female plays an important role in the improvement of socioeconomic conditions of family and society.
In India, talk on menstruation is still a taboo in many parts. During the periods, a lot of restrictions are imposed on women; many a times they are not allowed to go to schools/offices/do routine work and are often confined to a place. Creating awareness on the use of hygiene pads is as important as making them available. PWS plans to form a team of women who will go from village to village creating awareness on this.