Udaipur : Buying a pack of sanitary pads is considered luxury here and not a necessity. Using old scraps of cloth wasnt a durable solution with most of the women having limited sets of clothing to cover themselves for a year. So female folk in Dodawali, a tribal village in Girwa block, just 30 kilometers away from the district headquarters, managed menstruation by using ash, dust and soil to soak up their periods until few days ago.
Thanks to a group of volunteers who undertook an initiative and launched a sanitary pad bank to break taboo around the issue. Krishna Adivasi Sewa Sansthan and Talim Welfare and Social Sansthan has jointly launched a bank where the female folk can walk in anytime to take away a pack of sanitary napkins and keep themselves clean and safe during periods.
“There are organizations training women to make reusable pads. Many NGOs are running donation programs where they collect pads from donors and distribute it free among needy women but these programs are not effective in long terms and hence we came up with the idea of a pad bank which aims to build a platform between pad manufacturing company and consumers” Hemant Joshi, a volunteer associated with the drive told Udaipur Kiran. Hundred pads have been made available free of cost at the bank presently which is meant for free distribution for women who come here first time.
Valki, an uneducated woman who understands the importance of sanitation and menstrual hygiene has been handed over the task of spreading awareness and managing the pad bank. Valki holds meetings and sensitize women against the use of ash and dust to soak periods. ” Cervical cancer is caused due to use of harmful materials like dust or tree leaves. I tell the women not to use such items and try pads instead that are safe and convenient. ” a soft spoken but confident Valki says.
Nightingale Care, a Gujarat based sanitary pad making company is providing the product at a subsidized price. ” Talim Welfare is taking care of the purchase part while volunteers of Krishna Adivasi sansthan is looking at the distribution part. In the coming months, we plan to open more such banks in interior and remote blocks of the district including Jhadol, Kotra etc” Joshi added.