NAMSAI, 5 Aug: NABARD General Manager Partho Saha inaugurated a sanitary pad manufacturing unit established by the NAB Foundation under the ‘My pad, my right’ programme at Alubari here on Thursday.
Funded by the NABARD, the unit, which is promoted by the ArSRLM, will be run by SHG Bandhan.
‘My pad, my right’ encourages rural women to turn menstrual hygiene into a livelihood opportunity by taking up sanitary napkin manufacturing as a livelihood project. The decentralized model will enable women to access pads locally.
The project puts utmost emphasis on enhancing rural women’s knowledge and skills in hygiene-related aspects, sanitary napkin production, and related business activities.
A three-stage capacity building programme has been designed to help women SHGs become entrepreneurs. It will equip them to undertake the production process and manage business operations.
Along with this, the project aims to bring financial stability in the form of encouraging financial tie-ups with banks for working capital from the very beginning.
Saha said that the initiative of producing sanitary pads at the local level by a women’s SHG is laudable. He urged the village women to save every month, keeping in mind their health, and buy sanitary pads.
“In rural areas, women do a lot of work from home, farming and livelihood. Change must come with time. Construction of pads at the local level by women groups will make the pads available to the rural women at a reasonable cost. At the same time, the women of the group earn a livelihood,” he said, and offered advice on providing information to teenage girls and women regarding the use of sanitary pads during their periods.
NABARD DDM Kamal Roy said that “the ‘My pad, my right’ initiative is a dream project and Bandhan SHG has been selected by looking at its interest and work by the ArSRLM.”
“A pad production machine and two months of raw materials have been given free of cost. The amount of three workers will also be given daily for 50 days. Through this, awareness will be given about cleanliness in women, and employment will be available to women SHGs,” he said.
ArSRLM BMM Juspin Karketa also spoke.