About the Fundraiser
When I first got my period, An awkward 13-year-old horrified and confused, though I knew that I was menstruating, I didn’t know why or how. I just knew that it was considered disgusting, felt I had done something terribly wrong and kept it a secret until I was forced, out of necessity, to confide in my mother. Looking back, I realize how awful it was to be so embarrassed about a natural process which is essential for our EXISTENCE AND CONTINUATION OF HUMAN LIFE. Although menstruation looms so large in our lives and in our wombs, I’m regularly surprised at how rarely it is openly discussed and at the reactions it generates.
In India only 12 % of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins and remaining 88% of women cannot afford sanitary napkins instead they use unhygienic substances such as Newspaper, Sand, Leaves, Mud or Unsterilized clothes/rags.
Such unhygienic practices lead to Itching,Burning,Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections,Infertility and other reproductive health complications, Cervical Cancer and even Death during child birth. Cervical cancer alone kills around 73,000 women in India every year, says the report by Cervical Cancer Free Coalition.
According to survey conducted by UNICEF
1) 80% of surveyed women store their menstrual cloth in a hidden dirty place for repeated use.
2) 40% Failed to change their cloths frequently or wash them with soap after use.They are too ashamed to wash their sanitary clothes in open and wear over soaked and dirty cloth for entire day without change.
3) 50% Failed to dry their menstrual rags outside and in full sun which is an essential condition required to kill bacteria.Lack of privacy, safety and toilets making things worst.
4) At least 1 in 5 Indian girls drop out of school due to Mensuration. Combined with a social stigma that has been handed down for generations, many girls feel too ashamed to go to school at all, with up to a quarter of schoolgirls in India leaving school when they reach puberty.
Shikoabad is a small village in Uttar Pradesh where a woman of 42 years died because she used a blouse piece as a sanitary napkin. She died of tetanus when the metal hook of the blouse entered her body.There are many such stories and surprisingly women have considered them as their fate. While talking to these women, I realized it’s not that all of them are not aware of the benefits of using napkins but still they don’t use because they cannot afford it.
Mensuration linked to shame and taboos so nobody suppose to see you disposing. Menstrual waste often thrown in rivers/ponds affecting the primary source of drinking water, or burned, affecting the air. For most women who lack household sanitation, menstruation is managed in open fields, posing safety risks. Inappropriate disposal of menstrual waste also exposes a vulnerable segment of Indian society—that is, manual scavengers, informal household waste collectors and sanitation system caretakers—to potential health risks.
There is a need of appropriate investment to ensure that disposable sanitary napkins are biodegradable to avoid adverse environmental and health effects.Conventional sanitary pads use plastic, chlorine-bleached wood pulp and chemicals. In India, pads create 150,000 tons of waste annually, most of this waste sits in landfills for 600 years, or worse, is burned- generating CO2.
My Plan is to setup a very Low Cost & completely Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin making unit in Pune and then later expand across to reach all such underprivileged women who are in dire need of help. These Napkins will be completely biodegradable and use no chemicals. “Just bury it and it will decompose,”.
This unit will produce sanitary napkins in very very affordable price around 2.5 Rs (0.039$) per napkin. Targeted to all women and young girls of the lower middle and low income strata both in urban and rural areas who cannot afford or do not have access to hygienic sanitary disposals.
“With this low costing, in just 250 Rs (i.e. 3.80 $) women will be able to buy an year’s supply of Sanitary pads for herself”.
To begin with we will provide napkins free of cost in Slums , Government Schools, Hospitals ,Construction sites, Villages and Rural areas to make people aware of the cause. Once women get use to hygiene we will ask nominal rate per napkin and that too only if they can afford it . For those who cannot afford it, we will provide them these free of cost.
We are keeping nominal rate of 2.5 Rs (0.039 $) per napkin because we want this project to self sustain and enable people to make their living out of it.
Such a low cost but How?
Millions of women around the world cannot afford sanitary napkins, mainly because they’re manufactured using expensive machinery and thus priced at a premium. Such women resort to an older and cheaper alternative – a piece of cloth or rag.
Low cost sanitary napkin production possible because of
1) No branding
2) No e-advertisement
3) Raw materials are availed from within our territory
4) Manufacturing machines are very low cost and indigenous
5) Reduce number of players involved in the supply chain – the third person to handle the product (from its inception) is the consumer.
Required Machines with production capacity of 1300* pieces/day with 4 workers in 8 hours.
1) Pulverizer 5600 RPM
2) Pulp pressing M/C
3) Pneumatic sealing machine With-wings.
4) Air Compressor
5) U V Sterilizer (STAINLESS STEEL)
6) Sealing Machine 12 inch 3 mm
7) Two Types Maternity set up
Required Raw Material
1) Wood Pulp
2) Top Layer
3) Back Layer
5) Packaging Covers
Price Fixing Per Napkin Packet, 8 napkins per packet
1) Raw Material per Napkin Packet: 10.25 Rs
2) Wastage: 0.30 Rs
3) Cost Per Napkin Packet: 10.55 Rs
4) Maximum Retail Price per Packet 21.10 RS (Approx 2.5 Rs /0.039 $ per Napkin)
Inventor of this low cost mini machine Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as Pad Man, has been accorded the recognition as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World 2014 for his accomplishments. In 2016, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the highest civilian award, by Government of India.
Help us for this effort
You can help this campaign by donating with whatever amount you can and help us spread the word about our initiative.
Just click on “Contribute Now” button in this page and give your generous donation for this cause.
Your little help can go a long way in changing the lives and providing a healthy and sanitary solution to underprivileged girls and women.
This model has potential to offer livelihood, hygiene, dignity and empowerment to women.Support us in making a revolution and lets work together and change the way we look at sanitary hygiene. Also, spread noise about this campaign amidst your friends, family and community by sharing it on Facebook, twitter & Instagram or by word of mouth! You can also use the share tools!