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How Did A Jharkhand District End Up Growing 5,000 Trees Through An Initiative To Promote Safe Use Of Sanitary Pads?

It started off as a way to educate girls about how to safely dispose of used sanitary pads and make the girls take responsibility for their sanitary waste, But now NGO Nischay’s campaign, ‘Ek Pad, Ek Ped’ has taken a life of its own

How Did A Jharkhand District End Up Growing 5,000 Trees Through An Initiative To Promote Safe Use Of Sanitary Pads
Highlights
  • Ek Pad, Ek Ped campaign was started on June 5, 2020 in Jharkhand
  • The campaign covers 11 blocks of East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand
  • Every girl is asked to plant a sapling during every menstrual cycle

New Delhi: The COVID-19 induced lockdown was a period of hardship for many but it also painted a beautiful picture of the environment – clear blue sky, birds chirping on lush green trees, low levels of pollution and clean water bodies. Though the impact of COVID-19 on the environment was short term, the message it gave out was loud and clear – the environment is the basis of life and it is about time we protect it. Taking this lesson from COVID-19 forward, Tarun Kumar, Secretary, Nischay, a Jamshedpur based organisation that works for women, children and rural development, started a campaign called ‘Ek Pad, Ek Ped’ (one sanitary pad, one tree) in East Singhbhum district of the state.

Also Read: Menstrual Hygiene Day: Access To Sanitary Napkins Getting Worse During The COVID-19 Lockdown

Talking about the idea behind the campaign, Tarun Kumar said,

NGO Nischay has been promoting menstrual hygiene among girls and women for almost four years now. Firstly, in rural areas, girls and women are not ready to talk about menstrual hygiene and use sanitary napkins. Secondly, there is a lack of awareness about the disposal of sanitary waste. Girls, who use sanitary pads, dispose of the waste openly in the village or lakes which pose a threat to the environment. To educate girls about safe disposal practices and make them take responsibility for their sanitary waste, we started a campaign called ‘Ek Pad, Ek Ped’ last year on the World Environment Day.

Also Read: Jamshedpur Based NGO Addresses The Menstrual Needs Of Rural Girls During Coronavirus Lockdown

As per Menstrual Hygiene Management National guidelines, ‘safe disposal’ means ensuring that the process of destruction of used and soiled materials is done without human contact and with minimal environmental pollution. According to the guidelines, Mr Kumar and his team of volunteers educate rural girls about on-site disposal that includes burying sanitary waste for decomposition and burning the soiled napkins. Further elaborating on the waste disposal practices, 18-year-old Supriti Kisku, a volunteer at NGO Nischay said,

Ideally, both the on-site disposal practices are not very environment friendly as usually the pads are made of cellulose but in rural areas, these are the only options available. But if we are harming the environment in one way, it is also our responsibility to safeguard it in another way and the easiest way to do it is by planting more and more trees.

Also Read: Safe Mensuration A Basic Human Right Remains Elusive For Many Women Like Rajasthan’s Sabu Devi

Mr Kumar also said that NGO Nischay tried to install electric incinerators in some of the schools in the district but due to lack of funds, the project couldn’t cover all the schools. NGO is now trying to install incinerators at a community level.

As part of the campaign, Mr Kumar and his team of volunteers often distribute a sapling along with a packet of sanitary napkins and urge girls to plant a tree during every menstrual cycle. Further talking about how the team ensures that girls not only plant a sapling but also nurture it, Baidnath Hansda Musabani, one of the volunteers said,

We have village level volunteers who go, meet girls and check their plants. Often girls share pictures of their plant over WhatsApp. The idea is that every girl should plant at least one tree a month but even if they plant 5-6 in a year, together they can make a huge difference in making their village and district clean and green.

The project is being implemented under the guidance of Padma Shri Jamuna Tudu, working towards preventing illegal felling of trees in Jharkhand since 1998. Ms Tudu also asserted that since currently there is no safer alternative available for disposal of sanitary waste, the least we can do is to increase the green cover and reap its benefits.

Also Read: Swachh Warrior: A Surat-Based Couple Is Making Sanitary Pads Using This Unusual Biodegradable Material

Mr Kumar informed that so far around 5,000 saplings of native trees like Mango, Guava, Neem, Papaya, among others have been planted. Some of the girls have also taken up kitchen gardening as part of the campaign which in turn can result in their improved nutrition levels, added Mr Kumar.

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) for the year 2015-16, 66.6 per cent of the women (15-49 years) in East Singhbhum are anaemic. The prevalence of anameia among women is more in rural areas of the district than urban areas. Talking about the same and their campaign, Mr Kumar said,

The issue of poor nutrition and anaemia prevail among the intervention district. Due to space constraints in some of the villages and houses, we are promoting kitchen garden as well. We believe that girls and their families will benefit from it.\

Also Read: Women Of Jharkhand’s Simdega District Are Tackling Menstrual Waste By Practising Plastic Free Periods

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,10,35,501Cases
22,18,42,204Active
3,39,98,278Recovered
51,95,019Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,10,35,501 and 51,95,019 have died; 22,18,42,204 are active cases and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 3:39 am.

India

3,45,72,523 8,774Cases
1,05,6911,328Active
3,39,98,278 9,481Recovered
4,68,554 621Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,72,523 confirmed cases including 4,68,554 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,05,691 and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,612 507

11,905 248

64,80,799 738

1,40,908 17

Kerala

51,29,359 4,741

49,152 957

50,40,528 5,144

39,679 554

Karnataka

29,95,285 322

6,783 143

29,50,306 176

38,196 3

Tamil Nadu

27,24,731 740

8,382 36

26,79,895 765

36,454 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,446 248

2,158 5

20,55,856 253

14,432

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,373 5

86 5

16,87,377 9

22,910 1

West Bengal

16,14,152 701

7,820 27

15,86,882 717

19,450 11

Delhi

14,40,834 27

290 11

14,15,448 37

25,096 1

Odisha

10,48,492 264

2,222 6

10,37,864 255

8,406 3

Chhattisgarh

10,06,733 27

326 7

9,92,814 20

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,741 26

187 13

9,45,599 13

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,382 28

291 17

8,16,999 45

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,120 23

112 9

7,82,480 14

10,528

Haryana

7,71,654 11

159 1

7,61,441 10

10,054

Bihar

7,26,212 3

39 6

7,16,510 9

9,663

Telangana

6,75,479 160

3,545 11

6,67,946 148

3,988 1

Assam

6,16,435 123

2,720 71

6,07,624 189

6,091 5

Punjab

6,03,190 17

313 22

5,86,284 39

16,593

Jharkhand

3,49,216 20

109 0

3,43,967 20

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,183 14

150 6

3,36,626 8

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,386 149

1,724 5

3,30,189 141

4,473 3

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,941 82

809 18

2,22,287 97

3,845 3

Goa

1,78,839 40

275 9

1,75,183 31

3,381

Mizoram

1,34,279 358

4,117 110

1,29,672 466

490 2

Puducherry

1,28,860 35

326 5

1,26,662 30

1,872

Manipur

1,25,117 19

673 1

1,22,474 18

1,970 2

Tripura

84,784 13

89 9

83,874 3

821 1

Meghalaya

84,414 20

308 27

82,635 44

1,471 3

Chandigarh

65,443 5

52 4

64,571 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,269 9

37 4

54,952 5

280

Sikkim

32,211 4

114 5

31,694 9

403

Nagaland

32,100 4

135 1

31,269 5

696

Ladakh

21,494 27

249 6

21,032 21

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

28 1

10,315 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,680 2

5 2

7,546

129

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