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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

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

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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