New Delhi: The year 2018 ended on a good note for Odisha’s 2.25 crore women, thanks to the ‘Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin’ initiative in Bhubaneswar launched by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan on December 30. The scheme has two primary objectives to improve accessibility to basic hygiene product – sanitary pads and create employment opportunity to women. The idea of uplifting women through health and employability is being put into action by oil marketing companies, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity.
Explaining the need to promote the use of sanitary napkins, Mr Pradhan quoted National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report, which states only 33.5 per cent of women of the state use pads during menstruation.
In the first phase of the campaign, oil marketing companies like Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) will set up 100 manufacturing units at the Common Service Centres (CSC), covering 93 blocks in 30 districts of the state. The estimated cost of the initiative is Rs 2.94 crore.
Each center will have the facility to produce 1,200 to 2,000 eco-friendly sanitary napkins every day. The sanitary pads will be made using virgin wood pulp sheet, non-woven white sheet and a gel sheet, all biodegradable in nature, leaving minimal carbon footprint. A pack of eight 8biodegradable pads will be priced at Rs. 40.
Launching the initiative, Mr Pradhan said,
At least 10 women will be able to get employment at each centre. Four to five of them will be engaged in the process of manufacturing the napkins and the rest for selling the product. The project will not only provide the rural women with a dignified means to earn their livelihood but also arm them with entrepreneurial skills.
Inauguration of Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin manufacturing units in Odisha. https://t.co/3flyLqoZEc
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) December 30, 2018
This is not the first time Odisha government has come up with a scheme to encourage hygienic practices among women during periods. Last year on February 26, Odisha government launched ‘Khushi’, a scheme to provide free sanitary napkins to government and government-aided schools across the state and benefit approximately 17 lakh girls.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
With inputs from PTI