New Delhi: To empower and provide employment to women inmates, a sanitary pad manufacturing unit was launched on Friday (March 8), on the occasion of International Women’s Day, at Jail number 6 of Tihar Jail in Delhi. Along with providing employment opportunity, the unit will make women inmates of jail number 6 independent as they won’t have to buy sanitary napkins from the market. The production unit costing Rs. 20 lakh has been established with the help of NGO Pahal, a Delhi based NGO working towards women empowerment and children.
Speaking to NDTV about the initiative, Sarita Sabharwal, Superintendent, Jail number 6, said,
The production unit has three machines – one each for manufacturing, sanitisation, and packaging. With the installation of the production unit, the requirement of our jail and other jails will be fulfilled and this will promote menstrual hygiene. Also, we will be selling these biodegradable sanitary napkins in the market.
The initiative also aims at addressing the flip side of using conventional sanitary pads – non-biodegradable sanitary waste. Made of Polypropylene non-woven fabric and gel sheet, these sanitary napkins made by the inmates are capable of degrading within 90 days. While women inmates of jail number 6 will get a pack of six pads costing Rs. 26 for free, other inmates and citizens will have to purchase it. The low cost, biodegradable sanitary napkins are made available in the market under the brand name ‘Fempride’.
We plan to provide Fempride sanitary napkin at subsidised rates to women belonging to other NGOs, lower income groups, self-help groups and others, said Jeetender Kumar Singh, General Secretary, Pahal.
Capable of producing 60 pads in one minute, the sanitary napkin manufacturing unit needs 10 women to run it at one go. For the same, over 350 female inmates of Jail number 6 were trained in November 2018. Giving out details, Jeetender Kumar Singh, said,
The process started last year in November. All female inmates went through a rigorous training and assessment process because we cannot employ any women. We have to keep in mind her field of interest, dedication to work, and other things. After training, the production work started to ensure the quality of the product. Formal inauguration took place on this Women’s Day.
Further talking about the pay scale, Mr Singh said, women will be paid according to the jail norms, which is Rs. 230-240 per day. With this initiative, Pahal plans to install the second unit in Jail number 16.
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.