J&K women follow 'PadMan' idea to make low-cost sanitary pads
Women of Jammu and Kashmir have started making low-cost sanitary pads with assistance from the Rural and Development department under its 'Umeed' scheme, which is aimed at empowering rural women. These women were inspired by Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented the low-cost sanitary pad-making machine, earning him the title of a social entrepreneur. Akshay Kumar starred 'PadMan' was based on Muruganantham.
The State Rural Livelihood Mission has set up a low-cost pad-making unit in the village and women from Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are making sanitary pads there. With an aim to ensure menstrual hygiene, the women are trying to keep the cost of the sanitary pads less than a third of the price of commercially available pads. Doing this is helping them secure their livelihood.
The unit was inaugurated by Rural Development Minister Abdul Haq Khan and MoS for Education Priya Sethi. Seven SHG members from Ghaghwal were trained at Muruganantham's pad-making facility in Coimbatore. The machines, too, were acquired from there. Setting up such units requires nominal investments. The products are affordable to rural women and will help them discard their traditional method of using unhygienic cloth.
Abdul Haq Khan hoped more such units would be set up to make available affordable sanitary pads and ensure better menstrual hygiene among women. Khan said the J&K government has flagged women's welfare as a priority. He said CM Mehbooba Mufti is keen to see the women of the state empowered. Meanwhile, Sethi praised state women's for overcoming odds and starting this project.