Support the ‘pad-woman’ to distribute free affordable semi-biodegradable sanitary pads to the tribal women of India

Did you know there are 134,00000 girls are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and 72,000* females are killed every Year due to Cervical Cancer.. This is horrendous especially in the rural tribal area where the women use rags, dried leaves, old clothes in a very unsanitary manner. 80% of India's population does not use Sanitary pads because they are unaffordable. According to UNICEF, India's Millennium Development Goals called for a reduction of India’s maternal mortality rate to 109 per 100,000 live births by 2015. But according to World Bank** that number still looms at 174.

These are just a few consequences that can be attributed to poor sanitary and hygiene practices. These figures could be reduced through better provision of basic sanitation and hygiene to prevent infection and improved care.

I am Maya, till the age of 26, I used cloth for my menstrual cycle which led to infections that I still suffer from. There are many girls and women who have a similar story as mine. Some only have an infection but others might end up being cancer victims as well. Having gone through the perils of using unsanitized material for my periods, I know first hand the problems and social stigma that a young girl goes through. This also gives me the courage to stand up and do something about it so that future generations in small villages don’t face such similar challenges.

To solve this Major gap in the market, Sukarma Foundation has started a movement to distribute free affordable biodegradable Sanitary pads starting with the Tribal area of India, starting with Maya’s hometown Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh, India

Let’s dig a little deeper into this issue.

The Problem

A study by A.C Nielson and Plan India states that only 12% of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins. Hygiene-related practices of women during menstruation are considered important because it can increase vulnerability of Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI's), associated cancers and also death at childbirth. Most of the adolescent girls in villages use rags, old clothes, unsanitized cloths and in extreme circumstances newspaper, husks and dried leaves during menstruation. This increases their susceptibility to RTI's. Poor menstrual hygiene is one of the major reasons for the high prevalence of RTIs in the country and contributes significantly to female morbidity.

Additionally, young menstruating girls typically miss 5 days of school each month, leading to their academic disruption. It is believed that approximately 23% of these young girls drop out of school after the onset of their menstrual cycles.

The Plan

Plan is to set up a manufacturing facility sanitary napkins (COMPLETED TASK) that will be sold by the brand name “No TENSION” in Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh. The manufacturing facility will allow us to produce biodegradable sanitary napkins in an affordable way. A mini sanitary napkin-making machine, costing approximately Rs 4 lacs is installed. Compared to the Rs 75 lacs to Rs. 2.5 crores costing machineries used by large manufacturing companies that produce non degradable sanitary napkins that contain toxic traces of plastic, this machinery isn't only very affordable and consumes low power but also manufactures an eco friendly product.

As with any manufacturing facility, we will require a team of operators. The training will take a short time, about 3 hours and will be able to manufacture upto 120 napkins per hour. This not only shortens the supply chain but also provides an inexpensive but high quality product. There is a large and constantly expanding market, especially amongst poor and marginalized population segments for affordable sanitary napkins.

Apart from providing women with a hygienic product for their menstrual cycle, this project will also bring in employment for hundreds of unemployed/unskilled women.

Here is the Blueprint Action Plan

  1. Mark all the tribal route district in Madhya Pradesh. (Done)
  2. Appoint Point Of Contact (POC) in respected districts.
  3. Mark school and colleges from 6th grade to 12th grade also collage and girls tribal residential schools.
  4. Prepare SUV loaded with awareness printed material, projector, laptop, screen, battery, sound system, pamphlets sanitary pad and other essential materials. (SUV Arranged)
  5. 15 to 20 schools and 4 to 5 villages will be targeted in one district. Maximum girls and women will be reached out for the campaign
  6. Go on a drive creating awareness via Seminars, workshops educating the rural women about vaginal hygiene and proper use of these biodegradable pads.

Tribal Districts in Madhya Pradesh

The Route Plan

Date of Starting the Journey: 8th Feb 2018

Total Tribal Districts in Madhya Pradesh: 21

Total time of the Journey : 40 to 45 Day (Approximate)

Reach out to total school per district : 12 to 15

Total tribal village visited per district : 3 to 4

Date end of the Journey: 23 March 2018 (shaheed Diwas)

The Impact

This invention of the mini machine has helped in the local production and supply of napkins at affordable rates. This has resulted in larger usage of sanitary napkins leading to better hygiene and health standards of women:

  • About 2.5 million women have switched from using rags and old cloth to using hygienic sanitary napkins.
  • It has also provided a means of livelihood to many poor women.
  • It is expected that the usage of napkins, along with increased awareness, would reduce the incidence of women being treated as social outcasts during their menstrual cycle. This would in turn improve their sense of dignity and also help women spend their time more productively

The Inventor of the Mini Machine

The inventor of this machine, Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as Pad Man, has been accorded the recognition as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World 2014 for his accomplishments. He is in the company of the likes of Narendra Modi, Barack Obama, Serena Williams, Ronaldo, Xi Jinping, Jeff Bezos, Malala, Shinzo Abe, Beyonce, Putin, Arundhati Roy, Hillary Clinton etc., to name a few of the 100. In 2016, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the highest civilian award, by Government of India. He has also shared work with Bill Gates.

The Cost

One unit of this Sanitary Napkin making machine has seven small equipment namely De-Fiberation Machine, Soft Touch Sealing Machine, Belt Napkin Making Machine, Pneumatic Core Forming Machine, Pneumatic Core Dies and UV Treat Unit. The cost of these equipment, as of now, to run one single unit is approximately Rs. 4 Lacs. Transportation, Installation, Conveyance and Training cost shall be around 40 Thousands only.

To make Sanitary napkins, we need Core Absorbing Material, Top Layer sheet, Back Layer Sheet, Release paper and Gum. All these costs around Rs. 75,000.00 Only for the quantity which can run for a month and produce approx. 50,000 Sanitary Napkins by employing around 6 Unskilled women for one unit. The human resources cost and unit running cost will be approx. Rs. 50,000. In Rs. 1.25 Lac of running expenditure, 50,000 Napkins can be produced per unit per month.

On a No Profit No Loss Basis, cost of making one sanitary napkin is just Rs. 3.00 (Rs Three). That’s Rs. 12 for a women in a month. Through one such unit we can reach approx. 12,500 Women, assuming that a woman uses 4 napkins per month.

How can you help?

Each person can help this campaign by either making a contribution or by helping us spread a word about our initiative. Your little help can go a long way in changing the lives of many people and providing them with healthy and sanitary solutions. Support us in making a revolution!

You can make a difference today not just by entertaining yourself watching the Movie Padman, But being a part of this noble cause by helping this pad-woman to distribute free affordable biodegradable sanitary pads to the tribal women of India. Every penny contributed is a hope for a better tomorrow for these women and girls of Rural india.

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You can also form fundraising teams on here on Crowdera choosing your individual goal, be it ?50,000 or $10,000, choice is yours. You will recieve your own fundraising page in practically no time and funds will always be coming to Sukarma Foundation’s bank accounts.

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If successfully funded, this campaign will impact 13 lives

Sanitation is a basic right and necessity especially during women's menstrual cycle
There are still many women who resort to using unhygienic materials during their periods which leads to health issues that can't be reversed
Help us make sanitary napkins affordable for all women be it urban or rural
Update #3    Your Story
Update #2    ABP News
Update #1    Media is in love with our mission
Pad Woman - Cloth Free Period for Rural Women