In tribal schools near Araku, Puducherry the girl students have switched to using reusable eco-friendly cloth napkins. Their aim is to end the pollution caused by used sanitary pads that are dumped in the landfills. Called Pad4Pad programme the initiative aims for a cleaner environment.
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According to The India Times, 720 kits have been distributed across three villages of Araku mandal. Each kit contains four reusable cloth pads. As far the plan, they aim to circulate the kits among another 2,000 girls in coming months. And they want to take this initiative to pan India by February 2018.
These kits are being donated free of cost by Ecofemme a social enterprise based in Auroville. They have been handing over cloth pads for the past 10 months now. The sanitary pads last for over two years, making it a cost-saving venture for the girls. So instead of decomposing the pads, one can use the product again and again.
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When asked Nikethana Venkatesan, facilitator and trainer, not for profit team, Ecofemme, said, “These reusable cloth pads are sold to over 24 countries and from the profit, underprivileged girls are given these environment-friendly pads. Traditional wisdom has gone into the making of these cloth pads.”
The idea was to start with the rural girls as they lack the basic facility to live a healthy and hygienic life.
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“If on an average, a girl uses 100-120 sanitary napkins in 12 months, each of these pads take 500-800 years to completely disintegrate into the earth because the pads are made of compressed cotton containing various chemicals and are packed in plastic packets. Therefore, if 2,000 students use cloth pads, it can prevent around 2 lakh to 2.4 lakh sanitary pads from being added to the garbage burden on the earth,” explained Venkatesan.
Since its inception, this Pad4Pad programme is receiving praise from the students as well as from the environmentalists.
We hope soon this campaign takes a nationwide leap and makes all sanitary products eco-friendly.
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