Even though the lockdown is lifted, many have lost their livelihood and are barely able to make ends meet. Women,thus, are finding it hard to purchase sanitary pads and maintain menstrual hygiene. But thanks to a workshop that some of them had attended, they were able to make pads at home. “In this time of crisis, everyone is making pads at home. This gets us some money, and the need for pads is also fulfilled,” says Divya who lives in Kusumpur Pahari, a slum area in Delhi.
And Pushpa Bhau Khokane from Belaj in Maharashtra feels empowered, too. She says, “There isn’t any shop to buy pads here. When we produce them, we help other women and also earn something.” The WASH project by NGO Humans for Humanity conducts workshops to help women deal with period related problems. Anurag, founder of the project, says, “We also provide workshops on making pads at home. Our volunteers, along with research scholars and gynaecologists, discuss personal hygiene, ways to use and dispose the napkins and other issues with women.”
While many women have become self-reliant, others are provided sanitary pads. Maya Vishwakarma, also known as the Pad Woman of India, has been working to break the stigma around menstruation in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. “I was providing pads to the tribal women in the Narsinghpur district. Then, we distributed 1,000-1,500 grocery kits that included sanitary pads, among migrant women, too,” she says. Deep Bajaj, an entrepreneur, also distributed over 1,300 biodegradable pads in Delhi’s Mukandpur after partnering with Khushii, an NGO.