Using Waste Cloth and Towels, 4 Rajkot Schoolkids Created Reusable Sanitary Pads for Women. The Better India, May 24, 2017.
To shatter taboos surrounding periods and promote menstrual hygiene, a group of friends in Rajkot designed an affordable DIY pad using waste cloth and taught women in nearby slums and villages how to make them. The project won the Disney Innovation Award in the ‘Large Impact’ category at the ‘I CAN Awards 2014’ organised by Design for Change.
A group of boys and girls at the Galaxy School in Rajkot, Gujarat realised that, even within their close circle, they were uncomfortable discussing the topic of periods openly.
On probing this deep-seated issue, they stumbled across a report by AC Nielsen stating that a mere 12 % of Indian women use pads, while an overwhelming 88 % use unhygienic materials like ash, sand, and husk during their menstruation.
Poor menstrual hygiene leads to the spread of infections and risk of cervical cancer, with 70 % of reproductive diseases in India originating from this. This worrying situation bothered the students.
Digging deeper to understand why this is such an issue, the students spoke to 70 women in their community and discovered that many cannot afford to buy pads at all.
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