Odisha's Rourkela touched by real-life 'PadMan' Arunachalam Muruganantham’s sanitary magic
By Prasanjeet Sarkar | Express News Service | Published: 15th February 2018 02:43 AM |
ROURKELA: Real-life “PadMan” Arunachalam Muruganantham, who brought a revolution by manufacturing cheap and accessible sanitary napkins, is silently promoting menstrual hygiene in Rourkela and neighbourhood of the Steel City, mostly among tribal women.
Muruganantham has been supplying raw-materials for the locally manufactured ‘Jagriti’ brand of sanitary napkins since 2015. He was instrumental in setting up the low-cost sanitary napkin production unit set up by Deepika Mahila Sanghati (DMS), a philanthropic organisation patronised by Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP).
Under its CSR activities, RSP takes up promotion of cleanliness and hygiene and establishment of the low-cost sanitary napkin unit was one of significant steps.The napkin manufacturing unit has been ensuring that women from economically weaker section of the society adopt best menstrual practices that are healthy, dignified, affordable and eco-positive. That is not all, the unit is also a source of livelihood for six women.
Technology for this unit was provided by Muruganantham and the raw materials for the low-cost sanitary napkins are also sourced from him. Jagriti sanitary napkins are used at many places of the city and some rural pockets of Sundargarh district.A normal Jagriti sanitary napkin comes for Rs 3 while maternity napkins can be bought for Rs 4.40, which are much cheaper than the available brands in the markets.
Ask Anita Tirkey and Sunita Tirkey of Bisra block and they vouch for Jagriti sanitary napkins which come cheap, are hygienic and comfortable to use.Similarly, when Champabati Behera of Lathikata village started using the sanitary napkins, her female family members and neighbourhood girls and women too followed suit.
Making economic sense apart, the sanitary napkins are UV-ray sterilised and adhere to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms for sanitary napkins. Fully biodegradable in compostable conditions, the napkins pose no problem of disposal and ensure minimal damage to environment.The unit also supplies bulk quantities of low-cost sanitary napkins to the RSP-run Ispat General Hospital for use of patients. Some of the 50 Women Resources Centres (WRCs) of RSP are also involved in marketing of Jagriti sanitary pads at rural pockets.
This apart, the napkins are also placed for exhibition and sale at various expo and fair venues to enhance their acceptability, popularising the original PadMan’s concept.