After a training module from 24-26 May, a webinar was organised by social activist Padwoman Renu Mathur, who is an official spokesperson for the NGO Nanhe Kadam and is associated with many women empowerment activities. Addressing the issue of sustainability, Renu Mathur taught key volunteers how to make reusable pads from old fabric available at home, through a virtual training session.
Connecting with volunteers from Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Bhatinda, and Panchkula, online, she elucidated on how to stitch cloth pads.
Considering the adverse repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially on the rural population of the country, the idea behind the webinar was to go back to the roots and delve out an organic course to deal with menstrual hygiene in a sustainable way.
"When we went to the rural areas, it was found that women would use old clothes and that's not ideal for the reproductive health of a woman. It is imperative that the cloth pad is stitched in a way that is not only neat but also hygienic so as to avoid unnecessary staining and can also be washed, reused, and disposed of in an environmentally safe way," she said.
Talking about the sustainable aspect of a reusable cloth pad, she added, "Firstly, these pads can be reused. You only need to stitch about 5 or 6 and they can last for about 6 months. Second, it is cost-effective, which is a boon for rural women, who are already suffering the financial blows of the pandemic."
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Preeti, Manisha and Shruti from Rajasthan feel great to be able to learn a skill and help those in need. Meera, Shashi and Pallavi from Delhi will add this skill to their efforts of teaching children. Rinkle from Punjab, Neeru, Seema from Chandigarh and Renu Goyal from Haryana were part of this project.
All women who were part of the seminar shared ideas on how they will disseminate information to rural/underprivileged women around them. Renu Mathur shared that she and her team are proud to contribute and be foot soldiers of the sanitary pad revolution in India.