‘Feel Free’: A Low-Cost Sanitary Napkin That Holds Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Kolkata
Date : 7-May-2022
Kolkata: As part of its livelihood support programme for marginalised women, Muktokantho, a women’s collective in Kolkata is all set to market its first product, ‘Feel Free’ – a low-cost, eco-friendly sanitary napkin produced by the collective’s members after being trained by ActionAid Association.
Muktokantho emerged in Kolkata out of the Young Urban Women (YUW) initiative of ActionAid Association to explore ways to provide livelihood support to women living in informal worker settlements in the city.
In Kolkata, the initiative started in 2018 in ten urban localities. Today, the work has spread over to 16 urban localities, with more than 1,000 members. The YUW initiative is actively engaged across 13 cities of India.
Under the Muktokantho collective, ActionAid Association established a sanitary napkin-making training-cum-business unit with the support of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partner in November 2021.
In its first batch, 10 young women, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, learned to make sanitary napkins through the six-month-long training; developed sales and marketing skills; and received working knowledge of maintaining stocks and accounts.
“The sanitary pad-making unit is now ready to market its first product, ‘Feel Free’. It is a low-cost, eco-friendly, biodegradable, highly absorbent and sterilized product. It will be made accessible and affordable for women living in slums,” said Reshmi Ganguly, Programme Manager, ActionAid Association.
Ganguly also added that apart from marketing ‘Feel Free’, women would “spread awareness on napkin usage and would prepare the first-generation users for proper disposal of used napkins.”
ActionAid Association is an organisation working for social and ecological justice. ActionAid has been engaged with the most marginalised communities in India since 1972. In 2006, ActionAid Association was registered as an Indian organisation, governed by an independent General Assembly and a Governing Board. Together with supporters, communities, institutions and governments, we strive for equality, fraternity and liberty for all. ActionAid Association works in 24 states and two union territories, with several partners and allied organisations. ActionAid Association is part of a global federation and a full affiliate of ActionAid International, that has presence in over 40 countries worldwide.
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