Bhubaneswar: Oil marketing companies like IOCL, BPCL, HPCL under the Petroleum and Skill Development Ministry have taken a CSR initiative to set up manufacturing units of “Ujjwala” Sanitary Napkins at the Common Service Centres across Odisha. The move is expected to employ, educate and empower women in the state in addition to improving their access to feminine hygiene products. The initiative will be launched officially by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday.
Under the Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin initiative 100 local manufacturing units will be set up at Common Service Centres (CSCs) across all 30 districts, covering 93 blocks in Odisha. The cost of setting up these manufacturing units is Rs 2.94 Crores.
Each facility will have the capacity to produce 1200-2000 pads each day and will have a sterilization room to ensure that the napkins are sterilised before they are packed for consumption of rural women. The sanitary pads will be made of virgin wood pulp sheet, non-woven white sheet and a gel sheet which are all biodegradable in nature and will leave minimal carbon footprint. To keep the sanitary napkins affordable, these will be priced at Rs 40 per pack of 8 pads.
According to Petroleum and Skill Development Ministry, each manufacturing unit will employ 5 to 6 Ujjwala beneficiaries thus providing employment to nearly 600 women across all districts. “By providing women training in manufacturing and sale of sanitary napkins, this initiative not only provides them with a dignified channel to earn their livelihood but also equips them with entrepreneurial skills,” the ministry said.
As per NFHS-4 report overall use of sanitary napkins in Odisha is 33.5%. Only 42.8% of rural women between the age of 15-24 years use proper hygienic methods of protection during menstruation.