Mumbai: Ahead of World Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, Mata Amritanandamayi Math on Tuesday held an awareness workshop regarding reusable sanitary pads to make menstrual hygiene sustainable.
The organisation has also achieved the feat of developing ‘Saukhyam’, reusable sanitary pads made from banana tree fibre.
According to a report by the organisation, if every woman and girl of menstruating age in India were to use modern disposable sanitary pads, 38,500,000,000 used pads would be discarded every month.
Each of these pads would take 500-800 years to bio-degrade because each pad is 90 per cent plastic. Also, reusable pads cost only one-tenth the amount if the recurring cost of disposables is considered.
Anju Bist, co-director of Amrita Self Reliant Village Program run by the Math and ‘Saukhyam’ founder, said, “Disposal sanitary pads is mainstream and it has to be changed, reusable pads should be made more popular so that the environment can be protected.”
Viewing reusable sanitary pads from health aspect, she further said that such pads should be introduced to young women first so that they can build a healthy and nature friendly habit from the start.
“The government should include reusable pads in their free sanitary schemes to girls which will help in promoting it,” she suggested.
Gynaecologist Dr Radhamani K said, “The reusable pads are thin, light, easy to use and eco friendly. It should be introduced to young girls from the age of 10 and above. The reusable cups can be used by women of an reproductive age but for young ones, as a starter pack, the reusable pads should be introduced. They can wash it, dry it and use it.”
The medico urged that the menstrual subject shouldn’t be considered taboo and parents should provide an area for drying the pads for their girls.
“These things should be talked about, the whole family has to be educated on these topics,” the gynaecologist added.
Sharing her experience about using reusable pads, Khar resident Shreya Gupta said, “Reusable pads have made my life easier and guilt free because disposing at least 15 pads every month is so toxic to the environment.”