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Inspired by upcoming Bollywood movie, PadMan, Member of Parliament, Anurag Thakur, today announced that he is starting a campaign to ensure menstrual health and availability of inexpensive sanitary napkins in his parliamentary constituency, Hamirpur.
Thakur will seek help of self help groups and mahila mandals, to procure “inexpensive and good quality sanitary napkins” that will be made and distributed through Asha Workers to every house in the constituency. This, the parliamentarian said, “would ensure that no girl or woman is left without the basic right of access to affordable sanitary napkins.”
Thakur said that the upcoming Akshay Kumar starrer, PadMan, will send a strong message to advocate the need of using sanitary napkins.
“Taking this forward, I will ensure that all girls or women of my constituency are not deprived of the right to a healthy living,” he added.
He urged everyone to join him in the campaign and “make a difference in the lives of our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives.”
PadMan, itself is inspired by real-life hero and social entrepreneur, Arunachalam Muruganantham, from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, who invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine. He is credited for innovating grassroots mechanisms for generating awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India. His mini-machines can manufacture sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, and have been installed in 23 of the 29 states of India. He is currently planning to expand the production of these machines to 106 nations.
Commenting on initiative, Thakur said:
“It is extremely unfortunate that even today when women of our country on one hand are attaining great heights, there is still a huge chunk of girls and women who do not have access to basic health needs such as sanitary napkins.”
He noted that there are over 40% of such families who do not have access to sanitary napkins and stick to traditional methods of using old cloth, sarees, or bed sheets as sanitary napkin and in worst cases even resort to using ashes or husk sand. This in turn leads to various health hazards and serious medical complications amongst women.