THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Suvidha’, the oxo-biodegradable napkins launched by Central Government on the eve of International Women’s Day, are not yet available across the counters in the state. Following several protests regarding GST, the Central Government had launched Suvidha priced at Rs 2.50, to deal with sanitary waste management as well as the feasibility. As the product prolongs to hit the pharmacies, people look out for more viable options.
“The initiative lacked the required logistics, and personally I think the only reason the consumer would be open to the idea would be due to its cost-effectiveness. Awareness regarding the right disposal techniques still hasn’t reached the masses.” says a pharmacist, who has been closely following the campaigns related to menstrual hygiene. ‘Aarthava Yaanam’, Green the Red, #ThePadEffect, being a few among them who have been advocating for a healthy switch to protect the environment and oneself through the non-chemical options.
“Healthier options such as cups and cloth pads haven’t penetrated much among the masses as many pharmacies still don’t sell these products. Mainstream media very rarely cover these topics as well, so awareness remains at the ground level.” says Kavya Menon, a menstrual hygiene activist based in Chennai. Having participated in the Aarthava Yaanam campaign that was spread across various cities in Kerala including Trivandrum, she says that the response of people towards the topic is quiet positive and once they are educated about the contents of a conventional pad and their effects, they will be more open to other options.
Delhi-based Priyanka Jain, founder of ‘Hygiene and You’ and an active member in the ‘Green the Red’ campaign says “Bio-degradable is surely a better option than the marketed sanitary pads, but they aren’t the best of the options, since it all ends up in vain if not disposed the right way. People would still wrap it in plastic bags and dispose which brings down the whole point of decomposing”. Periods should be as normalised a topic as pregnancy is, and educating children about healthier products should go on from schools to a Medical Practitioners consultations, according to her.