Chennai: The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) added yet another feather to its decorated cap inaugurating on Wednesday a sanitary napkin production centre to cater to the needs of 150 women under treatment in the hospital.
The five units with necessary machinery have been set up at a cost of Rs.4 lakh, which has been donated by Lennox International. Explaining the procedure, IMH director Dr P Poornachandrika said, "Raw materials, such as cotton and cloth, are pulverised in a pulveriser machine. Then the fluffed pulp is weighed and placed in a tray that is machine-pressed. Each unit can produce six napkins at a time, which are packed into a pouch pad and sealed".
"There is also a plan to coordinate with the government for supplying napkins for sale outside depending on demand," Poornachandrika added.
Ten women inmates were trained to operate the machines ry and manufacture the napkins. The underlying reason is also to engage them in a productive way by training in a profession. Inmate Jayanthi, aged 50, said the work has been a true stress buster. "I enjoy working at the centre, as it makes us feel a purpose," she said.
It also serves the purpose of rehabilitation by creating awareness of the importance of menstrual hygiene to the inmates. It may be noted that the 250-year-old institution has 900 inmates: 500 men and 400 women. The institution teaches bakery, embroidery and gardening to the inmates, as part of the treatment.