Satara, Maharashtra: More than 300 million women do not have access to safe and hygienic products in India, which is endangering their health, curtailing their education and putting their livelihoods at risk, say experts at the Geneva-based Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).
The problem is now being solved with the launch of the Stree Soukhya project, thanks to Mrs. and Mr. Pol’s initiative in Mohi, Maharashtra. Their project, aimed at achieving the five H’s – Health, Hygiene, Human values, Harmony in diversity, and Homes for homeless, was launched on November 4, 2013.
Women in this village faced several health issues but were not ready to discuss them openly due to lack of knowledge. The couple organized awareness workshops in Mohi, and 70 women participated. The Art of Living workshop helped them to win the hearts and trust of these women. They trained an Art of Living faculty, Amol Yewle, in making sanitary napkins.
Mrs. and Mr. Pol said, “We formed a self-help group ‘Stree Soukhya’ in November 2013. Presentations were given to girls studying in classes 8th to 12th. We distributed sanitary napkin packets to the students.” Slowly, they started understanding the importance of hygiene, and we trained women from six villages. Overall, 1000 women have benefitted from the project and several others have taken up this work as a means of employment.
Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth provided the required financial help in setting up a manufacturing unit for sanitary napkins. Now, more than 50-60 percent women have switched over to hygienic living, and are making plans to increase production and spread the knowledge.
Amol Yewle can be contacted at +91 9422400879.
Reported by Arpit Vyas.