Thoothukudi, August 4, 2021: Ensuring adequate access to menstrual hygiene products is a key area of concern in India, especially in rural areas where both awareness and access to such products is lacking. Coupled with a paucity of suitable income generation activities, it is challenging for women in rural areas to make independent choices about their health.
Towards bridging the gap between awareness and access to menstrual hygiene products, Sterlite Copper has set up a sanitary napkin production unit in Swaminatham village, Thoothukudi. This project is being executed in collaboration with Ms. Annalakshmi – Member, Bell Sumangali Self Help Group & Proprietor, Smiley Sumangalikal Groups.
20 women will be identified and trained as part of the program, with the best-performing trainees being inducted into the manufacturing unit as full-time employees. They can earn upto INR 350-500 per day depending on quantity of production. Upto 3150 napkins can be produced in a day by the unit, which will be made available for purchase through tenders. The partner NGO in collaboration with the village’s women will ensure training, production and sale of the finished goods, helping generate income and encourage micro-level entrepreneurship.
This project will simultaneously help in spreading awareness on the benefits of adopting hygienic practices and overcoming problems of availability and affordability of sanitary napkins to women in the area.
Launching the initiative, Ms. A Sumathi, COO, Sterlite Copper said “This is a muchneeded initiative that will help serve a key area of women’s health, and therefore be of immense benefit to the overall community. The project will also aid in further empowering rural women in Thoothukudi to make informed choices regarding their own wellbeing.”
Sterlite Copper has been actively involved in ensuring better opportunities for women in Thoothukudi through need-based community programmes. Under the ambit of the Sakhi project, multiple skill-training and income generation activities have been launched in the region. Women and Child Development remains one of the key areas of intervention at Vedanta’s community outreach programs across India. More than 15 community projects serving 48000 women are in progress at its various location, including 3100 SHGs and 250 micro-enterprises formed.