By Nitesh R Pradhan | May 10, 2019
The North East Rural Livelihood Project, Sikkim in collaboration with Eco Femme, Tamil Nadu has come up with eco-friendly alternative Sanitary Cloth Pads.
This was possible when Self Help Groups of NERLP South Sikkim were given training on stitching, production as well as education aspect of the project by partner agency Eco Femme, a social enterprise from Auroville, Tamil Nadu, informs District Project Manager (South),NERLP, Bishal Mukhia.
The project is under Science and Technology Interventions in the North East Region [STINER] Initiative of the Central Government funded by Ministry of DoNER, Government of India conducted and facilitated by EcoFemme, NERLP, South Sikkim and RuTAG, IIT.
The branding,packaging, pricing and quality checking is done by Sikkim Pragatisheel Nari Cooperative Society promoted by NERLP and very soon the product will hit the markets in Sikkim under the already established brand name "Ramroo" Sanitary Cloth Pads. At present, the production unit is at the office of SPNCS situated at Nandugaon,South Sikkim.Two more production units at Ravangla and Yangang run by SHGs are in the pipeline.
Ramroo Sanitary Cloth pad is not just good for the environment but also takes into consideration women's reproductive health and comes at a pocket friendly price. It has been used and tested by a number of SHG women in Sikkim and has received a good response. Reusable pads keep a lot of disposable products out of landfills. Hence these Cloth pads are better for environment as well. Reusable Cloth Pads last much longer and stand up to multiple uses.
District Medical Superintendent, Dr Adhikari, Namchi District Hospital also visited the unit on March 8, 2019 to inspect the product produced in the SPNCS Office at Nandugaon, Jorethang Block. The feedback by the doctor has been very positive and a certification from the Health Department is also in the pipeline, it was informed.
SPNCS is a Social Enterprise where business and social responsibility will go hand in hand.
"When you will invest in Ramroo Pads you are doing more than just buying another menstrual product. Our Cloth Pads are stitched by women SHG members enabling them to earn a better living," says Bishal Mukhia.
Furthermore, he adds that the purchases will support our outreach programmes which provide menstrual health education and free and subsidized pad to economically disadvantaged adolescent girls and women.
NERLP has been instrumental in bringing many small scale industries in Sikkim including a cutting tailoring unit at Jorethang and Yangang, handloom unit at Namchi, Food processing unit at Melli, Phenol and soap making unit at Ravangla.
More than 15000 women are members of the Sikkim Pragatisheel Nari cooperative society limited promoted by NERLP.