Local washable sanitary pads up for sale!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Ian 5: It isn’t padding anybody’s account, nor is it an effort to boost a local institute’s fortune. If anything, it is all about women’s health and hygiene – keeping in mind that it suits every purse.
It’s all about sanitary pads (absorbent pads) being used by women when they are in their periods. Nowadays markets, including almost every rural market in Assam, are glutted with sanitary pads that are sold under various brands as ‘hygienic pads’. A question that arises is: how hygienic are such pads? Even if they are hygienic, do they suit every purse? These are serious questions as it is a proven fact that those in the market, as often as not, are very tricky. Be that as it may, let’s zero in on the very issue – sanitary pads. Such pads, branded as hygienic ones, are now sold at a wide range of prices – starting from Rs 40 per packet (each packet containing eight pieces or more) to Rs 300 per packet. Do they suit every purse, including that of the poor? They are disposable ppies. Doctors advise that such pkins cannot be used beyond 6 hours at a stretch as they have chemicals in them. It is obvious that quite a number of such ppies might have been used by a woman in each of her period. It must have burnt a hole in her pocket (purse). If any woman, for various reasons including lack of awareness, uses a pkin beyond six hours at a stretch she is fraught with the risk of getting infected. Infections may be of urine, fungal and the skin. In such cases, tightening the purse string may lead one to loosen it so as to get rid of infection.
A Guwahati-based institute – Parijat Academy – has come out with washable sanitary pads made of soft clothes that can be recycled. Students and teachers as well are busy in stitching such washable pkins at Parijat Academy, located at Pamohi near NH-37 in Guwahati. The institute has been distributing such pkins free of cost among the poor women. They sell three different categories of washable sanitary pkins – liner big size at Rs 40 apiece, sealed ones at Rs 70 apiece, and at Rs 110 per packet (each packet containing three pieces). Even as these pkins are costlier that those being sold by reputed companies in the market, the very edge it has is that it can be recycled after proper wash.
Talking to this reporter, a worker of Parijat Academy said: “Around 86 countries have centres for making washable pkins that can the recycled after proper wash. In India, we’re the first to have made such washable pkins available in the market. Even as we don’t have a wide market now, nor do we’ve our own outlets, we’re sure to make inroad into the market, sooner than later. Another edge which our pkins have over the branded ones is that we’re not using any chemicals. This has to be kept in mind that girls, who’re still to be teegers, also use such pkins. They’re tenders; we need to be very careful about making anything available in the market for use by such tender girls.”
Meanwhile, Gyecologist Manoj Baruah, Guwahati said: “Women, especially working women, are very busy nowadays. They hardly get time to make everything ready in the right hour. They mostly use anything that is readymade. The hygienic sanitary pkins from branded companies in the market are disposable ones. Most of the women depend on them for the sake of time and safety. Moreover, they are guaranteed products. The risk of infection, it is felt, is almost remote. This is not the case with washable pkins. In the event of any defect in washing it or if the wash is not proper, they may lead to infections. Infections may be of urine, fungal or of the skin.”