Menstruation is a topic that is considered a taboo in India. When most parts of the country are trying to survive the negative notions associated with it, West Bengal comes up with this!
Women would be provided with easy access to sanitary napkins across West Bengal. The vending machines called ‘Vendigo’ would be installed in schools, colleges and public spaces. This would not only provide easy access but also help to empower women and create awareness about women’s health. The project is being enacted by Robust Solution, a Kolkata-based start-up enterprise, implementing the project for HLL Lifecare, an Indian healthcare products manufacturing company based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The first Vendigo has already been installed in Bhawanipore Education Society College in Kolkata. Usually, women have to go to retail outlets or medical shops for the sanitary napkins. With these machines being installed, the sanitary pads will be available at an affordable price (three pads for Rs. 10/-) and will also save time. The good point about this is that the women who don’t have access to good quality sanitary pads will be able to use these high-quality pads and they won’t have health issues and negative side effects.
Raunak Sarawagi, founder of Robust Solutions was quoted by IANS saying “We have got the required permits from the Bengal government and, gradually, we are extending the service to other districts. Both state-run, as well as private institutions, can install the automated devices.”
Here’s the representation of the model:
The highlighting point of this initiative is that it is environment-friendly.
Sarawagi added, “We have got immense response from the leading educational institutes of our city. Our new product, sanitary napkin incinerator, burns the used napkins to ashes as disposal of used napkins is also one of the major issues affecting the environment… it’s smoke-free and easy to use.”
According to AC Nielsen report, a provider of market research, of 2011, only 12% of the total 355 million menstruating women in India use sanitary napkins. That’s quite shocking.
Just when we thought that menstruation cannot be discussed openly in our country, we have this initiative which is just mind-blowing! 🙂