MP’s ‘Padman’: Villager sets up sanitary pad manufacturing unit

His factory now employs 15 women who also raise awareness about menstrual hygiene

sanitary pads

They say, inspiration can come from anywhere. This holds true in the case of a 37-year-old resident of Khor village who, inspired by the movie ‘Padman’ set up a sanitary napkin manufacturing unit, employing 15 women from the area.

In a bid to promote menstrual hygiene in his village and provide cheap sanitary pads, Bhupendra Khoiwal set up a manufacturing unit in his village, 15 km from the district headquarters in Madhya Pradesh. He set up the unit called Aishwarya Enterprises six months ago with an investment of Rs. 3.5 lakh.

Speaking to PTI on Thursday he said, “My family supported my idea and provided financial help for setting up a production unit, which I named after my daughter Aishwarya.”

Yet, in this virtuous initiative, he faced obstacles as he tried to convince women to work with him. He managed to get just 15 of them on board. Today, they not only help him with manufacturing and sales but also help with raising awareness on menstrual hygiene in their village.

Bharti Nagpal, one of the 15 women employed by Khoiwal, said, “We educate women about the advantages of sanitary pads and caution them about the health hazards of using cloth during mensuration.”

Khoiwal also mentioned the cost benefits of the pads saying, “These pads are economical and a packet of eight pads costs Rs 20,” he said, adding that the cost of similar products in the market is Rs 40 per packet.”Khoiwal, who has supplied nearly 50,000 pads to vendors in Bhopal, now plans to expand the facility, one of his associates said.

Neemuch district panchayat’s chief executive officer Bhavya Mittal has assured her support for this initiative.

However, ‘Padman’ has not just inspired Khoiwal. In March this year, 26-year-old Chitransh from Uttar Pradesh, set up a ‘PadBank’ for women. Under the initiative, every woman has a passbook which has her photograph and ID in the front and the months mentioned on the back. Every month they are given a pack of eight pads free of cost and the data for this distribution is maintained by Chitransh and his team. They make sure the sanitary pads reach the women before the dates of their period mentioned. If in any case, there is a delay, it is ensured that the women either call to avail the service or get pads from the centers set up – a medical center or a PadBank member’s home.

With only 18 percent of the women using sanitary pads in India, it must be a goal of the collective society to promote eco-friendly and safe menstrual protection methods for the welfare of women.


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