B Gopamma, the ‘Pad Woman’ of Odisha has started an initiative to enable adolescent girls and young women of local self-help groups produce sanitary napkins that have become popular in nearby areas.
When Arunachalam Muruganantham is creating waves across the country with his invention of machines producing low-cost sanitary napkins, Gopamma of Ganjam’s Markandi village is on a similar mission in Odisha.
With help from self-help group federation Divya Jyoti Mahila Vikash, she first conducted a study of the excising menstrual practices and usage of sanitary napkin products.
Shyamsundar Badker of Vatsalya Foundation, who received training under Muruganantham, helped them install the machines and train local women in producing sanitary napkins.
“We wanted to ensure better health and hygiene among rural women and adolescent girls. So we wanted to promote a sanitary napkin unit that would provide employment to women,” said Gopamma.