Bhubaneswar: Leading oil marketing companies (OMCs) have joined hands to set up units for manufacturing sanitary napkins at the common service centres (CSCs) across Odisha.
The Ujjwala sanitary pads will be made of virgin wood pulp sheet, non-woven white sheet and a gel sheet which are all biodegradable in nature and will leave minimal carbon footprint, the OMC officials said.
The state government had in February 2018 launched a programme for distributing free sanitary napkins to school going girls.
The Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins Initiative will be launched as a CSR initiative by the OMCs on December 30 and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is scheduled to inaugurate the initiative.
Through the initiative the OMCs will provide employment, educate and empower women while also improving their access to feminine hygiene products, the OMCs said at a joint press conference.
The training that would be given to the women in manufacturing and sale of sanitary napkins would not only provide them with a dignified opportunity to earn their livelihood but would also equip them with entrepreneurial skill, they said.
As per National Family Health Service 4 report the overall use of sanitary napkins in Odisha is 33.5 per cent. Only 42.8 per cent of rural women between the ages of 15-24 years use hygienic methods during menstruation.
Under the Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin initiative 100 local manufacturing units will be set up at the common service centres in all the 30 districts, covering 93 blocks in the state at a cost of Rs 2.94 crore, the OMC officials said.
Each facility will have the capacity to produce 1200-2000 napkin each day and will have a sterilization room to ensure that they are sterilised before they are packed for use by rural women, they said.
The CSCs would be provided with raw material enough to make 45,000-50,000 sanitary napkins.
A pack containing eight napkins will be priced at Rs 40, the OMC officials said.
Each manufacturing unit will employ five to six Ujjwala beneficiaries and the total figure would be about 600 in all districts.