Bidyanondo Foundation is a non-government organisation working to provide better services to the underprivileged. Their recent endeavour, 5 Takay Sanitary Pad, aims to spread awareness on menstrual hygiene.
Bashonti, a small garment factory owned by Bidyanondo, is currently manufacturing these pads for distribution. Providing employment opportunities to new mothers who cannot leave their children at home during work, Bashonti’s day care facilities ensure a healthy working environment with maximum output. The factory provides them lunch as well, while working.
Sanitary napkins are still seen as a luxury, and is unaffordable to many. Instead of spending this ‘extra’ money, women prefer to use old clothes, which boosts the growth of pathogens.
Long-term use of unhygienic clothes can result in fatal diseases like cervical cancer. “Moreover, they do not dry the cloth properly before reusing. This leads to the accumulation of germs” added Asma Akhter, Medical Officer at Ghior Upazila Health Complex, and an active volunteer of Bidyanondo Foundation.
They are ensuring sanitation by assembling and packaging the product, only after sterilising it with ultra-violet radiation.
The first three lakh Bashonti pads were distributed between low-income families free of cost. They are recruiting underprivileged female students as assistants who are paid as per their working hours. Almost 6-7 people are working to produce 1000 pads every day. Production of a single pad costs them BDT 7. However, they are selling the pads with a subsidy in packets of 5, costing BDT 25 per packet.
"Ignorance and fear force women to overlook basic necessities and sanitary pads are nothing less than a necessity. To eradicate this ignorance, we have begun the task of manufacturing pads in the simplest way", shared Kishor Kumar Das, the founder of Bidyanondo Foundation.
In future, they plan to set up sanitary pad vending machines across the city to make this product accessible and affordable.