Women in Chhattisgarh’s restive pockets under the shadow of Maoist terror are engaged in a different war; manufacturing sanitary pads to combat social stigma attached to menstrual hygiene in the remote areas.
Dantewada, the district infamous across the globe for deadly Maoist violence, is writing a new script of women empowerment and development. The women self help groups (SHGs) in the district were becoming not only self-sufficient by availing the benefits of different schemes floated by the government but also working for the social cause in the areas that was once totally cut off from the main stream of the society.
The women SHGs have taken up the task to manufacture low-cost sanitary pads. Besides supplying it in the interior areas where the Left extremists had considerable dominance, the members were also creating awareness among the girls and women to enhance the poor coverage of sanitary campaign in the interior areas.
“Ten SHGs are associated with the project in the district,” Nikita Markam, Chairperson of Nayi Disha Women's SHG, said. The group had taken a loan of Rs 3 lakh initially through bank linkage to start the project. The loan had been repaid,” Nikita said.
Member of Maa Danteshwari SHG, Anita Thakur said each member earn Rs 4 to 5 thousand every month from the sanitary pad making in the district.