Taking a cue from Padman Arunachalam Muruganantham’s low-cost pad-making, the women in Gagwal Jammu have started making low cost sanitary pads and the Department of Rural Development’s Umeed scheme has assisted them in making their dream come true.The State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) has installed low-cost pad making unit at Gagwal Jammu and the women from Self Help Groups of this block will manage the whole process of making sanitary pads and its marketing.Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan and Minister of State for Education Priya Sethi on Thursday formally inaugurated the unit and it has now started its operations.With an aim to ensure menstrual hygiene by selling the sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, the women will not only sell the sanitary pads to the women at low cost but also earn their livelihood from the business.On the occasion the Ministers were informed that RDD trained about seven members of Self Help Groups at Arunachalam Muruganantham’s Pad-making industry in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and also acquired the machines from there.The Ministers were further informed that the investment in the unit is nominal and the product price will be affordable to the rural women especially women belonging to economically weaker sections and it will them to discard their traditional method of using unhygienic cloth and switchover to these low-cost sanitary pads.
The ministers were further informed that the making and marketing of the product will be done by women members of SHGs that will help them to earn their livelihood.Earlier while interacting with the members of SHGs, Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq said the SHGs are a useful platform to enhance women's health through increased knowledge and awareness on health issues, and financial security during health emergencies etc. He expressed satisfaction over the functioning of the unit and hoped that more such units will be established in other areas to make these products available to women at lower cost for ensuring better menstrual hygiene.He said the State Government has flagged women’s welfare as a priority area and efforts are being made to achieve the targets in this regard. He said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is keen to see the women of state empowered and many welfare schemes have been launched in this regard to ensure women empowerment.Minister of State Priya Sethi while interacting with the women also praised them for overcoming all odds and starting earning their livelihood besides helping other people also to earn.She said the empowerment of women is imperative for the development of the society and that the government is committed to facilitate the women to improve their living standard.She said making women economically independent is the prime endeavor towards women empowerment and that SRLM has been active in this regard to help the women folk. She said the Government has launched many schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of women of the State.MLA Hiranagar Kuldeep Raj and Additional Mission Director SRLM Kapil Sharma were also present on the occasion.