The Central govt. of India has launched the Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins Initiative for women in Odisha. Under this scheme, all the women will get access to hygiene products along with employment opportunities in every district of the state. This scheme of Union govt. will be a counter of the state-run Khushi Scheme in which govt. provides free sanitary napkins to female students of govt. and govt. aided schools in the state.
In the 1st phase of the Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin Initiative, oil marketing companies will set up around 100 local manufacturing units. OMCs will setup these units at common service centers (CSCs) across 93 blocks in 30 districts in Odisha. Common Service Centres (CSCs) are facilities that are set up to deliver govt. e-services in rural and remote locations.
As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report, the overall usage of sanitary napkins in Odisha is 33.5% which is quite low. So, the central govt. wants to make usage of sanitary napkins into a mass movement.
Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins Initiative by Central Govt.
The central govt. has started the Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin initiative to promote hygiene and providing job opportunities to women. Each manufacturing unit would be set up at approx. cost of Rs. 2.94 crore. Each pack will comprise of 8 sanitary pads for which the cost is Rs. 42 per pack. Moreover, each manufacturing unit will employ 5 or 6 Ujjwala beneficiaries. So, this initiative will provide employment to nearly 600 women across all the districts.
All the women will first receive training in the manufacturing and sale of sanitary napkins. This initiative will provide opportunities for women to earn between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 15,000 per month. This scheme is going to make women self-reliant as the previous measures of distributing money to women through revolving funds is insufficient.
Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins Initiative will raise the overall usage of sanitary napkins in women and will promote women’s hygiene. This initiative will provide an opportunity for all the ujjwala beneficiaries to earn in poor and rural areas. Now such ujjwala scheme beneficiaries can earn in the hours saved from no longer having to cook on firewood.
At each center, around 5 women would be involved in the production and another 5 in marketing. Around 35 lakh women have been benefited by Ujjwala Yojana and now this number could reach up to 45 lakh women. Each facility can produce between 1200 to 2000 pads per day.
Sanitary pads would be made from biodegradable substances like virgin wood pulp sheet, non-woven white sheet, and a gel sheet. Moreover, sterilization rooms would be set up at units to ensure that the products are packed in a hygienic manner.