When women do not have adequate access to sanitary pads and hygiene facilities, they are at risk of contracting contagious infections. The fifth leading cause of death among women worldwide is a lack of access to menstrual hygiene.
On any given day, around 800 million women in the world go through ‘that time of the month’. For a long time, women were embarrassed to talk about periods and sanitary pads. We have observed women carry sanitary pads in A BLACK PLASTIC BAG because of social stigma.
The causes of an ominous situation are lack of understanding, availability, and affordability, not to forget about the disposal issues as well. This is also compounded by the cultural taboo against menstruation, which considers menstruating women to be ‘impure.’
However, to bring change in the norms, Mad4India lists 7 Sanitary Pads that have revolutionized the healthcare industry in India.
1. Anandi Pads
Women in rural sectors have been conveniently using leaves and cloth as a measure for menstrual hygiene.
Aakar is a social enterprise that helps women in rural areas to produce and distribute 100% compostable sanitary pads within their community. Aakar aims to entrust and improve the living precepts of deprived women by providing them with sanitary pads at a negligible price.
Aakar innovations have developed Anandi pads that serve as low-cost sanitary pads (8 Pads In Rs. 20 especially for those belonging to the economically weaker section). This solves the major issue as poor women can not afford expensive pads. Additionally, these pads are accessible as well as biodegradable.
This made-in-India innovation truly believes that women empowerment is only possible when equal opportunities are created.
To order sanitary pads from Anandi, click here. Anandi 15 XL Pads @ Rs. 299
Conventional pads and tampons have had adverse effects on women’s health. These products have exposed them to toxic chemicals like absorbent gels, polymers, and bleach.
These concerns have impelled Tanvi Johri and Rikshav Borah to launch a line of sanitary napkins and panty liners that are safe for women as well as the environment. Made up of corn starch and bamboo fibres this reduces the time taken by conventional pads to decompose, I.e 800 years to just 12 months.
Carmesi is a Spanish word meaning ‘red’. For decades, A generic pad is displayed in advertisements as blue liquid being dropped on cotton cloth. Carmesi challenges this closed concept of periods being termed dirty or something women should be ashamed of. Carmesi pads revamp the traditional napkins and give in all-natural chemical-free pads.
Buy Carmesi Eco-conscious Sanitary Pads @ Rs.17
3. Sakhi Biodegradable Sanitary Pads
A small help group with the name of “Saheli” from Pilgao village of Goa became the frontrunner in promoting menstrual sanitation and hygiene.
These sanitary napkins are a ‘Saheli’ for women as well as mother earth. These pads decompose within 8 days, which is 1200 times quicker than plastic pads.
Sanitary pads are generally disposed of in a dry dustbin or through mixed waste which poses problems not only in landfills but also to the sanitation staff.
Jayshree Pawar, the face of ‘Saheli’, started an initiative under the brand name ‘Sakhi’ biodegradable sanitary pads. These pads contain pine wood paper, silicon paper, butter paper, and cotton. The UV radiated pads further help to kill germs.
The self-help groups aren’t just distributing these pads for low cost but also educating young girls about menstrual hygiene and sanitation.
Buy Sakhi Bio-Degradable Sanitary Pads from Amazon
Most women continue to believe that pads contain cotton. While only 5% of cotton material is used in pads while 90% of it is plastic.
While some large MNCs have started opting for efforts to reduce the use of plastics and harmful chemicals, there is one player that has been contributing to the cause in a different way.
Saathi Pads was founded in 2014 by four engineers namely from the universities of MIT, Harvard, and Nirma. The firm believes in environmental sustainability and has made considerable efforts in urban and rural areas. The founders along with its team have been educating women about the negative impact of using cloth pads.
Buy Saathi Pads from their website
The seed of eco femme sprouted when they were confronted by the sanitary waste situation. Having started in the year 2010 the journey took time because the products were based on regressive trials and interviewing parents.
The women-led social enterprise is based in Tamil Nadu and produces washable pads, provides menstrual health education, and opens dialogue on menstruation all along the way.
The brand reaches out to people around the world, promoting trivial menstrual practices that are healthy, dignified, affordable, and ecological.
Buy Sanitary Pads from Ecofemme Starter Kit – Natural Organic (4 Pcs) @ Rs. 870
A Shark Tank Wonder, Peesafe was commercially launched in 2013 as Safetykart.
It was during a trip from Gurgaon to Gujarat that the Founder and Executive Director of Pee Safe – wife of Vikas Bagaria – fell ill and had to be hospitalized. She was later diagnosed with Acute Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) after using a public toilet. And that is where Srijana and Bagaria came up with the idea of making a product that can be sprayed to kill germs and reduce the chances of UTI in women.
Pads from Peesafe are made of breathable fabric to ensure a comfortable and safe experience for your menstrual cycle. These pads prevent any type of bite or rash that is usually caused by the use of plastic pads
Buy Sanitary pads from Peesafe – Reusable Sanitary Pads @ Rs. 399
A financial consultant quit her job, ventured into a personal hygiene sector only to fight social taboos, and set up an organic pad manufacturing firm, HeyDay.
Cervical cancer, yeast infection, allergies, and painful periods are all causes of wearing conventional pads. Taking up all the challenges to revolutionised the health care industry, Deepanjali (Founder) established an all-natural personal care brand of sanitary pads that provide a comfortable menstrual experience.
The products are completely made up of plant-based fibers of corn and bamboo that takes care of all the irritation and sensitivity.
But Heyday sanitary pads @ Rs. 17.86 per unit
Menstrual health can be achieved not only by smart and safe products but also by a change in attitude and behavior towards better hygiene, which we must work together against the social norms and patriarchal programs.
If you loved reading this article about sanitary pads, click here to read more about Padbank, a program under Pinkishe Foundation, is providing free sanitary pads to women from rural India