Located on the outskirts of Guwahati metro, stationed just beside the Pamohi Hills is the Parijat Academy, a school for the underprivileged. Started by Uttam Teron, the school also has a tailoring unit which was installed years back in 2008 to practice handicrafts and other textile products. It is from this place that Aimoni Tumung started to make reusable sanitary napkins since last year which gave her the tag ‘Padwoman’.
Aimoni Tumung, Assam’s Padowoman
Aimoni Tumung let me know that ‘Days for Girls’ is the organization behind the story of this product. ‘They came to us with the concept and trained us. We saw the potential of the reusable sanitary napkins and immediately started working on it. Initially, we distributed hundred napkins to some needy people in Garbhanga village and people accepted the napkins’.
Uttam Teron said, ‘The response of the people in our locality is pretty good. They are talking openly about menstrual hygiene issues and the denial to talk about it publicly has changed. We talk to the parents coming to our school and make them aware about the reusable napkins. They are inquisitive and have bought the product too.’
However, the materials used for its production (PUL) polyurethane laminate is not available locally. ‘Days for Girls supply us PUL for the napkins. The napkins are stitched using cotton and flannel cloth and made sure that it is hygienic. The napkins are advised to use for three years,’ said Aimoni Tumng.
Aiming to Provide Free Napkins
‘Amar Gusti was the first group of people who approached us for a hundred napkins. Since then many organizations have contacted us for these napkins. Presently, the price of the napkins is Rs. 80 and Rs. 110 depending upon the size,’ Aimoni said. Now they are aiming to provide ten thousand free reusable sanitary napkins to needy people in the state. But for that they will be requiring financial support. Hence, they are planning to approach those who can.
Aimoni mentioned, ‘We have trained 12 girls from our hostel who help us in stitching along with three others from our locality. We make sure that they are getting paid for the service.’ Guwahati Lions Club sponsors the salary of Jamuna Boro, one of the three girls who work in the tailoring unit. Jamuna Boro said, ‘I am happy that our reusable napkins are helping the needy, which was initially our aim.’ Uttam Teron while speaking to Eclectic Northeast said, ‘I am grateful to Goodwill Travels’ who helped me set up the infrastructure for the whole tailoring unit. It is because of them I have the place and is being able to carry out the production of reusable sanitary napkins.’
By Manjum Mahanta