India, West Bengal: hygiene matters – self-help group manufactures cheap sanitary napkins

For several communities in India, menstruation is an excuse to treat women as `untouchables’ for seven days a month, and denied the right to participate in social customs. But women in the backward Purulia district of West Bengal have managed to destroy taboos related to the monthly cycle through a project that aims at providing better sanitation and hygiene. It also allows some women to earn money.

[...] “We belong to poor families. With low water levels in this district, income from farming is minimal. We could not afford the Rs 80-100 needed for napkins. Also, our parents would have found the whole idea indecent, decadent,” [Kalpana Kuiri, 31] says.

[...] Then last year in June [2007], the District Rural Development Cell (DRDC) and UNICEF jointly mooted a proposal for a sanitary napkin production centre at Purulia to provide cheap sterilised napkins and advocacy on personal hygiene. [...] “I started making about Rs 1,500 a month from my work at the centre. The other women then started asking me how they could join in. Even their husbands became interested. They were willing to overlook the `menstruation’ aspect for the income,” recalls Mita Das, 31, of Chapuri village, one of the first to join the project. The sanitary napkin production centre revolutionised the social perception of personal hygiene in the district.

[...] Each month, the 30 women work on the two sterilisation machines to produce about 900 sanitary napkin packets. Besides retailing, the centre supplies napkins for hospitals, schools and SHGs.

[...] The women, who were trained in Chennai, have not limited themselves to sanitary napkins. As a step ahead, they have now started production of District Dai Kits (DDK) for hospitals and midwives.

Source: Ajitha Menon, Women’s Feature Service / The Hindu Business Line, 05 Dec 2008

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58 responses to “India, West Bengal: hygiene matters – self-help group manufactures cheap sanitary napkins

  1. This is a wonderful project, having atwo fold effect . A hygenic intervention with lively hood generation. It also supports phasing out plastic napkins, an environmental hazard.

    Can we have technical details of the project, for replication in a Pakistani village.
    Rgds
    M Jahangir
    drinking water-Pakistan
    Islamabad

    • Subhankar Bhattacharya

      Dear Mr. Jahangir,
      I am now looking after this project in Purulia as well as in other parts of my state West Bengal. This project can be replicated wthout much hazard. However, we may not be able to do away with plastic material altogether. Some of the materials used to manufacture are made from plastics. We have tried to use completely bio-degradable materials. We have faced two problems. First, they are expensive and out of reach of the consumers – for us it is rural women. Second, quality assurance is also another area of concern. We are trying to devise environment friendly way of disposing used napkins. Would love to hear from you on this.

      • Hello,

        We are manufacturers and importers of sanitary napkins in mumbai.

        We have a wide range of sanitary napkins with the best quality.

        We have products starting from 75paise\pc to Rs.2/pc.

        I am sure you would like to work with us.

        Since we are already working with many NGO’s in chennai, uttarakhand and mumbai as well. i am sure i can give heavy discounts as i want to be engaged with NGO’s.

        Since you are doing a very good work for a social cause, i would personally want to be associated with you.

        Please contact me on +919821270024

        THank you.

      • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

        Dear Bhattacharya,

        I am interested to adopt this sanitrary napkin project for the women in my area in Metiabruze and empower them. I would like to discuss with you the way. Kindly advise your contact details.

        Many thanks,
        udita
        mo: +91 98392 11141

      • Hasmukh Jain

        Pl.call me on 09029116701/09323560009
        or mail mr your complete details.

  2. hi, i m student in NIRD pursuing my PG in rural development management.
    i think this project truly percives and identifies the power of community or rather society as whole and uses it to wipe out the taboos and social evils that were prevelent in the society.
    It shows that rural people are not ignorant, illiterate or not good enough to imbibe something good, but what it shows is that they are innovative, courageous, have clear cut understanding.
    At last it would be wise to say that if community is with us we can do wonders but there also could be a vice-versa position,that we would have to stop for betterment of community, society and of all human beings

  3. Jhumpa Ghosh Ray

    We are an Kolkata based NGO, very much interested to know about this project in details.

    Pls give me some information about this.

    Jhumpa

  4. we have 19 SHGs with 260 semi-urban poor women.They recently manufactured low cost sanitary napkin “SATHI”for the rural women and arranged awareness camp for the women who do not know about personal hygiene and suffer in reproductive track infections & sexually transmitted infections.Please advice us.

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Hi Bobby,

      How much is SATHI priced at?

      Thanks,
      udita
      Neev

      • hello , i was trying to contact you can you call me on any of this numbers 09821873702 or 09930675593, regards, Kumar

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Dear Bobby,
      We are supplying sanitary napkins in our brand name to SHGs, NGOs, for empowering women, engendering financial independence among rural youths- both women & men. We will be happy to discuss with you. Please mail me your details or call me at: 033 2469 3299/9575; mo: 98300 41828.
      Regards,
      udita
      NEEV
      Kolkata

  5. I wish to introduce low price sanitary napkins for the rural bengal, girl schools in rural bengal to teach them hyegenic methods and reduce school absentiesm during the menstrual cycle.
    These napkins are of the same grade as “whisper”.NGO’s pls contact.

    • Subhankar Bhattacharya

      Dear Ms. Chatterjee,
      I am looking after the Menstrual Hygiene Management Project implemented jointly by Department of Panchayat and Rural Development and UNICEF. One unit has already been implemented and steps have been initiated to install manufacturing units in other districts. Price of one packet is approximately Rs. 16/- for a packet of 8. The product is not exactly same as Whisper, because the MNC products are manufactued in completely automated manufacturing process. While, in this case the production is semi-automatic. But the absorbency power is almost as same as MNC brands.
      Shall await feedback

    • Dear Ms. Moushumi Chatterjee, we are looking market agency or Ngo to sale our high quality sanitary napkin to school, college and Rural area.Our products are better then any MNC EVEN WHISPER PRODUCT as all product manufactured in fully automatic manufactruring process. Our products main quality is ABSORBENCY POWER IS MUCH BETTER THEN ANY MFG. Price of product is Rs. 35/- for a packet of 7. Please note that our products are ULTRA THIN like Whisper ultra thin product, also our product with GEL NEW TECHNOLOGY .please note that price can be negotiated based on requirement

      • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

        Mr D Roy, I am looking to venture into rural marketing of women’s sanitary napkins under my private label. Do you supply under private labels? Happy to discuss.
        Regards,
        udita
        mo: +91 98302 11141
        Tel:033 2469 9575/3299

    • Dear Ms Moushumi Chatterjee,

      I represent an NGO in Kolkata. We are interested in procuring low price sanitary napkins for use by under-privileged women. Can you please contact me with further details, so that we can take this forward? Thank you. Mrs. R. Pillai.

      • Dear Mrs. R. Pillai,

        We are in receipt of your below mail addressed to Ms. Moushumi Chatterjee on my E-mail id. Please note that this id is not pertaining to Ms. Moushumi Chatterjee.

        Please note that we are also dealing in sanitory napkins of excellent quality at cheapest rates, which I am sure will be in the intrest of your NGO.

        Please not that I will be in Kolkata in the coming week, hence, you are requested to kindly call me on my mobile or send your contact numbers to enable me to get in touch with you after reaching Kolkata.

        Awaiting for your reply per return.

        Regards

        DHRUBOJOYOTI ROY
        DIRECTOR
        UNIQUE HYGIENE PVT. LTD.
        NEW DELHI
        M-09910001569

      • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

        Dear Ma’m,

        I am looking to market & distribute my brand of sanitary napkins, V-Pads ™ through NGOs. This will be on profit sharing basis. Your women can act as sales reps and sell these products and earn the same margin per packet as I do. And without any investment. I will offer the first lot in full credit. This is an equal partnership proposal (EPP) that I would like to offer to these women and make them self-sufficient. Please do let me know if this excites you- the prospect of your women not having to rely on donations, charity. But they can do something of their own. They can be the Victors with V-Pads.

        I shall be happy to meet with you. Please mail me your details or call me at 98302 11141.

        Regards,

        udita
        NeevIndia
        N 77/1 PAHAR PUR ROAD
        KOLKATA – 700 024
        neevindia@sify.com

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Hi Mousumi,

      I am looking to market my brand of sanitary pads, V-Pads in rural areas. If you are interested in business partnership, please contact/ write me.

      I am willing to share equal profits; no investment required.

      Thanks,
      udita chakraborty
      NeevIndia
      Kolkata
      mo: +98302 11141

    • 240mm Ultra Thin with wings – Rs. 1.10/piece
      280mm Ultra Thin with wings – Rs. 1.25/piece
      283mm Ultra Thin with wings with blue strip (herbal) – Rs. 1.60/piece

      Binod Chopra – 9331050169
      Kolkata

  6. I am interested to know more abt the project details for cheap sanitary napkins manufacturing in tamilnad as I am interested to let many SHG in our area to invlove them in to it.

  7. Dear Mrs. R. Pillai,

    We are in receipt of your below mail addressed to Ms. Moushumi Chatterjee on my E-mail id. Please note that this id is not pertaining to Ms. Moushumi Chatterjee.

    Please note that we are also dealing in sanitory napkins of excellent quality at cheapest rates, which I am sure will be in the intrest of your NGO.

    Please not that I will be in Kolkata in the coming week, hence, you are requested to kindly call me on my mobile or send your contact numbers to enable me to get in touch with you after reaching Kolkata.

    Awaiting for your reply per return.

    Regards

    DHRUBOJOYOTI ROY
    DIRECTOR
    UNIQUE HYGIENE PVT. LTD.
    NEW DELHI
    M-09910001569

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Mr Roy, pls call me back.
      Need to place trial order ASAP.
      udita
      98302 11141

      • 240mm Ultra Thin with wings – Rs. 1.10/piece
        280mm Ultra Thin with wings – Rs. 1.25/piece
        283mm Ultra Thin with wings with blue strip (herbal) – Rs. 1.60/piece

        Binod Chopra – 9331050169
        Kolkata

      • Mr Chopra, what’s your brand name, min order qty; I need samples first. My address: NEEV, N 77/1 PAHAR PUR ROAD, KOLKATA 700 024. My nos 98300 41828. Tks, udita chakraborty

  8. We are SAI MARKETING from mumbai. we are into this line since last 4years.

    we would like to inform you that we are importers as well as exporters of sanitary napkins.

    We are having the same whisper like product.

    We are having more than 10products of sanitary napkins.

    We can supply you all the product at a price which will be cheaper than your manufacturing cost in india.

    Please contact us on
    +919821270024 and let us know any requirements

    Our range of products start from 75p\pc to Rs.2.25\pc

  9. BISWAJIT CHAKRABORTY

    Hi I am looking for a Importer or manufacturer of sanitary napkins (ULTRA THIN & REGULAR) in West Bengal who will provide same product quality for five years minimum.

  10. Sriharsha Mohanty

    Can you give mew the details of low cost sanitary napkin. it can be introduce in community.

  11. ASWANI ASSOCIATES

    we can sell cheap disposable napkins cloth napkins reusable

  12. Hi biswajit, i can offer you best quality s/ napkins , please contact me

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Mr Kumar,

      I want to procure sanitary napkins, 290 mm, 320 mm ultra thin, with gel, wings in my brand. Do you supply in private labels? Pls quote your best price, in packets of 10s, FOR Kolkata, to be delivered upto my stock point. Waht is the MOQ?

      This is an URGENT requirement. Please send your samples as well.

      Regards,

      udita
      NeevIndia
      N 77/1 PAHAR PUR ROAD
      KOLKATA- 700 024

      • yes i have some proposals, can i have your contact details please, i have tried your earlier number indicated in this site, but could not get through,

      • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

        Mr Kumar,

        Have sent mail with my enquiry.

        I want the best prices. I will place order by end of May. The requirement is URGENT.

        Thanks,
        udita
        NeevIndia

  13. debasis chatterjee

    If possible pl send me the details of your product manufacturing. and trading , I am from howrah

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Hi Debasis,

      I am not a manufacturer of sanitary pads. I market pads in my brand V-Pad. I am looking to appoint distributors, super distributors in W Bengal. If you are interested, please contact me/ mail me.

      What is your contact nos?

      Many thanks.

      Regards,
      udita chakraborty
      NeevIndia
      neevindia@sify.com
      Mo: +91 98302 11141

    • UDITA CHAKRABORTY

      Dear Mr Chatterjee,

      I am looking to appoint wholesale distributors for my sanitary napkins both in Trade, Door-to-door sales as well in rural community. I shall provide all marketing & promotional support. If you are interested, please mail me or call me at- 033 2469 3299/9575; mo: 98300 41828.

      Thanks,
      udita chakraborty
      NEEV
      Kolkata

  14. We are SAI MARKETING from mumbai. we are into this line since last 4years.

    we would like to inform you that we are importers as well as exporters of sanitary napkins.

    We are having the same whisper like product.

    We are having more than 10products of sanitary napkins.

    We can supply you all the product at a price which will be cheaper than your manufacturing cost in india.

    Please contact us on
    +919821270024 and let us know any requirements

    Our range of products start from 75p/pc to Rs.2.25/pc

    and i am sure that no one can supply at these prices.

  15. Hi everyone,
    I would like to inform all interested that a sanitary towel unit has been initiated in Lakshmikantapur, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal by one of the partner NGOs of Water For People India. 15 women have formed a SHG and manage the enterprise. The product is priced at Rs 16/- for a pack of 8. They also have a pack of 2 priced at Rs5, for those who are not able to afford the larger pack. The product is targetting the rural audience, especially school children and rural women who work outside their homes.

    In case any of you are interested in learning more about this venture, please write to Mr Bhakta Purkait, or

  16. I am an engineering graduate from Tamil Nadu, working among underprivileged people of many border villages of Punjab.
    I feel this “Cheap sanitary pads” is a good project, which we can implement in this locality, for the empowerment of the women.
    Should we install a manufacturing units or should we buy and sell these pads, employing these women? Probably we should start with buying and selling.
    I invite suggestions and offers from those who are already in this field, for manufacturing units as well as ready-made pads.
    Nicholson
    17, Fairland Colony
    Fatehgarh Churian Road
    AMRITSAR – 143 001
    o183-2503625
    09417064194

  17. our organization YUVA wants to promote low cost sanitary nepkins project through more than 100 SHGs in three district of singhbhum ,Jharkhand.pl advice me.
    09430391875

  18. hello every one. It was nice to see so many comments. i think i can be of some help over here. well i am supplying 230mm thick pad with wings @ Rs.11 (PACK OF 10pcs) and 280mm ultra thin with 130ml absorbtion @ Rs.14 ( pack of 8pcs). I have full confidence on my products. i can assure you it is the best quality available. i am ready to buy a better quality if anyone can offer me at these prices.

    Interested personnels or organisations may contact me on +9820320760.

    Lalit kothari
    FOR SAI MARKETING

  19. Dear Madam or Sir,
    We’re from TAISUN VIETNAM CO.,LTD specializing in producing baby diaper,adult diaper,sanitary napkin,adult under pad and baby new born.We’re experienced in exporting these items because our company have been producing and exporting to many countries on the world as Asian countries including Malaysia,Singapore,India,Sri Lanka,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Nepal,Osean countries in cluding Australia and surrounding islands,African countries including South Africa,Nigeria,Algeria,Egypt…
    If you have free time,please kindly our company website http://www.taisun.com.vn or http://www.taisunco.com.tw .In case you would like to get information related to our products,please kindly contact us.
    Hope receive feedback from your side soon.

    Yours sincerefuly,

    Tai Hien
    TAISUN VIETNAM CO.,LTD
    Email : hien.jimmy@gmail.com
    Yahoo : taihien0518@yahoo.com
    Sype : jimmhien
    Tel : +84-907963239

  20. UDITA CHAKRABORTY

    Can supply sanitary napkins of all types, in all price range.

  21. I represent a NGO in West Bengal . We are into Entrepreneurship / Self Employment Training and Entrepreneurship Development. We want to conduct a series of Skill Based Rural Entrepreneurship Development Training amongst SHG members in Howrah/ Hooghly / South 24 Parganas /N orth 24 Parganas on the Manufacture and Marketing of Low Cost Sanitary Napkins for Rural / Semi Rural Women . If we get an idea of the cost involved in conducting such training programme , we believe we can submit the proposals to the required agencies and raise funds for training as well . This kind of training will be accepted by the funding agencies we know . Please contact me on 0-98300 68611 immediately to discuss further details . We need a proper , trained skill trainer who can teach the manufacturing of low cost sanitary napkins . We have our Entrepreneurship and SHG trainers who can take care of the rest of the modules . Please contact immediately . We are based in Kolkata . Thanks . Sreoshi Moitra

  22. dear sreoshi, we supply sanitary napkins to the NGO segment, esp. SHGs. The women make reasonable profits per packet buy re-selling them door-door, or to their peer groups. if you are interested, i can discuss. I am based out of kolkata. tks, udita chakraborty, NEEV, mo:98300 41428, T:2469 9575.

  23. Biswajit Chakraborty

    Hi every one…..
    I have been watching these all comments for last 2 years approximately but no body got success. there is a key of success of this project of SANITARY NAPKIN. Every one is looking for sale his/her product as a result MNCs are doing there job. So think about marketing not for sale of own brand only. Think about education of SANITARY NAPKIN not go for Low cost sanitary napkin only. Here is huge market. Anyways go for your own interest. Who am I to tell all this……..

    Thanks

  24. Dear
    To all concerned manufacturer or supplier of napkins
    I am interested in you products for our formed SHGs .Please send your a sample piece of your products and rates .
    Secretary
    Thar voluntary Health Society, E.22 Bhagwan Mahavir Nagar, Pal Link Road, Jodhpur 0291 2752821 , 9462280805

  25. satyajit bhattacharyya

    Hi; i am satyajit bhattacharyya. I live at berhampore in murshidabad in west Bengal ( india) i suggest to all napkins interested person that if anybody wants to do business with napkins he should do business with maternity napkins. as a result 1st time trader gets marginal profit .after 1-2 yrs he can think to change napkin module. i produce napkins about 10000 packets in a month. i am ready to install

  26. satyajit bhattacharyya

    unit with any other or i will help any concern to set up a napkin unit. so to know detail about it call me 09733589513

  27. Hi, I am textile engineer from Bangalore and interested in supping low cost sanitary napkins to rural parts in Karnataka thru govt agency , Any body interested pl call me on 8710881004 or mail me bmrshekar@yahoo.co.in
    Reg RAJASHEKAR

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