New Delhi: The students of SRCC (Sri Ram College of Commerce) have set up a chain of supply of sanitary pads in the slums of Delhi. Because of the lockdown, many slum-dwelling women were facing troubles. To help them the students of SRCC had taken this step.
These supply chains have been set up in three slums, namely, Shastri Park, Race Course, and Sonia Camp. The students are ensuring sanitary health in these areas. So far, they have supplied over 2100 sanitary pads to the women of these slums.
The students of SRCC have also collaborated with the women of these slums to increase awareness, to sell, and to promote their drive. The profits which these students receive are then given to these entrepreneurial women of the slums.
SRCC student Yashasvi Khandelia, who is also the project director of the program, said that they had started with Project Aarogya last year. It was because according to the National Family Health Survey, 43% of women did not have access to sanitary napkins. She said that it was unbelievable for them that such a problem existed in the 21st century.
The project is a part of the Connecting Dreams Foundation. The project is a student-based initiative. This project empowers women who are underprivileged by creating social entrepreneurship models. The project conducted a survey in around eleven urban slums of Delhi- NCR. These slums were Kamal Vihar, Shastri Park, Lalbagh, Sonia Camp, etc. The students found out that it was a grave issue for women to have access to sanitary pads.
Khandelia added that the women living in these slums are unaware of the basic hygiene practices which must be practiced during menstruation. This is because of the shame and stigma which is associated with menstruation. There are many manufacturers of these sanitary pads. But these are not affordable for the women of the lower-income strata because of the high-profit margin on each pad. She says that their project is aimed at tackling this problem.
She said that the idea was to remove the middlemen and to supply these sanitary pads in bulk to the women, directly from the manufacturers. The students have continued this process even during the period of lockdown.
According to Anirudh Arya, an SRCC student and the project director said that a potential lady was identified by the students. She was then given training and education in Sales and Marketing. He said that once they are educated, they act as the entrepreneurs of the students’ model. They sell sanitary napkins. These women eliminate the middlemen by establishing a supply chain model where one woman is employed to sell these sanitary pads.
He said that during the period of lockdown, they had to collect these sanitary pads from Noida and then send them to the three urban slums. This was done with the help of a private delivery pattern.
Arya added that it became the job of the women entrepreneurs in the slums to sell these pads to those women who could not travel during the period of lockdown. Because of this mechanism, the students have managed to ensure menstrual health even during the lockdown period.