SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) under the leadership of Rifa Musthapha inaugurated a business model whereby a cost-effective sanitary napkin manufacturing machine will be introduced to women entrepreneur clusters or Self Help Groups (SHG’s), through which women can produce and market bio-degradable, low cost sanitary napkins locally. A Press Conference was held on 14 February 2018 at the Liberty Cinema Colombo to make awareness in public about the Bio degradable sanitary napkin project.
First introduced to the Women’s Welfare Society, Jinthupitiya, Colombo 13, will be conducted at the Gangaramaya Vocational Training Centre in Colombo under the guidance of SCWEC. The pilot roll-out will include key urban and rural areas in Sri Lanka, after which the project will be replicated in select townships among the SAARC Countries.
The machine and technical know-how was obtained from Dr Arunachalam Murugananatham, the innovator and social entrepreneur who kick started a menstrual hygiene movement in South India, the module of which is being replicated worldwide with machines being purchased as far as Massachusetts in the US. The film ‘Pad Man’ is based on his story and was screened to the participants after the press conference at the Liberty Cinema Colombo.
“The business model propagated by SCWEC upholds the belief ‘by the women, for the women, and to the women’ said Chairperson SCWEC, Rifa Musthapha. “It is a sustainable, revenue generating enterprise that gives stakeholders the opportunity to be actively involved and engaged in manufacturing and distributing the product. By making a nominal investment in the machine and employing around 4 women per machine, Self Help Groups (SHG’s) can empower women in marginalized communities through income generation and helping them gain more control over their lives. By going directly from the producer to the consumer, the microcredit delivered to women is used in an optimum manner.