Why should womens' hygiene rob a wastepicker's dignity?
To safeguard the dignity of waste pickers
- Manager, Advocacy & Outreach, Chintan
Chitra Mukherjee & Chintan Team
- CEO, Procter and Gamble India
Mr. A F Lafley (CEO, Procter and Gamble India)
The value of sanitary napkins used by women in India exceeds 1000 crores annually. In 2008, projections were that that 17%, or 1.2 million women in 2013 would use sanitary napkins, or STs.
In almost all cases, used STs are dumped into a trash bin, or even in the open, along with other trash. In urban India, wastepickers, who rummage through un-segregated trash to pick up plastics, paper, cardboard, metals and glass, invariably come in contact with used sanitary towels. This is undignified and disgusting. But if manufacturers wanted, it could be prevented.
If they invested in a clearly marked bag for every ST in a packet that could fit an entire used sanitary towel, or even two, then women would have the option not to inflict this indignity upon waste collectors and waste pickers. Women could then wrap the used napkin in such bags and wastepickers or waste collectors would neither have to see such waste, nor touch it. In addition, manufacturers should also arrange for training programmes on safe disposal practices of sanitary towels for users.
The key manufacturers, Procter and Gamble India Limited, Johnson and Johnson Limited and Hindustan Unilever Limited have not yet done this. We request Procter and Gamble India Limited, being one of the largest manufactures of STs, to ensure that they solve the problem by providing proper bags with every packet of Sanitary Towels. There is no reason that women's hygiene should take away someone else's dignity.
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