“Around the world, fewer than one person in three has access to a toilet. In many countries, it is not acceptable for a woman to relieve herself during the day. They wait hours for nightfall, just to have privacy.” - water.org
Have you ever wondered if rural women have access to proper toilet facilities or not?
At home, when I was a kid, the maid who cleans the house would secretly use the washroom just after saying, “Namaste”, to my mom! And before she left she used to do the same. I never bothered about it and told my mom, “It’s ok as long as she uses it and does not leave it dirty”. Back then, once I got the chance to visit our maid’s home and could not find any toilet. On asking about it, she answered, “We only use the toilet at night in the bushy area near our house!”
That incident left a question in my mind.
Did you know that in India functioning toilets are absent in 66% of girls-only schools?
When girls do not have access to toilets, the impact is much more than just an inconvenience. There is no safe space to change their sanitary products during menstruation and this can lead to them feeling more comfortable staying at home. With this scenario, they have to miss school or work approximately 60 days a year which not only affects their education but their rights to education and equality.
On this World Toilet Day, we want to raise awareness about the importance of safe and hygienic toilets for safe menstruation. If there is no access to toilets, it significantly reduces the benefit of having pads. Pads need to be changed frequently in the days of menstruation and toilets provide a safe place to do so.
On the other hand, women in urban areas have access to the best possible education, healthcare and sanitation. However, the notion that sanitation problems are only restricted to women in rural areas is wrong. The average woman living in urban areas disposes of 150-200 kg of sanitary napkins, tampons etc, that eventually find their way into landfills and are burned due to their non-biodegradability. The need for biodegradable feminine menstruation hygiene products is greater than ever. Saathi is the first company to make 100% biodegradable and compostable sanitary napkins made from banana fibre.
Saathi pads are not only accessible to urban women but also to rural women. Currently, Saathi pads are distributed on a regular basis to rural women in Jharkhand with the help of NGO- Ekal Foundation. Saathi also raises awareness about safe menstrual health and how to properly use sanitary pads!
How do you think you can create a difference? Comment below and share the blog.
If you want to learn more about Saathi and the Circular Economy, check out our new podcast! :
On the occasion of World Toilet Day, the founders of Saathi and A Plastic Planet with the help of DIF(Disruptive Innovation Festival) have come together to help people explore sustainability through a podcast, "How the Circular Economy relates to you?"
Through this podcast we share our role as a responsible manufacturer and how you as the consumer can do your part to help the environment and society. The speakers talk about how we need to change the way we do business and think about designing innovative and sustainable products. We explore the question of “What businesses and consumers need to do to avoid plastic?”
Here is the link of the podcast*: https://goo.gl/Bjaose
*The link and podcast is available till January 2019