Project Pankh empowers women with livelihood opportunities, green pads and a knowledge of menstrual hygiene

Shambhavi Sharma
project pankh, green pads, sustainable living, indian express news

The core team of city-based ‘Project Pankh’ comprises students from different colleges affiliated to Panjab University.

What began with a few workshops to educate women from rural backgrounds about the importance of menstrual hygiene and the value of using green pads, is now a full-fledged project with more than 200 women a part of it. ‘Project Pankh’ is the brainchild of Priya Krishnan, member of Rotaract Club Chandigarh Himalayan, who, along with four other members, Aman Singh, Sakshi Muwal, Jyantika Jain and Surbhi began the initiative two years back.

The core team of city-based ‘Project Pankh’ comprises students from different colleges affiliated to Panjab University. “As President of the Club, I started conducting workshops in 2017 about menstruation hygiene and its effects on women, in collaboration with different NGOs like Open Eyes Foundation, Rotract Club and various stitching centres as well. The awareness workshops were conducted for women from rural backgrounds and slum areas, who lacked knowledge about the important subject,” reflects Krishnan.

Now, as many as 200 women from various economic backgrounds are part of ‘Project Pankh’ and are earning their livelihood by making green and sustainable pads. The women who join the Project have to be part of a two- day training workshop, where they are guided about menstruation health, how to maintain their hygiene and are also told about how disposal of pads can cause harm to the environment, as rural areas have no specific system for disposal. Many women can’t afford pads and this leads to many health issues. On the second day of the workshop, women are taken to stitching centres where they learn the skills and techniques to make cloth pads. As a result, they are empowered financially and also contribute to the environment in their own way. “This is like a small scale industry for them and till now it has been a very successful model, one we are trying to expand and also spread the word through our upcoming website,” says Krishnan.