BRAC's Sanitary Napkin initiative for poor
Trip Start Jan 23, 2009
19Trip End Jan 30, 2009
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We visited BRAC's sanitary napkin manufacturing unit on 27th January 2009 near Manik Gonj. This is another remarkable and touching effort of BRAC.
Ms. Shruti Gonsalves, Head-Capacity Building Team of FWWB made this entry. Many thanks to Shruti...
I am glad agreed to Niranjan's suggestion of entering the details for this aspect of BRAC's visit.
The very fact that a livelihood focussed MFI/ NGO like BRAC whose approach towards poverty alleviation is establishing backward and forward linkages which fosters development at the grass root level, to establish a production center for Sanitary Napkins is a matter of natural progression.
One of BRAC's initiative is towards Community development is to enrol the entire village population into the Health and Hygiene awareness program. Of course, it is not compulsory for anyone but rather it is more of participative approach where Health volunteers are selected from within the community after the initial orientation program and awareness campaigns.
Through such work at Village Organization's i.e. the Village Organisation, it was felt by the management at BRAC to start a production unit for Sanitary Napkins which is entirely run and managed by the members with administrative inputs from BRAC enterprise team. As part of BRAC's mandate of establishing Backward and Forward linkages, the requisite infrastructure for such a production unit was available at the Regional level. The BRAC horticulture center at Gazipur had space sufficient for setting up a 3-4 room production department, one room for sterilisation process of the finished goods and 1 room allocated for packaging and one room for storing the finished goods which than gets distributed to retail outlets.
BRAC's objective of providing a total solution for personal hygiene to women of poor households across the country seems to have been partially addressed through the Sanitary Napkin Enterprise. It provides income generation to local members, addresses the issue of low-cost but hygienically manufactured products and also provide the distribution network for sales to materialise.