• Gayathri Attoor

Ready for a revolution?

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Hold it tight, mind your finger, take a turn, pierce it through, stitch it tight, tie a loop and do it another round for a thousand times over!

You are stitching together a carelessly cut piece of the environment. Yes. We are talking about cloth sanitary pads. Women managed menstruation in so many ways in the past and still do. They use to shut themselves up in isolated rooms, they used old clothes and bags with sand, straw etc while they started menstruating. All these methods were eco-friendly until they were introduced to Disposable Sanitary Napkins(DSN). The extensive use of these has caused

a severe imbalance in our ecosystem. Majority of the debris that washes up on our coastal lines are ears buds, diapers, tampons, applicators and sanitary napkins which are made of non-degradable raw materials. The number of animals in our sea and land which die of consuming sanitary waste is increasing at an alarming rate day by day.

Here at UGER (meaning 'new beginning' in Mewadi) aims at a safe menstruation campaign which promotes a sustainable menstrual management method of using cloth pads. UGER trains rural women to make cloth pads from scratch and to teach others from their villages. After looking into the lives of women at South Rajasthan, team UGER

(which I am proudly a part of) provides an alternative for the popularly used cloth called 'time piece'(something that you find inside your sweatshirts) and is cheaply available in mostly darker shades so that it hides blood stains even when they are hung in public. The time piece material produces heat and their non-porous nature give rise to fungal infections including severe itching and rashes near the vagina. UGER pads are an effective solution to these. It is completely washable and reusable up to 2 years of regular use. It can save us a huge amount of money that we otherwise spend on DSNs. An average woman uses approximately twelve pads during each menstrual cycle, around 150 pads a year and almost 5800 DSNs a lifetime. Similarly the number of DSNs that is used by billions of women on this planet each day gives me minor heart attacks. Where do all these plastic go? NOWHERE! It takes at least 500 years for a DSN to just start decomposing. What will our oceans and the remaining land turn into? How many animals should die to eat sanitary waste for us to start acting? Its high time that we start switching to cloth pads. It is difficult. I know. Its even difficult for me for a quick switch. But what all of us women can really do is, either start using a menstrual cup(the fact that we are all still creeped out to try it out is a topic for another day!) or start using a cloth pad during the final days of our period. We can save that little contribution that we do towards a huge environmental catastrophe.

Think about it.

It is that little time and energy that needs to be spent on washing off your blood stains bearing the stench.

But we are looking forward to a safer and healthier place to live in.

Aren't we?

Gayathri Attoor
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