Prameela Rao along with her team of youths, especially boys, from Kalpa Trust, Mangaluru involved in "Swasthya" sanitary pad making
Mangaluru: "I do not concur with western culture. But when it is the question of health, we should discuss some secret issues in the open as people must be aware of the traditional unhygienic practices surrounding menstruation", says Prameela Rao, Founder of Kalpa Trust, who has been disbursing eco-friendly, hygienic, cotton sanitary pads under the name 'Swasthya' with a tagline 'Comfort is happiness' to women at free of cost from the past four years.
During an interaction with our representative Likhith Shenoy for Newskarnataka Facebook live, Prameela Rao revealed how her passion to serve people led to the unique initiative of disbursing sanitary pads to women. When it comes to girls or women, there are some things that only the people of the same sex can understand. As Prameela Rao is also working as a lecturer in Government First Grade College in Kavoor, she is always closely connected with the girl students and their problems. Usually, women face a lot of problems during menstruation. In many cultures, menstruating women are treated as "impure". In order to get rid of such blind beliefs, Prameela Rao has decided to help women through her 'Kalpa Trust.'
She said that movies like "Padman" has really helped initiatives like hers, which has helped in creating awareness and also promote usage of sanitary pads, breaking stereotypes and orthodoxy.
Prameela said, "After the release of movie 'Padman' noticing my work, I was also called as 'Padwoman' of Karnataka and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and others have appreciated my service".
Prameela Rao says, "If a boy would understand the problems of his sister or mother properly, then he would empathise with his wife. Hence, I decided to take around 22 boys from my college to a sanitary making firm in Delhi and exposed them to the preparation of sanitary napkins. Later, I started collecting waste clothes from the public in order to prepare the sanitary pads."
"We collect old clothes and segregate the pure cotton ones. Later, we wash it and sterilise it. Before coming out with the final product, we concentrate on maintaining cleanliness", she informed.
Now, on an average, Prameela Rao and her team prepare around 6000 sanitary pads in a month and disburse it to women who are from a poor financial background. But, Prameela clarifies that her role is only to direct her team to prepare sanitary pads. "My students who are interested in social service help me to prepare sanitary pads during their leisure", she adds.
During the discussion, Prameela admitted that no representative either from state or central government had approached her or promised of any help. However, she informed that officials of the health department had expressed their joy over her work.
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