About Laad Lohar and her cause A 2014 report states that 23 million girls in India drop out of school annually due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities, which include the availability of sanitary napkins and logical awareness of menstruation.
Laad Lohar, a tribal woman from Udaipur was one of them. However, committed to preventing similar stories within her community, she started an initiative ‘Kamakhya’ which focussed on creating self-help groups to create cloth pads in order to keep adolescent menstruating girls from her village and surrounding areas in school. Lad says that the women there do not know that sanitary napkins are sold in the market and those who know cannot afford to buy it due to poverty. She also stated that many women have also been infected due to improper and deleterious situations.
The self- help groups stitch sanitary pads themselves, and also provide training about the same to young women. Laad explains that this napkin is environmentally sustainable as it is made of cloth and can be washed and used multiple times. Laad got the opportunity to participate in training seminars in cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Bikaner, earning herself the sobriquet of ‘Pad-Woman’.
Laad Lohar's Financial Challenge Laad’s pad selling center closed down a year ago and she is unable to sustain the free training workshops any longer. She is looking for financial support to spread awareness and train self- help groups in remote villages and in the vicinity of her home. The following are her minimum requirements for making sanitary napkins for 1400 women:
Cotton cloth -500m * 50 ₹ / meter = 25,000 ₹
Button - ₹ 1800
Thread - ₹250
Fabric of parachute - 200 meters * 45 ₹ / meter = 9,000 ₹