‘Kumbalangi’ village in Kerala to become the first sanitary napkin-free village in India

A village in Kerala’s Ernakulam district- ‘Kumbalangi’ becomes the first sanitary napkin-free village in the country. The development came after the village took the decision to conduct a campaign that trained every girl in the village to use menstrual cups instead of napkins. 

The move comes as part of the village’s initiative called ‘Avalkayi’ which translates ‘for her’. Under the initiative, around 5,000 menstrual cups have been distributed to women aged 18 and above. Volunteers have given training to the girls of the village on how to use the cup and how does it help us during the periods. The move is to ensure health hygiene for adolescent girls and young women.

Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan has declared the village napkin-free. The step is being taken to ensure access to menstrual hygiene for adolescent girls and young women. The initiative was backed by the MP Hibi Eiden. Along with Hibi Eiden, HLL Management Academy through their ‘Thingal’ scheme and Indian Oil Corporation are the other partners in the scheme.

In many parts of the country, especially in rural areas, the process of menstruating in women has been considered a taboo or disgusting thing even to talk about.  However, with this move, it is clear that the negative stuff of menstruation is slowly disappearing and in this modern era, almost everyone talks about it without any hesitation.

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Meanwhile, the data shows that in the urban areas, the use of menstrual devices also went up from 77.5 percent in 2015-16 to 89.4 percent in 2019-2021. Moreover, a joint report by Water Aid India and the Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India stated that depending on the materials used in the manufacture of the sanitary pads, it could take up to 800 years to decompose a single sanitary napkin.