FPA Indiaâ€™s Sanitary Napkin Production - Bhiwandi, Thane
FPA India constantly strives to explore and create new avenues to fulfill its vision and mission. In response to the alarming statistic on sanitation and menstrual hygiene in the country (NFHS 2015-2016 report) and in addition to the on-going groundwork conducted through various projects, the Association decided to apply an entrepreneurial approach with primarily social objectives to address this concern, help improve womenâ€™s health & well-being in the community and generate a sustained surplus for the organisation.
Results from a survey conducted by FPA India in Bhiwandi, in the Thane District of Maharashtra, led us to initiate our pilot social enterprise venture, which involves the production of good quality disposable sanitary napkins, for low-income consumers This social enterprise project was funded and supported by the Social Enterprise Acceleration Programme (SEAP) during the year 2018-2019 with guidance and technical inputs from the IPPF SE Hub.
A production unit has been set up in Bhiwandi, Thane â€“ one of the many operational areas FPA India has been working in for decades. This has created a livelihood opportunity for some of the local women in Bhiwandi, who were identified, trained and recruited to manufacture sanitary napkins. The variants include maternity pads, ultra thins and fluffy pads. Continuous quality improvement and consumer feedback on modified products is being sought in this pilot year of production to standardize product quality, branding and price.
Building a Stronger workforce of Social Entrepreneurs!
Two FPA India programme staff attended a comprehensive 4 week group Internship Programme organised and conducted by the SEAP Hub at FPA Sri Lanka during October - November 2019 to enhance their knowledge on social enterprise development and apply the learnings back to the sanitary napkin production social enterprise venture in Bhiwandi. Staff from other regional member associations present for the internship programme represented Guyana, Kiribati, Mongolia, Tanzania, Kenya & Ghana.