Hamlet in Kerala becomes country’s first napkin-free village
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Thursday declared a small village, Kumbalangi, in Ernakulam district as the first napkin-free village in the country.
More than 5,000 menstrual cups have been distributed among girls and women and they have been given training by volunteers for three months about their use and advantages, said organisers of a campaign, “Avalkayi” (for her).
“Beautiful village Kumbalangi will be a role model for others. Schemes like this will empower women. If villages prosper, our country will prosper,” said the governor in his inaugural address.
Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden initiated the “Avalkayi” campaign under the Pradan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yogana.
“We have been working on it for many months. The Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Lifecare Limited Management Academy are partners in it,” said the MP. He said the campaign aims at making women aware of advantages of menstrual cups and dispelling their fears.
Eden said the latest initiative will help reduce pollution caused by synthetic napkins and ensure personal hygiene to working women and students. He said many people, including actor Parvathi, have helped him to carry out the project.
“We have installed napkin-vending machines in many schools but often they created problems. Then this idea came up and we studied it in detail and sought expert advice. Experts said cup can be re-used for many years and it is more hygienic,” said the young parliamentarian.
Experts said menstrual cups are a safe option compared with other forms of menstrual hygiene. They said a cup, made of medical grade silicon and latex, can last up to 10 years and it is cost-effective and environment-friendly compared to different menstrual products. “We have to change with the times. After Kumbalangi, we will distribute them in coastal areas of Kochi and give training,” said the MP.
Kumbalangi, an island village on the outskirts of Kochi surrounded by backwaters, is the first eco-tourism village of the country and known for its traditional Chinese nets.