How This Lucknow Womens' Jail Is Empowering Its Inmates Through Sanitary Napkins

The idea for the initiative was birthed after jail officials watched 'Padman'

A women’s prison in Lucknow is trying to instill two qualities among its inmates – better health and hygiene and financial independence. On Wednesday, the prison installed a machine that can be used to make sanitary pads on the premises of the jail.

“The machine has a capacity to make 10,000 sanitary pads each month. That will not only cater to our internal demand but give enough extra output to be sold in the market on competitive prices,” senior superintendent of Lucknow Prison PN Pandey told Hindustan Times.

Courtesy: Facebook/Manisha Bajpai

The idea for the initiative was birthed after jail officials watched ‘Padman’, a film depicted on the true story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who brought about a sanitary napkin revolution in rural India. Muruganantham tried to start manufacturing cheap sanitary napkins so that more women could get access to it.

The government used to provide sanitary napkins to only 232 female inmates in the prison. However, that should now change with the much-needed installation of the sanitary napkin vending machine.

Image used for representational purpose only. Courtesy: The Indian Express

Similar initiatives have been implemented in some form or the other all over the country. This is also an important aspect in the rehabilitation of the female inmates, who would get lessons in financial independence In May this year, Coimbatore central prison authorities sent a proposal to the state to set up similar sanitary napkin manufacture units in the prison.

The prisoners are also made aware of the environmental impacts of sanitary waste. Female inmates of Nagpur Central Jail started making eco-friendly sanitary pads under the rehabilitation plan in July this year, PTI reported.