In Kerala, a municipality named “Alappuzha”, has done something, which is completely unconventional and out of the box. They had distributed 5,000 menstrual cups, to women in a region for free. But, there is a slight alteration in the plan, in which now, the municipality had decided to give 500 menstrual caps daily, within the time of mid-day.
The most prominent USP(unique selling proposition), of this menstrual cup, would be that it can be washed in boiling water, and can be reused for 7 to 8 years, which means that one menstrual cap will be equal to 750 sanitary napkins, therefore, preventing the disposition of waste associated with sanitary napkins in the environment.
The respective initiative of “Menstrual cup distribution”, is termed as “Thinkal Menstrual Cup”. The menstrual cup would be extremely cost-effective. The work would be funded, under the CSR(corporate social responsibility), of the company, “Cola India Ltd”. Jahangir(secretary of municipality of Alappuzha ) said, “In addition, we are training the counselors and Kudumbashree workers on using the cup and they will then be spreading awareness about it among other women.”
“We have stored 5000 menstrual cups. But daily we are distributing only 500. Otherwise, people will misuse, and even medical store people may come and buy it. We are distributing it from the front office of the municipality and Kudumbashree office at Kaichoondimukku. Any women can buy it after presenting an id card and they should register their names of any these two offices with a phone number, Then they will get a menstrual cap of rupees 600. It can be used for the period up to 5 years.
The demand of menstrual cup is increasing so we will daily distribute more than 500 menstrual cups.”, he said. The project is associated with Hindustan Latex Limited. Finance minister TM Thomas Issac launched this project. The respective project has received a good amount of recognition and respect from the United Nations Environment Body(UNEP). The project aims at decreasing the intensity of the quantity of sanitary solid waste in the environment, as in 2018 Kerala flood, it was becoming difficult to dispose of the solid waste connected to sanitary napkins, off the environment.
There is no doubt that the project is simply commendable, but using one menstrual cup for more than 5 years may cause serious infections and allergies. It is a well-established fact that menstrual caps are made up of thermoplastics and latex. Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. The most common anaphylactic reactions are to foods, insect stings, medications, and latex. If you are allergic to a substance, your immune system overreacts to this allergen by releasing chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
The dangerous fact is that the respective disease is caused by the overexposure of the human body to latex, which can further cause breathing problems, nausea, and vomiting. It is very substantial that “Alappuzha”, should start to consider every aspect of their product, as it is the question of women hygiene of the number, which is quite uncountable. A simple act of help collaborated with careless, can lead to more adverse conditions. Still, the initiative has the ability to be a memorable milestone in the history of women health and hygiene.