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17 Feb 2020, Edition - 1679, Monday

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Coimbatore

18-year-old girl makes reusable sanitary pads

Sathya N

Ishana is a young entrepreneur who makes reusable sanitary pads made of poplin cloth. A pack of six can last for a year, she says.

Not a graduate, not an entrepreneur but Ishana has become an icon of Coimbatore. The 18-year-old resident of Ganapathy has proved her social responsibility by manufacturing ‘reusable sanitary napkins’ made of poplin cloth (a variety of cotton fabric). This is a revolutionary step taken against profit mongering companies, which produce sanitary pads at a high cost.

Ishana has done a short-term course in fashion designing at Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore, after her twelfth grade. She runs her own boutique in Ganapathy. She claimed that certain menstrual troubles occur due to the plastic materials used in the manufacture of regular napkins. To overcome her personal difficulties related to menstruation, she came up with the idea of cotton sanitary pads, which she made herself. Then she found that some of her friends were also suffering from similar issues. So she started making more napkins and distributed them to her relatives and friends.

All of them, including her, felt that the napkins were eco- friendly and more comfortable. Then with the help of her uncle, she initiated a small scale business. While speaking to The Covai Post, she said, “Many women suffer from various health issues related to periods. This is mainly because of the artificial fabrics used in the disposable sanitary napkins. These napkins are disposable but not biodegradable. The plastic materials used are highly hazardous to personal health as well as the environment. So I was thinking of an alternative solution to this. The result is reusable napkins. My parents were reluctant initially but now they extend their full support”.

The specialty of ‘Ana Cloth Pads’ made by Ishana is that the pads can be washed and reused to a maximum of 12 times. A pack contains six pads and it can last for one year.

Ishana says, “Washing and reusing will not create any harm to our health if the pads are properly sterilised in sunlight. This pad is very easy to handle and can be washed in normal water itself. It must be soaked in water for 30 minutes before washing. It must be dried in shade first and then once in sunlight. Before using it next time, it must be ironed two days prior. ”
Ishana has already started to distribute these pads to retail shops in and around Coimbatore. She also makes specially customised napkins for maternity usage.

The usage of artificial napkins has resulted in a lot of gynecological issues in recent years, she claims. She feels that this kind of alternatives might reduce such problems. She is very happy about her work and wishes to expand her endeavours in the future.

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