Alternative Sanitary Napkins: Sajillo Kapada

Have you ever heard of Alternative Sanitary pads? It is all women worn during monthly menstrual flow. Here in Nepal we call it Sajjilo kapada, means comfortable cloth.  Comfort does not mean only while using but also environmental friendly, reusable and easy to make at home. Yes I am talking about home-made sanitary pad. We may think that this is primitive, but cotton cloth pads are making a comeback in the USA, British and Canada. Commercially made non reusable cotton pads are now sold in some countries such as Nepal.

Commercial Sanitary Napkins

Commercial Sanitary Napkins

Commercially made non reusable sanitary pads are expensive in Nepal. Even more terrified to hear “You are reason for environmental degradation and deforestation” unless I knew that commercial sanitary pads are made up of paper and plastic. The average women use approximately 15,000 pads over the course of her lifetime. The commercial sanitary pads contain chemicals like DIOXIN in high quantity which cause any health problems and dioxin appears to migrate easily out of paper products. Since these pads are indisposed we throw them near any water source. Fish and other wildlife have died after exposure to the incredibly small dose of dioxin. This shows we are harming not only ourselves but also reducing forest and other living being.

Shocking news is the commercial sanitary pads are bleached again and again using chlorine, may take place to achieve that growing white look. Even more chemicals perfume to give it good smell. The plastic bottom to prevent leakage again cannot be disposed. The back has sensitive adhesive and packet itself printed with patterns using chemical process. 

The chemicals used in sanitary pads, tampons and diapers have raised concerns throughout the world. This is due to the questions about the safety of using many of the commercially available products that have been manufactured in a process that uses chemicals as well as the environmental issues of disposing of them. Because of potential risk factors, some women have opted for organic sanitary pads as an alternative and others have decided to use reusable sanitary pads.

Young women preparing Home-made sanitary pads

Young women preparing Home-made sanitary pads

Our Youth Information Forum is promoting home-made sanitary pads because it is important that women know these facts so that they can seek safer alternatives – liking using cloth, which is not only safer, but can also be reused many times. As we look back to our history women have safely relied on home-made menstrual products, using any available absorbent material.

It is popular in our youth group because it is cheap, easily made in different funky (youth friendly) patterns at home, no chemicals being used and it is eco-friendly since we Love and Respect our environment. We are also promoting and teaching other youth groups, school students and factory workers to make Home-made sanitary pads. We are proving that we are not the reason for environmental pollution.

I will be talking more about Alternative sanitary pad in my next blog.

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9 thoughts on “Alternative Sanitary Napkins: Sajillo Kapada

  1. I’m really interested to read about your promotion of homemade sanitary pads in nepal. I am currently volunteering in the Lamjung district of nepal raising awareness on the topics of sexual and reproductive health. I am keen to organise a workshop teaching young women to make homemade sanitary pads. It would be really great if you could get involved in any way? Many thanks

    • Home made sanitary pad is one of the important program that our youth information forum is doing. I are providing training to young women and especially women working in factories. Yes!! We can work together for this as our members from youth information forum have been hired by UNV, Save the Children to train their youth regarding home made sanitary pads. Let me know in any time you would like to conduct the workshop and involve us 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your quick and positive reply. We would love to work with you! We would like to try and set up an event in the next few weeks, after the 11th of May but before the 12th June (when we leave Nepal)
        Unfortunately as a charity we have a limited budget, but we could definitely provide accommodation and possibly travel expenses depending on the distance.
        We are working in three main areas in Lamjung and would like to repeat the workshop in these three villages.
        We would be so grateful if you or anyone involved in the production of homemade sanitary pads would be available to attend. Thank you so much for your reply.

      • Great! We have many female young volunteers in Bhaktapur youth information. It is in deed great opportunity for us to work with you in your working areas. Please let me know when we could talk about the program and make it happen in your reasonable time. Thank you so much!!

      • Sorry for the late reply. We have been working out of community for the last week and have no had access to internet. We are planning training days to coincide with World Menstrual Health day on the 28th of May, and would love it if your volunteers could be involved. As I mentioned before we are working in 6 different communities and would love to provide the training in all villages, if this would be a realistic timeframe for you. We could potentially do two villages in one day. Of course we could provide accomodation. Having discussed with the other volunteers we would really appreciate it if you could provide the training! What are your thoughts? Best wishes

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