We wanted to share a bit about a truly amazing lady, Isa, a nurse and environmentalist, living in Madhya Pradesh, central India. She conducts educational sessions and promotes Eco Femme pads from the rural range to village women from the surrounding area.
The first 2 workshops I did were held in my Lodge, Flame of the Forest. The ladies came from 7 villages to be part of the workshop and although about 30 women gathered, if you break it down to 7 Villages, I managed to cover only a very small number of women per village. This is why I thought it might be better if I go and visit one by one all of the villages in my area.
The first one was Sontya village a few weeks ago. The women have a weekly get together where they share their needs and problems. I was lucky to be part of that meeting and hence there was a good gathering of women again. I use the Menstrupedia comicbook to break the ice. As promised the Cartoon is always handed out for free.
In the previous workshops, the women would use the whisper pads or any other regular plastic pad on and off if they had to go somewhere. However, in this village the women only use old fabric which is mostly cut pieces from their sarees and hence it is mainly viscose material which does not soak well.
The women saw the pads and were all very happy with the look of it and the quality of the fabric. The majority of women prefers the foldable model and not the model which is already in the shape of a pad. No one wanted the belt model. I do sometimes meet women who are happy with the belt model even if they are in menopause. A lot of women have discharge and therefor the belt model is a good product for the elderly generation who are not used to underwear.
In the first meeting I hand out the pads for free so that they can use it and later decide for them self if they would want to spend money on the product or rather not. After that I charge 30INR per pad, subsidising the rest myself, which seems to be a fair price for the women.
The main problem I currently face is the access to the products. I can store the pads in my house but it is rare that someone will drop by to purchase a pad. The ladies in Sontya were keen to search for a better solution and we all agreed that the price should be 30INR per piece and who ever is ready to store the pads at home or in a shop in order to make the product better accessible, is not supposed to put a mark up on it.
I will meet them again after a month for the evaluation.
If you would like to contact Isa or are interested in the work she does or her lodge, you can contact her using the details below.
If you are inspired by Isa’s work and would like to conduct similar sessions then please contact us.