GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
»
2-min read

Kolkata's Padman: This 21-yr-old Distributes Sanitary Napkins in Public Toilets

Sobhan Mukherjee, a first year MSc Geography student of Ashutosh College has been distributing sanitary napkins at pay and use toilets in South Kolkata since October 2017.

Prema Rajaram | CNN-News18

Updated:February 13, 2018, 12:44 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Kolkata's Padman: This 21-yr-old Distributes Sanitary Napkins in Public Toilets
Representative image. Photo: Getty Images
Kolkata: While Akshay Kumar starrer Padman is creating social awareness about sanitary napkins, a 21-year-old student from Kolkata is putting thought into practice.

Sobhan Mukherjee, a first year MSc Geography student of Ashutosh College has been distributing sanitary napkins at pay and use toilets in South Kolkata since October 2017.

Calling the initiative ‘Project Bandhan’, he buys the sanitary napkins at Rs 2 each from the distributor and places them in cardboard ice cream boxes and installed in pay and use toilets.

Initially they were given away free of cost, but due to misuse, he decided to sell them at the cost price. He is not looking to make a profit, and says he will form an NGO to further the cause.

“My only aim is to break the social taboo prevalent in many sections of society and encourage every woman in India to wear a sanitary napkin which is also hygienic. Filmmakers, students and working professionals have come forward to help me monetarily while me friends assist me to install the boxes in the city’s toilets,” he said.

Mukherjee who is also the founder-editor of a magazine called ‘Kabi Kalom’, came up with the idea one day when a colleague had to return home as she was in need of a sanitary napkin. He then approached the councilor of his ward in Bansdroni area who was supportive of his idea to install boxes with sanitary napkins in pay and use toilets.

From there on, he reached out to councilors in various wards in South Kolkata which has culminated to him reaching the figure of 35 pay and use toilets by mid-February. He is looking to expand his project to north Kolkata and eventually spread Project Bandhan to different parts of the city.

The first step is to overcome the challenge of educating guards at the pay and use toilets and getting their support. He works in tandem with the guards who he is in regular touch with and keeps a tab when the stock is over and replaces them. In areas where colleges are located like Gol Park, an average of 50 pads get used per week.

He spends Rs.3000 for 10 toilets which is steep for Mukherjee. While some individuals have come forward to help him, he hopes more people come forward to support his project. Some even donate in small amounts like Rs100 which can buy 50 pads. Mukherjee even accepts digital payments from apps like Paytm.

Mukherjee also reached out people on social media to further his cause. The first post on the need of using sanitary napkins fetched him 3000 shares. Now, he plans on taking his social media campaign forward by making short videos and uploading them periodically on Facebook.

While his friends help him with him campaign on field and on social media, his cousin brother who is studying mechanical engineering is working out a solution of making a low cost vending machine. “The idea is to focus on using the funds on sanitary napkins and not utilize them solely on expensive vending machines,” Mukherjee said.

Also Watch

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
Read full article