12th November 2019, New Delhi: As another new initiative towards Plastic-Free-India movement in her New Delhi constituency, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Mrs. Meenakshi Lekhi; on the auspicious eve of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab, distributed biodegradable Sanitary pads and bags to 200 economically weaker women and girl children, in a programme jointly organized by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) sponsored NGO Karamsakhi and Navjiwan RWA at Navjeevan Vihar, New Delhi.
While addressing the gathering, she said, “Right team and good people make it happen good things. When you want to do the right things, you will find ways.”
In her effort to describe plastic pollution lucidly before the gathering, she elaborated that 15 – 20 years ago, the use of plastic was not so bad. Within these last 2 decades, plastic has become over-utilized. Plastic does not degrade even up to 600 years. Due to the wrath of plastic pollution soil microbes and bacteria cannot degrade the plastic, which leads to worsening soil fertility. She further explained that plastic is imported from China, which strengthens its economy and weakens India’s environment and health.
It is noteworthy that according to a report the Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India (MHAI) has approximated that there are 336 million menstruating women in India, of which 36 percent use disposable sanitary napkins — that total to 121 million women. The number of sanitary napkins used per menstrual cycle — at a conservative eight-plus that for the year, implies that India has 12.3 billion disposable sanitary napkins to take care of every year, the majority of which are not biodegradable nor compostable.
The MP said that in the market the sanitary pads available are based on single-use plastic and polymers, although they look like cotton. She expressed confidence that when so many big changes are happening in India, Plastic-free India is also very much possible. She said that it is easy to bring results in an enlightened and aware society. Then it must be carried forward to neighbouring ones and other parts of the nation.
While congratulating Ms. Smriti Gupta and Mr. Sundeep Chadha, who represented the NGO Karamsakhi, Navjiwan RWA President, Mr. Vinay Bhasin, and Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary, Navjiwan RWA, who spearheaded the entire event; she expressed her confidence that many other societies in India will be inspired by this good deed of Navjiwan RWA. Mrs. Lekhi lauded that Navjiwan RWA and the residents of Navjeevan Vihar, through their own funding are carrying forward the movement for a complete 1-year to provide free-of-cost Plastic-Free Sanitary napkins to more than 130 lesser privileged women & girl children. “By doing so, they have exhibited community ownership, which needs to be adopted by every individual”, she said.
Social Activist, Mr. Rajesh Verma’s initiatives to install Automatic Vending Machine that could dispense low cost, biodegradable sanitary pads with the help of the Lioness Club was also appreciated by the MP. The machine is being installed in the market area of Navjeevan Vihar.
Dr. Nandini Sharma, Councilor, SDMC was also present in the progamme.
A langar was also organized for more than 500 people and it was totally a plastic-free event. Most of the utensils were steel-make. All non-plastic utensils were provided by Community Crockery Bank.
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