JK Lakshmi Cement CSR: A ‘friend’ to women and adolescent girls
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JK Lakshmi Cement CSR: A ‘friend’ to women and adolescent girls

By auther pic. Namit Hans

April 12, 2018

JK Lakshmi Cement CSR: A ‘friend’ to women and adolescent girls

Picture Credit: J K Laxmi Cement

‘Mor Sangwari’, one of the projects by CSR arm of prestigious JK Lakshmi Cement, literally translates to ‘My Friend’ in english. Through the project ‘Mor Sangwari’, the company aims at extending a friendly hand to the women and young girls who are deprived of basic hygiene facilities like sanitary napkins. The company promotes use of low cost sanitary napkins among these women and girls so as to improve their health.

 

In India, there is a big taboo associated to menstruation and there have also been cases of women being forced to keep away from places of worship or cooking areas because the period blood is considered to be impure. Moreover, the government’s initiative to promote use of pads among women across the country has not achieved the desired results. Even today, there are lakhs of women who use old and dirty cloth during their periods making them prone to various illnesses.

 

“Only 12% of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins. While cloth strips have traditionally been used by Indian women who cannot afford sanitary napkins (70% of women could not afford them), the survey finds that un-sanitised cloth, ashes and husk sand are used by 88% of women leading to more cases of urinary tract and other infections. Menstrual hygiene is lowest in eastern India, with 83% of women saying their families could not afford sanitary napkins,” states JKLC.

JK Laxmi Cement

Because of the lack of awareness regarding use of sanitary napkins, young girls have to face much more difficulties. They have to miss going to school because of their periods which affects their studies and some of these girls eventually drop out of the schools. Keeping this in mind, JKLC launched the ‘Mor Sangwari’ project in the villages of Chhattisgarh at Durg District, a site where the companies manufacturing plant is located.

 

Implementation

 

JKLC works in eight villages that surround its plant in Durg to spread awareness about the issue. To begin with, the company set up low cost sanitary napkin manufacturing unit in Girhola village and also formed a self help group of six women to take care of the day to day functioning of this manufacturing unit. A sanitary napkin manufacturing machine was installed here and the raw material for the production of the napkins is also provided by JKLC to the women.

 

A four day special training was given to these women to teach them the process of manufacturing the napkins. Further, the company worked extensively to promote use of these napkins among the women in the villages it is operating in. The company takes regular feedback through community meetings and set up 7 Village Development Committees (VDC’s) after it was recommended to them during one of these meetings.

 

The impact of these initiatives has been such that it has directly helped in bringing down drop out rates of adolescent girls in the village schools. Apart from that, their attendance in the schools has also improved significantly. The health levels of women have increased and the setting up, manufacture and sale of sanitary napkins has helped the women to earn a living giving them financial freedom.

 

The impact of ‘Mor Sangwari’ project has been such that the Department of Women and Child Development of Chhattisgarh government took note of it. The government took this project as a role model and replicated the same in 261 government schools where it has installed sanitary napkin vending machines and the incinerator. Chhattisgarh government plans to replicate the project in all government schools and government girl hostels. Apart from that, JKLC also replicated its project at two other plant locations.

JK Laxmi Cement

Other initiatives

 

The CSR arm of JK Lakshmi Cement works in several other areas apart from health and sanitation. Some of the major projects by the organization include Naya Savera - an integrated family welfare program, Project Arambh - work on adult literacy and many more. The company carries out its CSR work in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana apart from Chhattisgarh. The commitment of JKLC towards its CSR initiatives is proven by the fact that it actually spent more amount on CSR projects in the year 2016-17 than what was actually allocated.

 

Meanwhile, the company’s ‘Mor Sangwari’ project continues to bring a positive change in the lives of young girls and women. JKLC continues to be the friend, philosopher and guide to these girls.

 

 


 

Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at csr@ngobox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage. 

Author

Namit is a writer, editor and educator. He has worked as a journalist in prominent newsrooms in India and has also been a Gandhi Fellow. Currently, he works as a freelancer

 

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