The first batch of relief materials sent by a Kerala based self help group has successfully reached the floodravaged women of Jammu and Kashmir. A consignment of 10,000 handmade sanitary napkins sent by ‘Kudumbashree’, one of the largest women empowering self help group in the state, were handed over to women in the relief camps at Gowkadal, Mandir Bagh, Samandar Bagh, Barbarshah, Chinkral Mohalla, Bemina and Khayam last week. With the help of ‘Get Closer’, a Kochi startup focusing on CSR Management and an NGO ‘Women’s Era’, the project was executed and the consignment was delivered directly to the women in the relief camps.
Speaking about their experience in executing the project as part of CSR initiative, Radhakrishnan Ram Manohar and Sidharth Vijayan, founder directors, said that it was an overwhelming experience. It was heart wrenching to see so much destruction was caused due to the deluge that had left thousands homeless, Radhakrishnan said. Rihana Yusuf, Secretary of ‘Women’s Era’, who accompanied the youngsters to the various relief camps said most of the women expressed happiness about the relief material sent by Kudumbashree.
She also expressed desire to come to Kerala to study the Kudumbashree model for implementation in J&K. The women in relief camps said most of them had no time to gather anything from their home and had to run to safety from floods with only their clothes they were wearing. Kudumbashree has sent the consignment free of cost. The napkins were made by Kudumbashree volunteers from their units in Kannur, Kochi, and Kottayam after toiling hard for three days, Kudumbashree Executive Director K B Valsalakumari said.
The lowcost but highquality Kudumbashree napkins, which the network has been producing on commercial scale for some time, will be a relief for hundreds of women living in refugee camps in the floodhit valley, she said.
Sidharth said they first spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir authorities about the most needed articles in the delugehit state and were advised that sanitary napkins and blankets were in short supply. We decided to act immediately. Though there were many private players, we decided to get in touch with Kudumbashree as it had a connect as the sanitary napkins were made by the women of Kerala, he said. Go Air also partnered in the project by ensuring that the cargo was transported free of cost.
Kudumbashree is a women oriented, community based and poverty reduction project of the Kerala government, which was started in 1998 with the aim of wiping out poverty and empowering women through self help groups.