The CHARCHA initiative paved way for the installation of PAD-ATMs. These are not bank ATMs or money ATMs. PAD-ATM initiative by Glad Bharat Foundation, are specially designed ATMs which aim to solve the issue of accessibility, availability and affordability of sanitary pads for the community women. Having the menstrual days pass at a comfortable pace with the help of sanitary pads, will aim to improve the overall menstrual health of the community women. PAD-ATMs are manually operated boxes which have pads manufactured by Jan Aushadhi Kendra which are available at a cost-effective price of just Rs 4 and contain 4 pads which imply the cost of a single pad to be Re1. PAD-ATM are operated by the local coordinators present at the centre who provide pads as asked by the community women after taking Rs 4 from them and when the ATM turns empty the local coordinator will send the collected money to GBF from where the ATM will get refilled within 24 to 36 hours. At every centre where ATMs are to be installed, a collective effort with local active NGOs for smooth operation and monitoring is encouraged by the Glad Bharat Foundation. These ATMs are just to make the community women habituated to the use of sanitary pads and relinquish the use of clothes and other unsafe products. This innovative idea of PAD-ATM was executed and first implemented on 19th August 2022 at the rural remote village of Raniganj, Tekari Block, Gaya, Bihar which consisted of 50 pads. Following the day of set-up, the request was raised on the very next day for 29 more packets which were then refilled on 21st August 2022. Further, the request was raised on 22nd August 2022 to which refilling was done on 24th August 2022. The response received from the place clearly shows the interest and inclination of community women in switching to the use of sanitary pads. Other locations’ people’s mobility on sanitary pads through PAD-ATMs are equally the same. The initiative by the Glad Bharat Foundation has a long way to go sustainably.
PAD-ATM are installed at various locations with the involvement of the communities, institutions and organizations in a collective effort by Glad Bharat Foundation
Now youth are explaining, how they became aware and how they are making the community aware about their menstrual health through PAD-ATM.
We work with youth in building their capacity by engaging them directly in our activity and initiative. When they come across challenges, they learn to solve the issue. Youth from the local community are coming up with solutions. This is true leadership development for a glad tomorrow. For achieving social development, it is necessary to mobilise the local community for their own development. In this way, instead of becoming dependent on any source, they develop the ability to be self-dependent in every aspect of their life. It is a happy moment that the effort is being fruitful by involving youth as a “Reason of Change” in their community.
— Blog By MANASVI, IIM ROHTAK