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Dear OpenIDEO

Thank you for your constructive feedback. We are heartened that you share our excitement on the innovativeness of our idea!

We have incorporated your feedback as much as possible in the text of our idea and would like to use the comments section to expand further.

1. OpenIDEO has nudged us to look at environmental impact more closely at this early stage. We have identified two incinerators. Green Dispo (sanitary napkin electric incinerator) designed by 3 local women entrepreneurs (Girl Care Industries), which adheres to WHO norms (incineration at 800 degrees GD and residual ash less than 1 gm per napkin ) and the 'Ashudhinashak Clay Incinerator' developed by Vatsalya Foundation and piloted in Gujrat. However, we will need technical support to assess and ensure that these incinerators are fit for purpose to our programme needs.

2. We have taken suggestions from the community on the disposal system in FGDs. Female participants were excited at the possibility of sanitary bins and incinerator, which reinforced our idea Community members recommended that the management of disposal from bin to incinerator is invested in the local panchayat ensuring dignity and privacy. The option of disposing used products in a sanitary bin at home (there is a government campaign to build toilets in all homes) or the option of disposing in a bin in the AWC was very well-received. Anganwadi Centres are also a place for teenage girls to gather and get education on various aspects. Its a familiar place and they would not hesitate to enter the Aanganwadi campus for disposal of used pads.

3. Our initiative will be a social enterprise. The education module targeting boys and young men will be an innovation that might not generate revenue. However, 2 other products will have purchase value. The project's MHM pack will be saleable providing choice to the consumer. It will have options for disposable and reusable sanitary towels. VMM has piloted the manufacture and sale of disposal sanitary towels that gives income opportunities to local girls and women. A pack of 8 will sell for Rs 24 to the customer (commercial brands cost Rs 40-45) covering capital, operational and sales costs. The sanitary towels tested had C.P.M and blue inner cloth, wood pulp sheet and air laid paper. Environmental impact will however need to be assessed. We have also communicated with MamanShujaa, an Amplify participant to understand the reusable flannel based product (AfriPad) she is promoting in DRC. The other product is a sanitary bin, which is feasible because of the government's WASH campaign.

4. Cyclone shelters are normally "pucca" concrete roof buildings. An average village has a population of 5000 (minor panhcayat) - 15000 (major panhcayat). During cyclone warning those living in low cost constructions that are vulnerable to strong winds are evacuated to cyclone shelters, usually 15 to 20% of the population or about 1000 to 3000 in 2-3 shelters. We will advocate with local panchayats to make storage space for our kits and ensure sanitary bins are kept in female only toilets in the shelters. After the cyclone, the sanitary bins could be emptied into incinerators.

Hi Neema, you are indeed inspiring! A quick question. Would 4000 kits suffice for 4000 girls in a year? Does each kit have a shelf life of 12+ cycles? You may want to expand on the numbers. I anticipate you might need more than 4000 kits a year? Best wishes.

Hi Ashley, thanks for having a read and your query. We anticipate supplying sanitary bins (like the ones' in ladies' washrooms), which would be manufactured inexpensively locally. In addition, we'll need to set up a local waste disposal service i.e. from bin to incinerator. Some of the questions that come to mind are for e.g. where best to locate the sanitary bins? In homes or in the 'local hub'? How to set up a bin to incinerator disposal service - tie up with local municipal services or set up one exclusively for the project? We will rely on human centred design solutions to address disposal related issues. The premise is respect, dignity, hygiene and infection-control. From our past project experiences we are confident that we'll get creative and smart solutions from the community!

An education objective is to redirect/reroute disposal of sanitary towels/used cloth from open overflowing garbage dumps to the sanitary bins. That's key!

Thanks again!

p.s. - a query - is there a way to include a schematic diagramme in this section?