PM launched Bhutan-made sanitary pads

Phub Dem

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering launched a locally manufactured sanitary pad, Chechay on February 1.

The proprietor, Pema Chozom, said she had been working on this project for more than a year. “Our country imports sanitary pads from neighboring countries, especially India, but with this new innovation Bhutanese don’t have to import pads from India or any other countries,” she said.

According to Pema Chozom, access to finance remained a challenge, but through the Royal Monetary Authority’s initiatives such as Jab-Chor and the Priority Sector Lending (PSL) she managed to start the business.

The Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering during the launch said that he was excited that Bhutanese women could now use sanitary pad made in Bhutan.

Lyonchhen said that the government would support the startup with distribution mechanism in the initial years. “The education ministry is already working with her so that she can distribute the sanitary napkins in schools.”

Emphasising on the importance of entrepreneurs, Lyonchhen said startups should be committed and have the endurance to reach the finish line. Besides, entrepreneurs must think of employing people rather than getting employed, Lyonchhen said.

The market price for ultra-thin standard flow is Nu 50 and for heavy flow is Nu 65.

Although Chechay is slightly costlier than some imported sanitary pads, Pema Chozom said that the company has no intention to compete with imported pads.

Pema Chozom said that beyond production, the company also focused on quality and creating awareness on menstrual hygiene in rural communities. “We focus on 4As—accessibility, affordability, awareness, and advocacy.”