Guwahati, Dec 26 (IANS) The state-owned OIL has launched 'OIL Shakti', a society-based sanitary napkin production and marketing unit in Assam, to promote the menstrual health and hygiene management among women of vulnerable communities so as to reduce maternal and infant mortality ratios, officials said here on Saturday.
An Oil India Limited (OIL) official said that the scheme was launched under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Hijuguri in eastern Assam's Tinsukia district.
"The scheme will increase the livelihood opportunities as well as health and hygiene management of women, especially in rural areas," the official told IANS.
An OIL release said on Saturday that for carrying out mass awareness against the stigma associated with menstruation, a comic book based on scientific facts in Assamese language was also released which would be distributed at schools, colleges and the community level.
The sanitary napkin production and marketing unit would be managed by a large network of rural women for promotion of menstrual health and hygiene management among the vulnerable communities such as adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and rural women in reproductive age group as well as men under 'Project OIL Arogya' to reduce the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in OIL's operational areas of eastern Assam.
The release said that the unit was inaugurated by OIL's Chief General Manager Dilip Kumar Bhuyan along with Deputy General Manager (CSR & CC) Tridiv Hazarika and Senior Manager-(CSR) Nayana Madhu Dutta among others.
According to an official document, the MMR of India per 100,000 live births has declined to 113 in 2016-18 from 122 in 2015-17 and 130 in 2014-2016.
The document said that India's IMR also declined to 34 (per 1,000 live births) in 2016 as compared with 44 in 2011. The annual rate of decline of IMR between 2015 and 2018 was 8.1 per cent.