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Sathya Natarajan (46) A Pune based Engineer is an eco-warrior actively working for environment conservation by volunteering with the local administration. With his ‘Desktop Volunteering’ he also helps people in tree plantation who do not at all have time but wish to help plant trees. He is also working to create awareness about menstrual health and hygiene by raising the issue of safe disposal of sanitary waste.

Sathya Natarajan along with 60 plus NGO’S and groups has been making difference in the areas of menstrual hygiene, gender empowerment, education and tree protection.

The story begins here! One fine day when Sathya Natarajan took his two daughters to a nearby dumping yard. The sister’s excitement vanished when the trio reached the place. When Sathya reached near a bin containing all the discarded pads and was about to lift one among them, his younger daughter shouted with protest! “Papa don’t pick it up. It’s dirty!”

To this Sathya replied, “If you don’t want your father to lift the uncovered sanitary waste, then how can you expect someone else to pick it up who is somebody’s parent?” 

With this question put in forward to his daughter, Sathya explained his daughter about the menstrual hygiene, it’s safe disposal and most of all the dignity of labours.

A man besides teaching his own daughters has reached 4000 women across Pune to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene and its safe disposal.

“Till now the waste was segregated in two different ways, that is one was dry waste and other was a wet waste. But now we have come forward with the third type that is a sanitary waste. It is a must to safely dispose off  as it not only affects the environment but also the labours working, animals wandering over it and spreading diseases,” mentioned Sathya while speaking to the Earthview. For a population of 400 million menstruating women in India, 7-9 pads on an average are used per month by one single menstruating woman, which in turn generates 300 tonnes of sanitary waste daily! To counter this Pune based engineer, looking forward to protecting the earth has put a step ahead. 

From years Sathya has been working with SWaCH, an organization that works with Pune Municipal Corporation to collect and recycle waste to improve the dignity of labour, their health conditions and most importantly a sustainable environment. 

To bring dignity to these workers, he is working for ‘Red Dot Campaign’ in the city to protect the health of the workers working in  the dump yards. The campaign observed was to spread awareness and educate the women. 

With strong will power and commitment, Sathya had introduced three modes of taking care. 

Firstly, the dignity of the labours is a must to be maintained. Labour is also a human being like us who is working for their livelihood risking their lives and killing their wishes. “After working for hours to segregate the waste and back to their rest phase must be a difficult task for the waste pickers, Isn’t it? Who knows, while having their meal the dump yard might again rise in front of them! They must have surely lost all their senses for the sake of surviving their livelihood,” expresses Sathya.

He further said that women can opt for more eco-friendly ways of using sanitary napkins. Many eco-friendly pads can be used which can prevent the usage of normal plastic pads resulting in less environmental destruction. 

He further shared that meticulous steps should be followed for proper waste management, the garbage van should contain a sanitary bin or a separate box where people as a responsible citizen can themselves put the sanitary waste in it. This reduces the risk of labours lives and prevents diseases from spreading in the environment. 

Menstrual waste management is extremely important and immediate actions are required to tackle with time. With innovations in future and encouraging the production of organic sanitary napkins can be a helping hand. 

Sathya besides working for menstrual hygiene has put great efforts in contributing towards the environment as well. He has been volunteering the Swachh Pune Swachh Bharat along with Area Sabha Association of Pune, river cleaning to the Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC). He dedicates all seven days in a week to solve such issues which are a threat to the environment.Sathya is passionate about working for LAW, here an abbreviation of Land, Air and Water. To create awareness regarding the conservation of the environment, Sathya has joined all such local groups and social media platforms. 

Sathya works towards creating awareness about tree rules act. He also guides people for proper tree plantation. He provides ‘Desktop Volunteering’ for those people who do not at all have time but wish to help plant trees. According to their wish, they can choose any location within India and register themselves at GrowTrees.com. They will receive an audit certificate and an audit report of their tree every six months. 

Sathya is a true eco-warrior who has been actively contributing to the conservation for Pune city sensitizing people about environment making them eco-conscious.

Written by : Vaishnavi Jawalkar

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