Alappuzha: The Alappuzha municipality in Kerala has launched a new initiative in the state. 'Project Thinkal' has been launched to encourage the use of menstrual cups instead of non-biodegradable sanitary pads in Kerala. On Saturday, minister Thomas Isaac inaugurated the Thinkal Menstrual Cup project in Alappuzha. 

In just two days after the launch of 'Project Thinkal', 280 menstrual cups have been distributed in Alappuzha district already. 'Thinkal' means moon in Malayalam. Earlier, the women had to look at the moon to calculate their menstrual cycle. Hence the name 'Project Thinkal'. It has been reported that in the first phase, 5,000 menstrual cups will be distributed. 

'Thinkal' is a joint venture where the civic body has joined hands with HLL Lifecare Limited. HLL produces the cups. The project is funded by the government-run company Coal India Ltd as part of its CSR initiative.

During the August floods in 2018, Alapuzha district was the worst hit in the state. At least 488 people died and 54.11 lakh people in 14 districts in Kerala were severely affected in the state due to the heavy rains. Thousands of families were forced to move to 47 relief camps in the state. The major concern in the state was the disposal of sanitary pads from the camps. 

According to reports, if 5,000 women start using cups,  the use of around 39 lakh pads can be avoided. The data also says that an average woman uses at least 156 napkins in a year, while a menstrual cup can be used for nine to 10 years.