Philanthropist  Irfana Zargar walks miles to
distribute free Sanitary Pads among needy women

By Mushtaq Bhat

Srinagar, July, 10 : When the administration issued directions to strictly implement the lockdown in Srinagar, Irfana Zargar walked on foot to deliver the sanitary napkins personally to women in need.
During the weekdays, Irfana who works as a full-time employee for Srinagar Municipality Corporation would attend her office, but on week-ends, the kind-hearted lady leaves her house in Nowshera to deliver free-of-cost sanitary pads to women belonging to weak economically weaker sections of the society at their doorsteps.
“It is difficult to move in the lockdown, but there are women who need me and I have to reach out to them,”
Irfana started the initiative of distributing free sanitary napkins in 2014. She used to put the hygiene kits in public washroom for women to use in case of emergency. But with the lockdown, she could not do it. So she would help women by reaching out at their doorsteps.

The noble soul spending part of her salary every month to buy sanitary napkins has now become an essential part of her life and identity.
“This is my passion. My goal in life is to help women in need. What good is a life if u can’t help others! I have been taught by my father that you should always do good work without thinking about the results.”
In the ongoing lockdown, the philanthropist would inform women about her stock through social media and they would contact her either on phone or through texts.”Whenever a request comes up, I would personally visit the place to deliver the products. But only after proper verification of the case,” says Irfana.
“I make sure that women who reach out to me are really in need  of the  hygiene kits and after that, I fix a time with them and distribute the pads among them,” explains she.Although her charity is usually for economically weaker women, due to lockdown, she has been getting calls from all sorts of people.
“I would receive requests from young girls, women from different fields as they find it difficult to venture out in lockdown,”
Many times Irfana has been contacted by a male member of the family and she asks them to reach a particular spot to collect thr kit.
Irfana does not have a vehicle of her own. However, she sets out on foot or by asking for lifts to visit women in need.
According to her, in lockdown transport has been one big issue which she has to deal with.
“I was planning to buy a car, but I’m not able to do it due to financial constraints right now.”
Besides supplying hygiene kits to women, Irfana has also been creating awareness about menstrual women in different parts of the city. For instance, I makeshift tents in the Soura area of Srinagar.
I told them about using pads and its advantages and they were very keen to know about sanitary hygiene.” Irfana had distributed pads among these women many times. While talking about her future plans, Irfana says right now she is getting a tiny house built that wilk prove beneficial for elderly women particularly those that have been abandoned by their families. “We have seen during covid 19 pandemic that people are abandoned. This small house of mine can ve used by these women. It has a bed, washroom facily available.”
Despite Irfana working tirelessly to help the women, so far her efforts have not been recognized by any government agency.
“I don’t want any reward. But at least I expect people to work in coordination to help out those who require support. People should come forward to help each other most importantly at the time of crisis.”
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