New Delhi: Consumer goods firm Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday joined hands with UNICEF to support a health and hygiene programme for adolescent girls in rural India.
As per an MoU signed between the two parties, a pilot project will be soon launched in four districts in Bihar and Jharkhand to create awareness among girls.
"If the pilot project, spread over a period of three years is successful, we would potentially replicate it in other parts of the country," Johnson & Johnson Consumer Asia Pacific Chairman Grace Castano said.
In the first three years, through the project the company was hoping to benefit five lakh girls, she said.
As part of the partnership, Johnson & Johnson will share a part of revenue from every Stayfree sanitary napkin sold, with UNICEF for a period of six months starting April 2012.
The funds thus raised will be used to support the pilot program to be carried out at Vaishali and Nalanda districts of Bihar, and East Singhbhum and Gumla in Jharkhand.
The program will also focus on development of knowledge and skills of teachers, self help group members and Anganwadi workers.
The company, however, did not provide financial details of the new project.
This is the first time that Johnson & Johnson has launched a project of this nature in partnership with UNICEF.
When asked if the company was looking to provide affordable products to girls in rural villages Castano said: "This partnership with UNICEF is purely for educating adolescent girls and not for product promotion or business."
As per estimates, sanitary napkins as a product category has only 2 percent penetration rate in rural India.
According to Castano, India is one of the top five markets for the company globally.