To address the issue of menstrual hygiene, Rajasthan government has decided to install free sanitary napkin vending machines in all the 189 government colleges across the state, from the next academic year starting July 2019.
The initiative that aims to provide free napkins to nearly 2.8 lakh college going girls, will make Rajasthan the only state to do so.
The move will also scale up the measures taken by the erstwhile Vasundhara Raje government to install sanitary napkin vending machines at some schools and railways stations. She’d said the scheme would benefit girls and women in the age bracket of 15 years to 45 years. Additionally, the newly elected government has also launched a 60-day programme where government college education was also made free for girls.
For many poor and low-income families, sanitary pads are still out of reach. Due to lack of awareness and means, many women in rural areas still use rags, leaves while menstruating. Not maintaining proper menstrual hygiene may result in serious infections and health issues among adolescent girls.
Bhanwar Singh Bhati from the Department of Higher Education told Times of India: “The department is sending the proposal to the Government. An allocation of Rs 2.5 crore is required.”
PTI had earlier reported that Rs 76 crore was also allotted for this scheme. The state government has also roped in many women self-help groups, and corporate organisations to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene and to break the silence around the issue.