Highly Subsidised Sanitary Napkins At Just Rs. 5 For The Women Of Maharashtra - Homegrown

Highly Subsidised Sanitary Napkins At Just Rs. 5 For The Women Of Maharashtra

Over the years, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have proven themselves to be nation’s more conscious states by installing sanitary napkin vending machines in public spaces; however Maharashtra too is joining the bandwagon by approving a plan to make sanitary napkins available to women in the rural areas at a subsidized rate. Only 17% of rural women in the state use sanitary napkins due to lack of awareness, restricted access, and the high costs and many of them still rely on various unhygienic practices like the use of old rags, plastics, sand and even ash which lead to the spread of innumerable diseases and issues. According to a health survey conducted in rural areas, it was revealed that girls between the age group 11-19 miss 50-60 days in an academic year due to their menstrual cycles; affecting both their academics and health.

This new solution aims to rectify these issues and provide easy access to menstrual products to all. The scheme, aptly called Asmita Yojna (meaning dignity) aims to make a pack of sanitary pads available at an affordable price of INR 5 to girls aged between 11-19. Besides school girls, this scheme will target about 1.75 crore women in rural areas of the state too. Although a pack of sanitary napkins for women is marked at INR 24 (240mm) and INR 29 (280mm), the packs are still cheaper than their market prices states Aseem Gupta, the secretary of the Rural Development Department.

The scheme has engaged three small-scale manufacturers that will be supplying the pads with the help of self-help groups (SHGs) run by women in the state. With the intent to raise the current percentage of usage of sanitary pads in rural Maharashtra. They will also focus on creating awareness about personal hygiene in the rural areas. The entire scheme will be implemented by the Rural Development Department under the Maharashtra State Rural Jivonnati Campaign. The Government plans to implement the scheme from March 8, which also marks International Women’s Day. This initiative is a giant leap towards unwrapping the stigmas around menstruation and personal hygiene.

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