A New Government Initiative Is Selling Biodegradable Pads For Only 2.50 Rupees

Representational image
Representational image© AFP 2018/ SAM PANTHAKY

Sanitary napkins have always had a tough time in India. You must pretend they don’t exist, or if they do, they must be hidden in an opaque black plastic bag so as to ensure total secrecy. Women in the poorest parts of the country have little-to-no access to hygienic and affordable sanitary products, causing a number of health and hygiene problems that are entirely preventable. Before access, though, comes awareness. Amidst all the misinformation and stigma surrounding sanitary pads, and mensuration in general, it is sad, but not surprising to see the appalling state of women’s health in India.

The government has time and again launched short-lived campaigns to provide quality healthcare to women, but never one quite like this. On Women’s Day, the Indian Government, in an unprecedented move, launched the oxo-biodegradable sanitary pads called ‘Suvidha’ that will be available at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras for the price of Rs. 2.50 per pad. They will be sold in packs of 4, the total pack costing Rs. 10. These will be sold across 3,200 PMBJP Kendras in the country starting May 28, 2018, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar announced on March 8.

Image source: NDTV

With this progressive move, the government has ensured a two-fold victory for every citizen of India – country-wide access to clean, affordable sanitary pads and a huge reduction in waste as women make the shift from plastic, non-biodegradable pads to the environment-friendly ones. Suvidha, aptly named, will prove to be very convenient for women across of all strata of society, those belonging to underprivileged remote areas and those living in developed urban areas alike.

This decision comes at a time when the the government was facing strong criticism for charging a 12% GST on sanitary napkins. Women argued that these products were a necessity and not a luxury commodity, and therefore should be treated like any other daily products that aren’t taxed - like deodorant and shaving materials for men. Now with the launch of Suvidha sanitary napkins, many women across the country can breathe a sigh of relief – they can finally afford to have their period every month without having to worry about diseases or the environment.

Representational feature image AFP 2018/Sam Panthaky

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