In a drive to promote menstrual hygiene and popularize usage of sanitary napkins, among girls and women, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has suggested installing vending machines for the same. Soon all women and girls’ hostels in various universities will have sanitary napkin vending machines and eco-friendly incinerators. This step is taken as part of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.

The UGC has chosen HLL Lifecare Limited, a government of India public sector enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for installing the machines.

As social stigma prevails, girls feel embarrassed in buying sanitary products from conventional stores which lead them to indulge in unsafe practices, said an official.

“These vending machines will ensure an effective and convenient mode for any time access to the sanitary napkins. The purpose is to promote safe and hygienic sanitary practices among the women and girls,” the official added, Hindustan Times reported.

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These vending machines will cost around ₹ 49.646 lakh each and they will be directly linked to the Solid Waste Management component of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

The UGC wrote a letter to all the University heads asking them to approach the Ministry of Urban Development. It further proposed that it is important to promote menstrual hygiene and proper disposal of menstrual waste by creating awareness, encouraging every woman to use eco-friendly incinerators and promoting research for a biodegradable alternative.

It is crucial for authorities like UGC and the government to speak up on the matter of menstrual taboo. Recently, Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia also emphasised on a different aspect of menstruation and that is gender sensitization. In his speech, he spoke that as much as it is important for young girls to learn about menstruation, it is also imperative for boys to learn about it and be aware.

Reference Picture credit – Sanitation Updates