On Tuesday, World Environment Day, a fully biodegradable low-cost sanitary napkin was released for the first time in the country. This was released in Bengaluru by Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), in association with department of pharmaceuticals, according to reports.

Jan Aushadhi Suvidha sanitary napkins

The napkins are called the ‘Jan Aushadhi Suvidha sanitary napkins’. The authorities have also kept in line with the theme of ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. On June 5, these were launched before hundreds of people. The crowd also included 200 girls from five city schools.

The napkin contains a special additive that makes it biodegradable when exposed to sun and air. The oxo-biodegradable napkin starts decomposing six months after its disposal in a landfill, under certain pressure conditions. In comparison to this, an ordinary pad starts degrading only after 500 years. This new napkin costs only Rs 2.50 per piece. The aim is to enable more women to have access to affordable and healthy menstruation products.

“In India, only 48% of women use sanitary napkins, as the remaining 52% are unable to afford them. This has been done to ensure swachhata, swasthya and suvidha (hygiene, health and convenience) for unprivileged women like garment workers and daily wage workers,” said Ananth Kumar, Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers

More initiatives 

Last week, on World Menstrual Hygiene Day, National Commission for Women wrote to HRD ministry to consider installation of sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators in institutes. NCW pointed out that about 23 per cent of girls miss school or drop out due to non-availability of hygienic sanitary products in institutions. The commission wrote the letter highlighting the importance menstrual hygiene management holds.
In another initiative, to boost sanitation facilities in and around station premises, the Railway Board will make available sanitary pads in areas nearby. The authority will now sell these at toilet facilities both inside and outside railway stations. So not only passengers, even people in surrounding areas can avail the facility, according to a new policy recently approved by Railway Board.
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, 58% of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons.
Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV
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