To boost proper sanitation and period hygiene in the state, a new scheme has been announced by the Haryana government that will provide free sanitary pads to about 22.50 lakh below poverty line women and girls — aged 10-45 every month, that too for a year.

The government will further make available fortified flavoured skimmed milk powder to pregnant and lactating mothers, and for children aged one to six at Anganwadi centres, under the Mukhya Mantri Doodh Uphar Yojana.  Women and Child Development Minister Kamlesh Dhanda has also said that the government has planned to commit Rs 216 crore to the cause, Times Now reported. Not only free sanitary napkins, unprivileged girls and women in the state will also benefit from the ‘Mahila Avm Kishori Samman Yojana‘ which will be launched by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday. Rs 30.80 crore have been allocated to this scheme, as per Dhanda.

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The minister assured that the ambitious scheme would reach about 9.03 lakh children and 2.95 lakh pregnant and lactating mothers visiting 25,962 Anganwadi centres in the state. Both the sanitary napkins and fortified skimmed milk powder will be distributed door-to-door by Anganwadi workers at the villages. This way it will be easier to build awareness for best practices of menstrual hygiene and usage of skimmed milk powder that would play an important role in reducing malnutrition.

What You Should Know

  • About 22.50 lakh women and girls will be given free sanitary napkins every month for a year in Haryana.
  • Flavoured skimmed milk powder will be provided to pregnant and lactating mothers, and  to children aged one-six
  • Rs 30.80 crore will be spent on ‘Mahila Avm Kishori Samman Yojana’.

Girls from rural Haryana suffer a lot due to poor access to menstrual hygiene facilities. According to a 2018’s study conducted by the School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), only 30 percent of women use sanitary napkins in the state. They also face numerous challenges while disposing of the napkins after use, reveals the study which claims that it is still considered a taboo in the state, Times of India had reported.

Shakti Project

This is not the first time the Haryana government has taken meassures to improve menstrual hygiene among women and girls in the state. Earlier, it had launched a scheme under which sanitary napkin packets costing one rupee each were provided to girl students at government schools. This initiative, kickstarted in 2018, also covered women belonging to BPL families apart from girl students in the region.

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A year before that, the Chief Minister had announced free distribution of sanitary napkins and allotted Rs. 18 crore for the same. The initiative was promoted by Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, who is from Haryana, and was spreading awareness about menstrual health through her project ‘Shakti’ at that time.

Image Credit: asia.nikkei.com

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