Plea In Supreme Court For Free Distribution Of Sanitary Pads In Schools

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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking to provide free sanitary pads in schools to girls studying in classes 6 to 12. The plea sought directions to governments to provide free sanitary pads.

The plea was moved by Jaya Thakur through advocates Varinder Kumar Sharma and Varun Thakur. The petitioner said that adolescent females aged 11 to 18 years coming from poor backgrounds faced serious difficulties regarding menstruation and menstrual hygiene.

Thakur said, “These are adolescent females who are not equipped with and are also not educated by the parents about menstruation and menstrual hygiene.” She added that the deprived economic status and illiteracy lead to unhygienic practices which lead to health consequences.

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Free Sanitary Pads In Schools

The petition illustrates that the steps are being taken by the government but added that they were unable to cover all of the girls throughout the country. The petition also submits that the lack of proper menstrual hygiene management serves as a major barrier for girls getting an education.

In the plea, the petitioner sought to issue directions to provide separate toilets for girls and one cleaner in all government, aided, and residential schools. The plea also sought to issue directions to the respondents to provide a three-stage awareness programme regarding menstruation.

The first stage would be spreading awareness around menstrual health and unboxing the taboos surrounding menstruation. The second stage would be providing sanitation facilities and subsidised or free sanitary products to women and young girls, especially in disadvantaged areas. The third stage would be to ensure there was a hygienic manner of menstrual waste disposal.

The petition stated that the right to health was established under Article 21 of the Constitution of India which guarantees the right to life and dignity.

Managing menstruation in a hygienic manner is essential to the well-being of women. Inadequate menstrual hygiene can compromise a girl’s education and health.

The petition said that efforts to address the inadequacies involve the provision of sanitation and hygiene facilities.