The National Commission for Women has written to the HRD ministry to consider installation of sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators in schools and colleges. As per reports, NCW suggested ideas for the same to the Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Highlights difficulties female students face

The 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. Female students face difficulty maintaining sanitation and hygiene because many educational institutions fail to meet even the bare minimum standards.

It is a known fact that improper disposal of soiled sanitary napkins adversely affects the environment and public health. Therefore, abiding by the Swachh Bharat Mission, NCW suggested installation of eco-friendly incinerators for safe disposal of sanitary cloths and pads.

On May 28, World Menstrual Hygiene Day, NCW wrote the letter highlighting the importance menstrual hygiene management holds.

Promoting menstrual hygiene

Many government departments are already creating awareness and doing their bit to to break the taboos around menstruation and promote menstrual hygiene management.

Recently, Pune Municipal Corporation decided to provide free sanitary napkins to girls in municipal schools. More than 23,000 girls will benefit from the initiative. In July 2017, the University Grants Commission (UGC) directed Universities to install sanitary napkin incinerators in women’s hostels.

Last year, activists of Students Federation of India and All India Democratic Women’s’ Association sent sanitary napkins to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley demanding withdrawal of GST on sanitary napkins. This marked the beginning of the All India Campaign  “Bleed Without Fear, Bleed without Tax”. India levies 12% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sanitary napkins.

Recognising the need to make hygienic menstrual products accessible and affordable is the first step. There is a lot that needs to be done to improve the quality of life for a large portion of women and adolescent girls in the country. 

Also: #MenstrualHygieneDay: Why Menstrual Hygiene Matters

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Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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