The University of Hyderabad (UoH) has indicated that they will install sanitary napkin vending machines in the women’s hostels and health care centres on the campus. The decision comes as a result of Anju Rao Guddugurki’s campaign. Anju is a postgraduate student in the Department of Sociology at Hyderabad University.

The girls living in the hostel had to walk 3 to 4 km to a store outside the campus every time they needed pads.

Anju says, “One evening, I began menstruating heavily. When I went in search of a sanitary napkin, I found all the general retail stores on the UoH campus shut. Upon enquiry, I was told that they had been shut since June after being caught selling expired products. There were no napkins available at the Health Centre pharmacy also. The girls living in the hostel had to walk 3 to 4 km to a store outside the campus every time they needed pads.”

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On August 4, the registrar informed students that sanitary napkins would be temporarily available at stationery outlets. And soon the general stores will reopen.

“Three days later, the administrators issued another circular. It said that a committee had been constituted to make recommendations regarding procurement of three sets of sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators in the women’s hostels,”she said.

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In July, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation announced its decision to install sanitary napkin dispensing machines in its schools. The machines will benefit more than 750 students in the 35 schools the corporation runs.

Kerala has also made the provision of sanitary napkins mandatory in all higher secondary schools in the state.

The UGC has already suggested installing sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators, earlier this year. The project under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, will be undertaken by the HLL Lifecare Limited.

Also: Aditi Gupta’s Journey on Breaking Menstrual Taboos with ‘Menstrupedia’

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