Menstrual hygiene is still a taboo topic in India. To make life a tad easier for underprivileged girls, the government will soon launch low-cost sanitary pads. These will be available at all Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana stores from May-end.
These pads are manufactured under the ‘Suvidha’ brand. These will be sold out at one-third of the price of sanitary napkins currently available in the market. Also, these are biodegradable napkins and its use will lead to a cleaner environment, said Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar.
The pads will be available at all Janaushadhi stores from May 28, according to minister Ananth Kumar
The aim is to provide pads and create awareness among women about menstrual hygiene practices. Only women in the Below Poverty Line category can avail of these sanitary pads, the minister said, Economic Times reported.
“In the first phase, all 3,200 PJBJP outlets will sell…Later, we will again brainstorm and decide how to expand the program,” Kumar said.
Over 3,200 PMBJP stores dispensing generic medicines at less than half the prices in the open market have been opened, stated a release by the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers.
While a pack of four sanitary pads in average costs Rs 32, now the price of a similar pack of biodegradable pads will be Rs 10, the press release said
“Disposable sanitary pads are the cheapest and most readily available, so its use is being promoted,” it stated. “At the same time, most disposable pads available in the country contain chemicals, gels and plastic sheets that pose health hazards and create “a lot” of waste that is poorly managed”, it added.
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A report by PATH, Water aid and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council states that India generates estimated 13 tonnes of menstrual waste annually. In other words, it translates to 12.3 billion disposed sanitary pads. Clearly biodegradable pads is the way forward!
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