M A I N   N E W S

One-rupee sanitary napkin for rural girls
Phase I of the scheme will cover 1.5 cr girls in 152 districts of 20 states
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Rural adolescent girls can now demand one sanitary napkin for one rupee. The Health Ministry has approved a new scheme for easy access to sanitary napkins as part of the menstrual hygiene promotion programme for adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 years in villages. This scheme aims to spread hygiene awareness among girls.

The scheme will work simply. The girls will henceforth get a pack of six sanitary napkins under the National Rural Health Mission’s brand called “Freedays”. A pack of six napkins will cost Rs 6 (Re 1 per piece), and will be distributed by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs).

In the first phase, the scheme will cover 25 per cent of the target population -- 1.5 crore girls aged 10 to 19 years in 152 districts of 20 states. It is expected that by making sanitary napkins available at village level, the usage of sanitary napkins will increase. Easy access and convenient pricing are strategies adopted by the ministry for increasing usage of safe and hygienic practices during menstruation. The ASHA will get an incentive of Re 1 on the sale of each pack, besides a free pack of sanitary napkins per month for herself.

The scheme was formulated in the light of evidence that lack of access to menstrual hygiene (which includes sanitary napkins, toilets in schools, availability of water, privacy and safe disposal) could contribute to local infections including reproductive tract infections. Studies have shown that such infections are closely interrelated with poor menstrual hygiene and pose grave threats to women’s lives, livelihood, and education.

Services for the prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections are integral to the Reproductive Child Health Programme II.





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