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10 Indian States That Are Making Menstrual Products Accessible To Girls

Like Scotland, Indian States also provide free access to sanitary products to curb absenteeism from schools.  
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  • Krati Purwar
  • Editorial
Published -17 Aug 2022, 11:46 ISTUpdated -17 Aug 2022, 11:56 IST
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free sanitary pads in schools

Scotland has been in the news lately  for all the right reasons. It is the first country to make menstrual products available for free in public places like community centres and pharmacies. The legislation was approved back in 2020 but has been brought into force this year.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison was quoted saying, “Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity and removes the financial barriers to accessing them.”

While we appreciate this move, we must know where our country stands when it comes to making menstrual products accessible to all menstruators. Here is a list of states that facilitate the free availability of sanitary products in public schools.

Uttar Pradesh

free sanitary pads in uttar pradesh

In 2015, the Uttar Pradesh government announced the availability of free sanitary napkins in aided and government schools to ensure that girls do not skip classes when their periods start.

When Akhilesh Yadav was the chief minister of the state, the government brought into force a scheme under which 10 sanitary napkins were to be provided to girl students between the ages of 11 and 18. 

PK Upadhyay, the district inspector of schools in Gautam Budh Nagar said around 45,000 girls in primary, secondary, and senior schools were to be covered under the scheme.

Kerala

In 2017, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan introduced a scheme called ‘She Pad’. It was aimed at distributing sanitary napkins to female students between classes six and 12. 

The scheme was brought into implementation by Kerala Women Development Corporation in at least 300 schools across 114 panchayats. The governing body also ensures safe and environment-friendly disposal of pads.

Rajasthan

In September 2021, the Rajasthan government announced the Udan scheme aiming to distribute free sanitary napkins in schools, colleges, and anganwadis. It approved a proposal for ₹200 crores.

Odisha

free sanitary pads in odisha

In May 2022, the Odisha government launched the Khushi scheme to distribute approximately 18 crore sanitary napkins to over 17 lakh girls studying in government and aided schools, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas. It is aimed to provide sanitary products to girls of classes six to 12.

Assam

In 2020, the Assam government, looking to improve menstrual hygiene among girl students, announced free sanitary napkins were to be provided to girls in government and aided schools. It also allocated around ₹25 crores to the scheme.

Sikkim 

In 2022, the Sikkim government announced the Bahini scheme to ensure 100% access to safe and free sanitary napkins for girls in secondary and senior secondary schools. It wants to prevent girls from dropping out of school and raise awareness about menstrual hygiene.

Maharashtra

free sanitary pads in maharshtra

In 2018, the Maharashtra government introduced the Asmita Yojana under which it subsidised the rate of sanitary pad packets. It ensured to make a packet available at just ₹5 to girls across Zilla Parishad schools.

In May 2022, the Maharashtra government launched another scheme to provide 10 sanitary napkins at just ₹1 every month to women below the poverty line or belonging to Mahila Bachat Gat. 

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Andhra Pradesh

In October 2021, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced the Swechha scheme under which the state aimed at providing girl students with free sanitary napkins. It has been implemented in over 10,000 government schools and intermediate colleges in the state.

The scheme covered around 10 lakh girls from classes seven to 12. The initiative started by providing girls with at least 10 pads to reduce absenteeism from schools during menstruation.

Chattisgarh

In 2016, the government of Chhattisgarh set into motion the process of installing sanitary napkin vending machines across more than 1500 government schools. The Suchita Yojana aimed at providing a sanitary napkin at just ₹2.

Don't Miss: Women With PCOS Had Heavier Periods Post Covid-19 Vaccination 

Himachal Pradesh

free sanitary pads in himachal pradesh

In 2018, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced the availability of sanitary pad packets for adolescent girls at ₹1. It is meant to improve the personal hygiene of girls. 

Much like the aforementioned states, other states also have some provisions to improve menstrual hygiene. In addition, India  has many organisations and home-grown brands making eco-friendly and sustainable options available to girls and women who menstruate. However, we still have a long way to go to fight period poverty in the country. 

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Disclaimer

Your skin and body like you are unique. While we have taken all measures to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social media channels is credible and expert verified, we recommend you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying a home remedy, quick hack or exercise regime. For any feedback or complaint, reach out to us at compliant_gro@jagrannewmedia.com