The Uttar Pradesh government has said that it will provide free sanitary napkins to adolescent girls in government and aided schools so that they do not have to skip classes during their menstrual cycle.
The napkins will be provided by the government under its ‘Kishori Suraksha Yojna’ scheme.
“Around 45,000 girl students in upper primary school, secondary and senior secondary schools will be covered under the scheme. Girl students from class 6 to class 12 will be given napkins,” PK Upadhyay, district inspector of schools (DIOS), Gautam Budh Nagar, said on Saturday.
“The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet had given its approval to the project two months ago. Tenders were issued for it and the company was selected. Now, we expect the scheme to be inaugurated by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on August 1,” said Arvind Narain Misra, secretary, medical health and family welfare (Uttar Pradesh).
"Under the scheme, one pack of 10 napkins will be provided free of cost per month to all adolescent girl students in the age group of 11 to 18,” he said.
The survey done by the state health department has revealed that around 28 lakh adolescent girls in state miss school every month due to problems related to menstruation, and 19 lakh eventually quit education.
A survey conducted by Unicef for India has revealed that over 85% of the girls in the country use clothes during menstruation.
“Staining during this period causes embarrassment and compels girls to stay away from school. Due to lack of education about menstrual hygiene, they at times develop infections. If they are provided with sanitary napkins, girls will not have to skip classes,” said Malini Sharma from an NGO working for women issues.
“Mothers should educate their daughters about menstrual cycle. The scheme will be very beneficial for adolescent girls,” said AK Aggarwal, president, Indian Medical Association, Noida.
“In Kenya, adolescent girls are provided with kits that contain two pairs of underwear, three reusable sanitary napkins and two convenient carrier bags. These are designed to last up to two years,” said Aggarwal.