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Pad dispensing units installed two years ago in girls’ colleges in Gurugram defunct

All automatic sanitary napkin dispensers installed two years ago in Gurugram’s government colleges under the state government’s initiative to promote good menstrual health and hygiene are now defunct.

gurgaon Updated: Mar 12, 2019 04:44 IST
Sadia Akhtar
Sadia Akhtar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Five dispensers were installed in city’s three colleges — Government Girls College in Sector 14, Government College in Sector 9 and Dronacharya College in Sector 9 — in 2017. As on Monday, none of them had a functional napkin dispenser.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

All automatic sanitary napkin dispensers installed two years ago in Gurugram’s government colleges under the state government’s initiative to promote good menstrual health and hygiene are now defunct.

Five dispensers were installed in city’s three colleges — Government Girls College in Sector 14, Government College in Sector 9 and Dronacharya College in Sector 9 — in 2017. As on Monday, none of them had a functional napkin dispenser.

Principal of Sector 9 Government College Suresh Dhanerwal said the two machines that were installed never functioned automatically. “The machine has to be opened with a key to take the pad out. They do not release the napkin when you insert a coin, I have been told,” he said.

“One of the machines was working till a few days back. The other one hasn’t been working for a long time,” he said, adding that the college had more than 200 packets of unused sanitary pads.

“The packets available today have been lying unused since the very beginning, I have been informed,” Dhanerwal said, adding that he had joined the college six months ago and wasn’t aware about the status of the machines before his term started.

He, however, assured that he would ensure students have access to sanitary napkins whether the dispensers function or not. “I have informed college authorities to keep these packets in the open from now on, so they can be accessed by students. As for the machines, we don’t know how to get them fixed, nor do we know the agency to contact for it.”

Pooja Khullar, who took charge as the principal of Dronacharya College in November last year, said she had never seen the machines working. “We have one machine on campus but it is not being used since the internal mechanism is faulty. The machine has not been working since much before I took charge. We do not know how these machines can be made functional. We are trying to get in touch with some companies to get functional dispensers for the student community,” she said.

Principal of Government Girls College, Sector 14, Sushila Sharma said the college had two pad vending machines, but neither worked. “There is one machine in the hostel and another on the campus. They have not been working for six months,” Sharma said.

Students said in the absence of the vending machine, they had gotten used to “making their own arrangements”. “The machine doesn’t work and we are forced to approach the nurse to get a napkin. Some students even hesitate to do that. However, since most of the times there are no napkins with the nurse girls rely on each other,” Neelam Pawar, a final year BSc Biotech student of the Sector 14 college, said.

When informed about the dysfunctional status of the machines, deputy commissioner Amit Khatri assured to rectify the situation. “It’s an unfortunate situation. We will make the dispenser functional or shift them to another location where they can be used in a better use. We also plan to rope in private players for maintenance,” he said.

First Published: Mar 12, 2019 04:44 IST