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Supreme Court to have sanitary napkin vending machines, Rs 10 lakh released

There are around 1,000 woman lawyers and interns as well as around 250 woman staff with the court registry.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2017 21:12 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Supreme Court,Sanitary napkins,Sanitary pads
The Supreme Court’s medical clinics that provide first-aid to lawyers and visitors don’t keep sanitary pads.(File)

The Supreme Court will put sanitary napkin vending machines, a step that will help lawyers and litigants forced to suspend work and dash to a chemist or shop selling pads during uncomfortable situations.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued a directive to the Supreme Court registry on Tuesday to install three machines after advocate Nandini Gore pointed out how difficult it is for women visiting and working in the court to get disposable sanitary napkins when the need arises.

Besides, the court’s medical clinics that provide first-aid to lawyers and visitors don’t keep pads.

The court released Rs 10 lakh for three machines and an equal number of incinerators to safely dispose of soiled napkins.

The top court’s move complements efforts to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene in a country where menstruation is considered a taboo as many Indian women still face challenges such as restrictions on visiting religious shrines and preparing food, and enforced isolation during their periods.

The government hands disposable pads in several states as part of a healthcare initiative for women as well as to break superstitions over menstruation, a subject rarely discussed openly in rural and urban India.

Gore, secretary of the Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association (SCAORA), said there are around 1,000 woman lawyers and interns as well as around 250 woman staff with the court registry.

“All of them will benefit from today’s order.”

She said she would request the registry to install a machine in the chamber block outside the court complex where lawyers have their offices.

The other two, she said, should ideally be placed in washrooms.

The funds came from Rs 1.4 crore the court received from two Gurgaon-based doctors, indicted for sheltering a politician accused of murder.

The court imposed the fine after the CBI established the Gurgaon hospital helped former legislator of the Indian National Lok Dal evade arrest.

Besides the vending machines, Chief Justice Misra released Rs 80 lakh for the Supreme Court Bar Association. The amount will go into a fixed deposit. The interest will be used to provide medical assistance to lawyers.

The SCAORA will get Rs 50 lakh, while Rs 5 lakh will be given to the widow of the man allegedly killed by the former legislator.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 20:55 IST