New Delhi: In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Union Minister of Education Subhas Sarkar has highlighted that the Education Ministry is not considering any legislation for menstruation leaves across educational institutions across India.
"No such proposal is under consideration in the ministry," Sarkar stated in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on providing menstrual leaves.
Sarkar says UGC, AICTE already introduced policies
Sarkar mentioned the fact that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has developed "Guidelines for Basic facilities and amenities for a safe, secure environment for Women and Women Cell (for sensitization, policy implementation, monitoring, and grievance redressal) in HEIs", which aims to ensure easy access for students in order to cater to their hygiene needs.
“The HEIs should ensure easy access to basic sanitation and hygiene facilities for women such as clean, well maintained and fully functioning separate restrooms equipped with 24-hour tap water supply, soap, covered dustbins, sanitary pad disposal bins and vending machines in all its buildings. There should be proper sanitary staff deployed to keep the facilities clean and usable at all times," stated Sarkar referring to the UGC policy.
Sarkar also mentioned that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had issued an advisory to the institute's approved institutions on promoting menstrual health of adolescent girls by ensuring the availability of quality sanitary napkins through sanitary napkins vending machines and ensuring safe and environmentally friendly disposal of a used sanitary napkin through sanitary napkins incinerators.
Kerala initiates policy on menstrual leaves
The written reply comes in light of the Kerala government announcing that it would grant menstrual leaves to female students at state-funded institutions under the Department of higher education.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA and former Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad also called on the state government to grant menstrual leaves to female students and employees.
"I request @mieknathshinde and @Dev_Fadnavis that the Kerala government has taken a decision to give leave during menstruation. This is a very commendable matter. Maharashtra government should also take a similar decision for the students, women government employees of our state,” Awhad said in a tweet.
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