Implementation to commence from August 15, says Hasan Mushrif
Rural Development Department has earmarked Rs 200 crore in its budget for the scheme
Campaign for use of sanitary napkins and menstrual care will be carried out by Asha workers, Anganwadi workers, health workers
Mumbai: On the occasion of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day today, the Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif announced that the government will provide 10 sanitary napkins each at a nominal price of Re 1 per month to 60 lakh women from below the poverty line in the state. The implementation of this scheme will start from August 15 on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence.
‘’After going into the depth of the problem, it was revealed that there was a lack of awareness about the use of napkins, lack of affordable prices and lack of availability. With this in mind, the menstrual hygiene promotion scheme is implemented by the health department in the state wherein kits containing six napkins are provided to the girls below the age of 19 for Rs 6. However, it does not benefit all women below the poverty line. To address this issue, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has decided to provide 10 sanitary napkins at a nominal price of Re 1,’’ said Mushrif. He added that the department has made a budgetary provision of Rs 200 crore for the implementation of this scheme.
Mushrif said that the campaign for use of sanitary napkins and menstrual care will be carried out by Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and health workers. The 75% supply will be made by the suppliers shortlisted by the government and 25% by women’s self-help groups manufacturing sanitary napkins. ‘’As there are more than 60 lakh beneficiaries, a unit will be set up at every village level to dispose of used sanitary napkins,” he added.
"Eight lakh women worldwide have died as a result of poor menstrual care and poor hygiene. It is the fifth leading cause of death in women. Out of 320 million menstruating women in India, only 12% use sanitary napkins. In Maharashtra, 66% women use it. Maharashtra ranks 13th at the national level. Its use in rural areas is about 17.5 per cent," said Mushrif.
Mushrif’s announcement is important as the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) held in 2019-21 said 27% of young rural women still use unhygienic methods of protection during their menstrual period. The overall share of women using hygienic menstrual products exceeds 90% in 16 states and union territories (UTs). According to the survey, mindsets, religious customs, and biases prevent women from discussing menstruation freely which hinders access to hygiene.