Assam's State Budget Includes Provision For Annual Stipend To Encourage Girls To Buy Sanitary Napkins
  • Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled a ₹2,149.04 cr budget
  • ₹30 crore has been earmarked to provide sanitary napkins to girls
  • Monthly stipend of ₹600 will be given to girls between 12-20 years of age

New Delhi: We live in a country where 12 per cent of the menstruating women do not have access to sanitary napkins. According to the 2014 report Spot On! by the NGO Dasra, 23 million girls drop out of school annually because of lack of access to menstrual hygiene facilities and awareness. 88 per cent of the 355 million menstruating women depend upon unhygienic alternatives like cloth, ash, sand, and husk. Dependency on unhygienic alternatives not only invites numerous diseases, but is a cause of death also. In a bid to change this figure and situation, Assam government is walking an extra mile. Aimed at improving women’s health and safeguarding their dignity, the Assam government proposed new schemes for menstrual hygiene management under Assam Budget for 2018-2019.

On March 12, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled a Rs. 2,149.04 crore deficit budget that focused on various aspects including health and hygiene of girls between 12 to 20 years of age. To ensure easy access to hygienic menstrual products, the government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 30 crore and has planned to reach out to 5 lakh girls in the session 2018-2019.

Sharing the details of the scheme, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took it to social media and said, “Monthly stipend for sanitary napkins: My sister in Assam (age 12-20) with family income below Rs. 5 lakh can avail of an annual stipend of Rs. 600 which’ll be directly transferred to her bank a/c linked to their DOB nad payments will automatically stop once they reach 20 yrs.”

To avail the scheme, girls between 12 to 20 years of age and whose family’s annual income is less than Rs. 5 lakh need to register themselves through Block Development Offices. After registration, a monthly stipend of Rs. 600 for sanitary napkins will be transferred to the bank account of the beneficiaries linked to their date of birth. As soon as the girl turns 20, the payment will stop.

Also Read: Hyderabad Airport Strides Towards Menstrual Hygiene Management, Installs Sanitary Napkin Dispensers

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