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From Centre’s Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins To Reduced Prices Of Pads In Andhra Pradesh, Menstrual Hygiene Finds Priority On International Women’s Day

Of 355 million menstruating women in India, 88 per cent do not use sanitary napkins, facing grave risks of health hazards

Biodegradable sanitary napkins
Highlights
  • The Union Government launched 'Suvidha' pads on Women's Day
  • The pads are priced at Rs 2.50 apiece
  • Price of sanitary napkins to be halved in Andhra Pradesh, promised the CM

New Delhi: The price of sanitary napkins has been a subject of debate for quite long. The current rate of 12% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sanitary napkins has been criticised by many, given how sanitary napkins are absolutely essential in a country of 355 million menstruating women. Easing the burden of women from weaker economic sections, the Union government launched biodegradable sanitary napkins, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The sanitary napkins, named ‘Suvidha’, will be available at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras, and women will be able to buy a pack of four pads for Rs 10.

The pads will be available at the centres by May 28, 2018. The ‘Suvidha’ pads were launched by Ananth Kumar, Union Minister for Chemicals, Fertilizers & Parliamentary Affairs. The Ministry is hopeful that the ‘Suvidha’ sanitary napkins will enable underprivileged women, especially in rural areas, to buy sanitary napkins, at a time when market rates of costly sanitary napkins hover around Rs 32 for four pads. The Union Minister also highlighted that the ‘Suvidha’ sanitary napkins were biodegradable in nature, making them environment friendly.

The women of Andhra Pradesh too were bestowed with a gift on the occasion of International Women’s Day. At the budget presentation session at the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced that sanitary napkins would soon be available at half price, across the state.

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said that he was introducing the scheme to make sanitary napkins available to ensure that the health of women and children was not compromised with. Menstrual hygiene remains a topic many women remain unaware of due to societal taboos associated with menstruation. Usage of sanitary napkins and their safe disposal is an important aspect of women health and unavailability to access sanitary napkins results in health complications. The Andhra Pradesh government is hopeful that by reducing the price of sanitary napkins in half, more women from the state will be able to buy them.

Also Read: International Women’s Day: 23 Million Women Drop Out Of School Every Year When They Start Menstruating In India

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