New Delhi: It is normal for women to bleed every month. Period. And instead of keeping sanitary pads underwraps, the need of the hour is to make it widely available, in public areas, to ensure more and more women have easy access to hygienic options during their periods. Especially since in India only 12 per cent of the women have access or can afford a sanitary napkin. In this context, in India where menstrual hygiene remains a taboo topic, Chandigarh Airport’s recent initiative to install a sanitary pad vending machine is a welcome move.
In the last week of April, ten sanitary napkin vending machines, each with a stock of 26 packs of sanitary napkin were installed in all public washrooms. Along with this, to ensure proper disposal of sanitary napkins, four incinerators have also been installed.
Speaking to NDTV about the initiative, Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) CEO Suneel Dutt said,
The initiative is part of Airport Authority of India (AAI). Women belonging to different age groups travel to and from our airport and these machines providing low-cost, eco-friendly napkins will surely be of help to them during their cycle.
A pack of sanitary napkins having three pads each can be procured at a cost of Rs. 10. The pads can be purchased by inserting coins of Rs. 1, Rs. 5, Rs. 10 denomination.
Either 10 coins of Rs. 1 or two coins of Rs. 5 or a coin of Rs. 10 can be used to purchase sanitary napkins. So far, we have received good response from both passengers and staff members, says PRO Dipesh Joshi.
Talking about why only four incinerators have been installed, PRO said, users need to operate the machine on their own and many are not comfortable with it. Though all they need to do is, throw the used napkin into the machine and turn on the switch. Many choose to just dispose it in the trash bin, so for now, we have installed only four machines.
With this, the authorities plan to keep these machines operational so that women and girls can take benefit of it. In the coming months, two more such machines will be installed.
With our motive to provide better travel experience to our passengers, and contribute to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, we will ensure that the initiatives undertaken are successful. There is no point of installing these vending machines if they are out of order so our focus is now on their maintenance, signs off Suneel.