New Delhi: As part of the Indian Railway’s drive to improve sanitation and hygiene on board its trains and to make travelling comfortable for women passengers, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) installed 91 automatic sanitary napkin vending machines in 36 trains on Monday. It is also a step towards promoting India Railway’s vision of ‘Swachh Rail – Swachh Bharat’, said Mr. J.K. Mishra, spokesperson of ECoR. He added that East Coast Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation has been instrumental in this drive as they have raised the demands on multiple occasions. These machines have been installed in the important trains originating from Puri, Bhubaneswar, and Visakhapatnam. Mr. Mishra said,
ECoR decided to extend the facility to 36 trains keeping in view the positive response received from women passengers after installation of automatic sanitary napkin vending machines in Hirakhand Express. We started receiving demands from passengers of other trains too. So we decided to provide the humble service to the passengers and enhance the goodwill of the people for Railways. ECoR currently has the highest number of sanitary napkin vending machines in our trains. Lady passengers are really getting help. Many have thanked Railway staff. This credit should go to East Coast Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation for pioneering this item.
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According to the health and sanitation officer, S.K. Sahoo, ECoR has installed Automatic Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines at railway stations, ladies’ waiting rooms, and at residential quarters in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Puri. He added that ECoR has now become the first Railway Zone in Indian Railways to undertake such an extensive exercise for installation of automatic sanitary napkin vending machine.
According to the information received by ECoR, out of 91 coaches, 35 are of 10 trains include Purusottam Express, Puri-Ahmedabad Express, Tapaswini Express, Puri-Durg Express, Utkal Express, Jagannath Express, Neelachal Express, Puri-Chennai Express, Puri-Ajmer Express, Puri-Shirdi Express originating from Puri in which these machines have been installed.
The other 28 coaches are of 15 trains originating from Bhubaneswar – Hirakhand Express, Rajdhani Express group of trains, Prashanti Express, Dhanbad Garib Rath Express, Bhawanipatna Link Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Bhubaneswar-Tirupati Express, Bangalore Cant Express, Balangir InterCity, New Delhi Duronto, Krishnarajpuram Humsafar Express, Bangiriposi Express where the facility has been provided.
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The rest 23 coaches are of 11 trains originating from Visakhapatnam, including Samata Express, AP Express, Nizamuddin Dakshin Link Express, Korba Express, Visakhapatnam-LTT Express, Hirakund Express, Visakhapatnam-Gandhidham Express, Visakhapatnam-Digha Express, Visakhapatnam-Tata Express, Visakhapatnam-Paradeep Express, Visakhapatnam-Chennai.
Elaborating on the usage of the machine, Mr. Mishra said,
The sanitary napkin vending machine installed in ECoR trains can vend 75 pads at a time. The passengers can get the napkins by inserting a Rs. 5 coin in the vending machine.
Another official of ECoR said that the staff in charge of sanitation in the train will be restocking these machines and will be taking care of the operation of the machines.
Talking about ECoR’s future plans for the drive, Mr. Mishra said that the East Coast railway has planned for installation of these vending machines in more trains keeping in view the demand and response from the passengers. He said,
We will be installing more machines soon as we want to make it an essential part of every train in the days to come. But above all, we will be working on ensuring proper maintenance and upkeep of the machines which we have already installed.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.