- Navi Mumbai’s municipal offices have sanitary napkin vending machines
- Similar machines have also been installed in corporation schools
- Sanitary napkins are available for Rs 2 apiece for school students
New Delhi: The topic of menstrual hygiene is gradually breaching age-old barriers and taboos. From the release of Akshay Kumar’s PadMan, based on sanitary napkin entrepreneur Arunachalam Murugunantham to Union Ministers Uma Bharti and Smriti Irani discussing the importance of menstrual hygiene openly, discussions on the topic in mainstream media are gaining prominence. Availability of sanitary napkins has been a long standing problem for women across India but similar to discussions on menstrual hygiene, sanitary napkin vending machines are also becoming mainstream. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) becomes the latest entrant to install sanitary napkin vending machines. 40 such machines have been installed in the municipal corporation’s offices around Navi Mumbai.
Two sanitary napkin vending machines have been installed at the NMMC headquarters. The rest of the vending machines have been set up across ward offices of NMMC across the municipality, and some even in schools operated by NMMC. The NMMC’s goal is to ensure that every time a woman needs a sanitary napkin, she can visit NMMC’s ward offices or headquarters and avail a sanitary napkin.
Nearly all corporation offices and schools in our area and have sanitary napkin vending machines installed. Girls in corporation schools can now avail sanitary napkins easily, said an NMMC official.
The vending machines are coin operated and those who wish to buy a sanitary napkin just need to insert a coin for sanitary napkins to come out of the vending machine. In schools, sanitary napkins have been priced at Rs 2 each, considering that majority of the users will be students.
Apart from installing sanitary napkin dispensing machines, NMMC also plans to install incinerators in schools and offices so that used sanitary napkins can be disposed safely. Irresponsible disposal of used sanitary napkins is a health hazard and can spread diseases. To ensure that disposal of sanitary napkins is safely done, the NMMC plans to install incinerators within the next few months and make the menstrual hygiene atmosphere of Navi Mumbai more women friendly.