‘Namami Gange’ Tour: Uma Bharti To Inspect Ganga Clean-Up In 5 States

New Delhi: Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti has raised the issue of menstrual hygiene and how the lack of it in India needs urgent attention. Given only 12 per cent of India’s menstruating women have access to sanitary napkins, and girls are forced to even drop out of schools due to lack of access to hygienic options to deal with their periods, Ms Bharti feels that there is an urgent need to manufacture more low cost sanitary napkins. She has suggested self-help women groups to be trained to make low-cost sanitary pads. Through a series of tweet recently, Ms Bharti raised the issue of menstrual hygiene and the need to provide low cost sanitary napkins to every women of the country. She also mentioned about how getting a sanitary napkin is a right of every women, just like a toilet is.

She tweeted, “Menstruating women in India, especially girls, find it difficult to get their hands on clean sanitary napkins- either they are unavailable or costly. This issue is linked to the hygiene of women and a little bit of negligence can affect the women’s health.”

Further talking about the problems faced by women, the minister tweeted, “This problem has affected a large number of women in the country, especially school going girls. So, today, I have decided to create an action plan in collaboration with Ministry of Skill Development.”

Elaborating on the plan, Ms Bharti said, “Women self-help groups availing benefits of the Mudra scheme can be trained in making low-cost sanitary napkins which can be sold at a cheaper rate and can be given for free to school girls. It will employ millions of women.”

In addition to this, she focused on myths and taboos associated with menstruation and how some women resist talking about it. In India, such hullabaloo is created around menstruation that some women even avoid going to religious places considering themselves as impure. Instead of concentrating on the religious aspect, Ms Bharti pointed at the right of women to have access to menstrual hygiene.

This is not the first time that Uma Bharti has raised the issue of menstrual hygiene. Recently, during a discussion on budgetary provisions for water and sanitation in 2018-2019, menstrual hygiene was one of the topics discussed during the press conference. Union Minister said that menstrual hygiene was a key area of concern for the ministry. She also said that centre was focused towards ensuring hygienic menstrual practices. In order to raise the level of menstrual hygiene, gram panchayats will be asked to compulsorily spend a certain amount allocated to them in this direction.

During the same press conference she had also mentioned about providing low-cost sanitary napkins,

I have spoken to my fellow colleagues Maneka Gandhi and Smriti Irani and we will very soon develop a comprehensive package on providing cheap sanitary napkins to women and girls in school. We are working on a proper plan on how cheap sanitary napkins will be made available and how they will be disposed.

Also Read: Menstrual Hygiene And Helping Villages Attain ODF Plus Status Are Top Priorities In 2018, Shares Uma Bharti

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