The state government of Maharashtra on January 30, 2017 approved a proposal to provide sanitary napkins at a subsidised rate of Rs 5 to women living in rural areas.
The decision was taken during the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. It is aimed at promoting menstrual hygiene among young girls and women.
According to the state’s Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde, the decision would be effectively implemented from the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018.
The use of sanitary pads among girls and women stands at around 17 per cent in the rural areas of the state due to high costs. Besides this, it had also been noticed that girls remain absent for 50-60 days a year during their menstrual cycles.
Hence, along with health, absenteeism was also an issue that prompted the decision. The WCD Minister stated that the subsidised sanitary napkin scheme would be implemented through Women Self Help Groups (SHGs).
She further added that along with the distribution of sanitary pads, the SHGs would also disseminate information on personal hygiene, health, and education to women living in the rural areas. Thus, in the process employment opportunities would be created in women SHGs.