A pack of six sanitary napkins is being provided to adolescent girls at a cost of rupees six every month under a centrally-sponsored scheme, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Lok Sabha on Friday, 19 July.
Vardhan said the government is supporting the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme, a component of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram, by providing funds to states and union territories which propose to include it in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) through the National Health Mission for decentralised procurement of sanitary napkins for adolescent girls.
"“Under the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme a pack of six sanitary napkins is provided to adolescent girls at a cost of Rs 6 per pack by the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) through door-to-door visits and also through platforms of schools and anganwadi centres”." - Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
The ASHA worker gets an incentive amount of Rs 1 per pack sold to the beneficiary, besides getting a free pack of sanitary napkins per month for her personal use.
The minister said funds are also provided to ASHAs for holding monthly meetings with adolescent girls to discuss issues related to menstrual hygiene.
Necessity for Distribution
Vardhan said access to safe menstrual hygiene practices is an important component of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) under the National Health Mission for health and wellbeing of adolescents.
This intervention involves increasing awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene, improving access to high quality sanitary napkins by them and ensuring safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environmentally friendly manner, he said.
Besides this, the minister said that the Samagra Shiksha of Department of School Education and Literacy also supports interventions related to menstrual health and hygiene as per the Annual Work Plans of States/UTs, including installation of sanitary pad vending machines and incinerators.
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