In a landmark decision, the Maharashtra government has given a nod to providing sanitary napkins to women in rural areas for ₹5.
The decision, which was taken at the state Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Devendra Fadnavis, was shared by Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde on Twitter:
#Asmita scheme got cabinet nod. Now sanitary napkins will b available to girls n women thro' Self Help groups. Also women hygiene campaign will b launched across state to increase awareness among young girls. This will boost school attendance as well @MinistryWCD @CMOMaharashtra— PankajaGopinathMunde (@Pankajamunde) January 30, 2018
Today Maharashtra Cabinet gave nod to #ASMITA scheme to provide sanitary napkins to girls n women in rural areas thro' SHGs in villages. Also it will focus on spreading awareness on women hygiene to boost school attendance @akshaykumar @PadManTheFilm @mrsfunnybones @sonamakapoor pic.twitter.com/h04AK94xlC— PankajaGopinathMunde (@Pankajamunde) January 30, 2018
"The use of sanitary pads (among girls and women) stands at around 17% due to high costs. It has also been noticed that girls remain absent for 50-60 days a year during their menstrual cycles. Thus, along with health, absenteeism was also an issue," Munde told PTI.
The scheme called Asmita will be available to 7 lakh girls studying in government schools, and intends to increase the percentage of usage of sanitary pads to 75 % from the current 17 % in rural Maharashtra, reported HT.
The scheme will be implemented from March 8, International Women's Day.