A sanitary napkin-vending machine was on Wednesday inaugurated at the traffic police headquarters in Thane, Maharashtra, claimed to be the first such initiative in the city. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Thane, Dr Rashmi Karandikar, who took the initiative to install the machine manufactured by a government agency, said there are more than 1,300 women police constables in the traffic department of the city commissionerate.

The decision to install the machine was taken as a need was felt for it, she said. Gradually machines would be installed at other locations as well, she added.

Thane’s Joint Commissioner of Police Asutosh Dumbre and noted Marathi stage and film actress Sonali Kulkarni were also present at the inauguration.

Kulkarni said women should shed fears around their monthly periods and should not consider it a curse. She said such machines should also be installed at railway stations, colleges, schools, and other public places. She also called upon people to change their attitude towards the issue.

Dhumre said a person was beaten up in 1960 for promoting the usage of sanitary napkins, which have now become a necessity.

People still shy away from discussing issues around sex education and periods, he said, adding the thought process needs to be changed along with the changing lifestyle.

He appreciated the efforts of the Thane police’s traffic control room in this regard.

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