Mumbai: In a major decision, the Maharashtra government today approved a proposal to provide sanitary napkins at a subsidised rate of Rs 5 to women in rural areas.
The decision, aimed at promoting hygiene among menstruating girls and women, was taken at the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde said the decision would be effectively implemented from International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8.
“The use of sanitary pads (among girls and women) stands at around 17 per cent 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 reporters here.
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She said the subsidised sanitary napkin scheme would be implemented through Women Self Help Groups (SHGs). “Along with the distribution of sanitary pads, they (SHGs) would also disseminate information on personal hygiene, health, and education to rural women. Thus, even employment opportunities would be created in women SHGs,” the minister said.