Nitish Kumar government’s well-intentioned scheme to provide free sanitary pads to adolescent girls enrolled in government schools seems to have gained un-intentioned male beneficiaries ! The `unusual extension’ of the scheme was found to have occurred at Halkori Sah High School, a co-ed government school in Manjhi block of Saran district.
“These irregularities in the utilization of funds, under the scheme, was detected by the headmaster of the school. The headmaster in his report to the competent authority informed that at least seven boys of the school were allegedly distributed funds (Rs. 150 each annually) for sanitary napkin during the 2016-17”, said Ajay Kumar Singh, District Education Officer (DEO).
The DEO told PTI, “A two member committee has been constituted to probe the matter. Appropriate disciplinary action will be initiated against the erring public servants on the basis of findings of the committee. The committee will submit its report within four days”. Despite repeated attempts by PTI, Sanjay Kumar. Bihar’s Additional Chief Secretary (Education), was not available for comments on the strange case.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced in February 2015, free distribution of sanitary napkins among girls in government schools in an effort to check their drop out rate and to improve health and hygiene. Under the scheme—Mukhyamantri Kishori Swasthya Karyakram– school girls from class VIII to X are provided Rs 150 each annually, to buy sanitary napkins for their personal use.
Around Rs 60 crore is annually spent for the purpose by the state government. Around 37 lakh girls students of government schools benefit from the scheme.