Mangaluru: Swachh Gelathi is a cleanliness initiative by Dakshina Kannada (DK) Zila Panchayat (ZP) which aims to spread awareness and address the needs of menstruating girls. I makes use of ‘Namma Tyajya, Namma Hone’ (Our Waste, Our Responsibility) concept to promote cleanliness and sanitation under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Swachh Gelathi targets about 30,734 female students in government, aided and private schools and gives a personal tutorial on menstrual hygiene. In order to help guide the school girls the services of the women National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers from the various colleges has been enlisted.
Incinerators for safe disposal of sanitary napkins
With some success gained by this cleanliness drive; ZP has appealed all heads of departments of government, aided and private institutions with large numbers of women students, to install incinerators in their respective campuses to safely dispose sanitary napkins.
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DK ZP CEO MR Ravi has urged the heads to install incinerators in women’s toilets for safe disposal of sanitary napkins. This is an effort to create a woman friendly environment in their study/work places, he said.
The CEO gave a personal experience in which, he had visited an institution, where he found several women in its campus devoid of any facility to dispose sanitary napkins and in turn causing problem to its gram panchayat.
The campaign will be effective only if there was a scientific disposal for the sanitary napkins in the district said Mr. Ravi and added that steps have been taken to extend Swachh Gelathi to the remaining primary, high school and residential schools in the current academic year.
As per a Health Department survey done recently, the number of menstruating women in the 11-49 age-group across DK was at 4.76 lakh of which, 80% or 3.81 lakh women use sanitary napkin. Thus, it os estimated that around 30.50 lakh sanitary napkins are used each month.
If the huge numbers of sanitary napkins are not disposed scientifically, it would cause an environmental problem and this initiative will reinforce the district’s image known for its cleanliness drives, explained Ravi.