Even today only 18 per cent of women in India use sanitary pads. Talking about menstruation and menstrual hygiene is still a taboo in India. In India, 23 million girls drop out of school early when they start menstruating and many of them end up facing acute health problems. To create awareness against the taboo many initiatives are taken by the government as well as private groups now and then.
One such initiative to promote female education and prevent them from life threatening infections is the installation of sanitary pad vending machines in schools, colleges, social institutions, health centers and public places. These machines can hold 1000-1500 pads at a time. Sanitary pads cost Rs 2 to Rs 5 in these machines. The sanitary pads dispensed are claimed to be of superior quality.
Rajasthan government allotted an amount of Rs 76 crores for a scheme to provide free sanitary pads to girls and women. The department of Higher Education, Rajasthan has decided to install free sanitary pad vending machines in all the 189 government colleges in the state from the academic session beginning from July 2019. This has made Rajasthan the first state to provide free sanitary napkins to college students. Four of these vending machines will also be installed at the Secretariat office in Jaipur. Under a CSR initiative of a private company, 2 sanitary pad dispensing machines were installed at Rajasthan University in Jan 2019. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is also set to install these dispensing machines at airports all across the country. Jaipur Airport has also installed these machines. Many other organizations have started to install these machines considering the seriousness of the issue.
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