Odisha govt announces free distribution of sanitary napkins for school girls across the state
The Odisha government recently launched a scheme ‘Khushi’ in which all schoolgoing girls across the state will be provided with free sanitary napkins. The government has been consistently working towards empowering women, and this scheme has been launched with the same goal.
According to the NDTV, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said,
In continuation with our pro-women initiatives, I am happy to announce the scheme 'KHUSHI'. Under the scheme, the state will provide free sanitary napkins to 17 lakh girls studying in Classes VI to XII in government and government-aided schools.
The Health and Family Welfare Department of the state will be implementing this scheme, with an annual cost of Rs 70 crore. With the scheme, the government hopes that this initiative will help spread awareness about health and hygiene among young girls and will, in turn, increase their retention in school.
According to The Hindu, Patnaik added,
The government has always been committed to the empowerment of women. From Mission Shakti (for economic empowerment) to MAMATA (a maternity benefit scheme) to 50-percent reservation (in local bodies), women have been the focal point of all our key interventions.
The government has also planned to offer these sanitary napkins to girls and women from rural communities at a subsidised rate. According to India Today, State Health Minister Pratap Jena said,
While free sanitary napkins will be provided to the school students, the government has decided to provide the sanitary napkins at a subsidised price to women in rural areas through ASHA workers.
The initiative by the government to provide basic hygiene products, especially sanitary napkins, to its women is commendable. Hopefully, this effort will inspire others across the country to ensure basic facilities for women.