It is a known fact that there are a lot of myths related to periods or menstruation which has relegated it
into the realm of whispers. There is also a lack of awareness about the facts and truth of menstruation
among Indian girls. A girl menstruates on an average for five days a month, 12 months a year, once
she reaches puberty and the cycle carries on till she reaches menopause in 30-40 years. This is a
normal process of the body of every girl or woman in this age range. More than half of the girls in India
have no knowledge of menstruation before their first period which led many think that they had an
untreatable disease, they were being punished for their sins or that they were going to die. The girls
who use unsafe materials during menstruation are at high risk for cervical cancer, infections which in
turn can lead to her low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Furthermore, on such days many girls
remain absent from school, or worse still, drop out of school altogether upon reaching adolescence.
Menstruation is private, but most girls are constantly negotiating societal norms and public policy that
impinge on them. Many girls are stigma of menstruating is so bad that they feel very uncomfortable to
buy hygiene products, who also wrap it up in paper and an opaque black plastic bag.
Inauguration of the sanitary pad vending machine and an incinerator in the girl’s section of the Umerkhadi Children’s Home of the Children’s Aid Society, Mumbai on Tuesday January the 30th, 2018 is going to change all of this. This is because of the efforts of Seth Foundation and Jijau women Legal Forum to make this possible. These machines were inaugurated by Shri.Siddharth Damreji the district president of the BJP. This will definitely enable a girl to manage her periods in a healthy way that respects and upholds her dignity, and privacy.
The sanitary pad vending machine would:
- Provide napkins which are instantaneously dispensed to meet menstrual emergencies.
- This will reduce the embarrassment and shyness in girls to ask for napkins to the staff.
- Nobody would know that she is on her period other than her as she can avail the facility of the pads at her convenience.
- The pads being dispensed are made of safe materials which will not endanger her health
- The pads available would prevent accidental leaks and embarrassment.
While the sanitary pad incinerator would:
- Destroy the used sanitary pads completely
- Promote a clean environment and also reduce the odours related to it.
- Since an average woman throws away about 150kg of mostly non-biodegradable absorbents every year which would end in landfill. This will be prevented. Approximately 140 girls will be benefitted by this.
The Children’s Aid Society, Mumbai is thankful to Seth Foundation and Jijau women Legal Forum for taking up such an noble initiative.