SFI students send sanitary pads to Arun Jaitley to protest 12% GST

Backed by women activists from the All India Democratic Women's Association, the students have decided to continue their campaign of sending sanitary napkins with messages to Jaitley till July 14. It is being undertaken in other states and cities as well.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Published:July 13, 2017 12:43 pm
GST, GST pads, arun jaitley, finance minister, gst tax on pads, JNU Finance minister Arun Jaitley

Since the GST came into effect on July 1, there has been much uproar over the 12 per cent tax on sanitary napkins, with many arguing that it is a necessary commodity and shouldn’t have such high taxes. On Tuesday, students across colleges and universities of Delhi — men and women alike — decided to pen down #Bleedwithoutfear on sanitary napkins and packed them off in bulk to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s address, to mark their protest.
“We could have chosen the normal protest route, but this was necessary.

Sanitary napkins are still considered a taboo in our society and we see it in small things, like how chemists wrap them up in black polythene bags so that they aren’t visible to the public. It’s almost like denying its existence. Hence, we thought we should send these to Arun Jaitley to make him realise that sanitary pads are a necessity for almost half of the country’s population,” said Ditsa Bhattacharya, a Students’ Federation of India (SFI) activist from PGDAV College.

Backed by women activists from the All India Democratic Women’s Association, the students have decided to continue their campaign of sending sanitary napkins with messages to Jaitley till July 14. It is being undertaken in other states and cities as well.

Anuradha Kumari, another DU student said, “Items like sindoor, bangles and bindis have been made tax free. Condoms and other contraceptives are also exempt, as they should be. Then why not sanitary pads? This is an attack on half of the country’s population,” she said.

Speaking about the campaign, SFI state secretary Prashant Mukherjee said, “Sanitary pads are considered as luxury items and taxed accordingly, but the reality is that these are part of basic necessities for a healthy and hygienic life of a woman. A study by AC Nielsen, published in the International Research Journal of Social Sciences, shows that among women who do not use sanitary pads Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is 70 per cent more common than those who have access to it.”

He further said the same study shows that in North India over 30 per cent girls stopped going to school after the start of their menstrual cycle due to lack of adequate sanitary products. “83 per cent of these girls said their family cannot afford sanitary pads… Now further inflation in the prices will push many more poor women and girls of this country away from a healthy reproductive life,” said Mukherjee.

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  1. M
    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:09 am
    A party called Bureau of Jungle People, does not have knowledge or importance of sanitation napkin. These Jungle people must be sent to Swatch Bharat School for digital education. Otherwise please send them Andaman Nicobar Island for rehabilitation.
    1. k
      k 4329
      Jul 14, 2017 at 6:29 am
      SFI students should have wrapped sanitary pads on Arun Jaitley face to protest 12 GST
      1. B
        Barb Dewyre
        Jul 14, 2017 at 5:14 am
        I hope they are sending him used sanitary napkins.
        1. R
          ramesh reddy
          Jul 13, 2017 at 10:21 pm
          MR Finance minister i think you are not capable of doing this job.so many benefits you are giving to millionaires and billionaires but a common man like me unable to maintain rs 5000 in bank account i ask you why your spoiling common man dream we donot want bullet trains rooti kapada makan we need and you are implementing GST on all the 3.ATM charges banking charges insurance charges life had become like after nov 8th 2016
          1. G
            G.Ranga Chary
            Jul 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm
            Sanitary Pads are no more a luxury item, in our today's society as they are a necessity for many women for their health and convenience. Like in foot wear and textile products, the government should classify the sanitary pads into two categories based on their price and tax them at 0 or 5 . The genuine demand of women should be considered by the government without any further delay.
            1. g
              Jul 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm
              Correct. Has she sent the same to the Kerala FM who was part of the GST council that decided the rates
              1. M
                Mahesh Kumar
                Jul 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm
                its bad. you not let the law to take shape. look the law came into effect only on 01/07/2017 you are loosing heart in it's infancy. let the first lot of data collected by the government. this govt will definitely review not only rates on your necessity but also on whole lot of products. so have faith. for now it is premature??????
                1. A
                  Jul 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm
                  What rubbish these libtards are talking about. How come sanitary napkins are a necessity for half of Indian population. Men who do not need sanitary napkins, maybe some of the fellows of this campaign might be using them, but as far as I know 99.99 of indian men do not use them. So more than 50 population is out of using sanitary napkins. Now women more than 50 years and girls less than 10 years of age do not use these pads. It means another 25 $ of the population do not need these pads. Then, 60 of India is rural and out of which most of the rural women do not use or even know about them. That leaves another 25 of the population out of the gambit of using these pads. All said and done, it will be worthwhile for these worthies to tie these pads around their eyes and start counting the number of people (women) needing these pads.
                  1. S
                    Sampada Sehgal
                    Jul 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm
                    Good job on your perfect mathematics, sir! But hear out the "expression" in the statement (after all we are a country of jumlas), 50 of the population needs sanitary pads. If not for themselves, then for their wives, sisters or daughters. Now I will take the liberty of assuming that you have never needed to buy it for the women in your life, but most men would not want to pay extra tax on something that they need to buy as a necessity, as frequently as aata, daal. Now, it sounds like you take pride when you say "Then, 60 of India is rural and out of which most of the rural women do not use or even know about them", its not something to be happy about. It in fact is the very reason why sanitary pads should be tax free and cheap so as these women don't have to use unhygienic rags or leaves or god knows what during their periods. It is a good fight. Try not to berate us :) Much love, a libtard.
                    1. H
                      Jul 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm
                      Actually.. there are two components.. One is the extremely high profit margins that MNC companies enjoy on this product ... Strongly believe the MRP of this product should be moderated by govt... Secondly the earlier rate of the same (ST VAT) was much higher, than what has been published under GST.. a reduction in MRP would benefit all, and NOT the age of tax on the same.. In addition hats off to NGOs like Goonj who are doing their best to bring them to the rural masses (using old clothes), and will recommend the video 'The man who wore a sanitary napkin'.. As a strong advocate of these products and their accessibility to the masses, lets fight the right battles in this war... Cheers..
                    2. A
                      Jul 13, 2017 at 10:25 pm
                      What a stupid Logic? Don't you have mother or sisters?
                      1. B
                        Barb Dewyre
                        Jul 14, 2017 at 5:17 am
                        Dear Adarsh, the way the government is shafting the public, it won't be too long before men will be using the napkins, albeit, a few inches below their intended target. .
                        1. S
                          Jul 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm
                          sorry, Adarsh , are male Adarsh or female Adarsh ? i like your Adarsh Vichaar.
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