Sanitary napkin vending machines and its incinerators will be installed in as many as 150 government and aided schools in the district, in a joint venture between HLL Lifecare Ltd and the panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram.
Kerala Power Minister Kadakampally Surendran will inaugurate the project at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow. Education Minister C Raveendranath, District panchayat chief V K Madhu and HLL CMD RP Khandelwal will be among those attending the function.
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Designed to benefit school students, the vending mechines — VENDIGO will dispense sanitary napkins round the clock at the touch of a button. A pack of three napkins will be available on inserting coins.
The machine dispenses the sanitary napkins manufactured by HLL in their Kanagala factory in Belgaum. Napkin incinerators will also be installed in schools for safe and environment friendly disposal of used napkins.
New VENDIGO machines along with incinerators will be installed at schools in Palode, Nedumangad, Vithura, Neyyatinkara, Kattakada, Venganoor, Maranalloor, Malayinkeezhu, Balaramapuram, Parassala and Aryanadu areas.
HLL, which is under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has already installed around 200 such machines at colleges, offices, hospitals, and hostels, Kochi Naval base and Kerala High Court.
HLL vending machines and incinerators are also approved under the Swachh Bharat Urban and Rural programmes of the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
“Even though napkins are necessary for the health and hygiene of women, the usage in India is very low compared to many other developing countries. There are still a large number of village women in India who are hesitant to go to shops and buy napkins,” Khandelwal said.
HLL’s not-for-profit organisation Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) has been organising sanitary napkin awareness programmes across the country, besides supplying it for the Government of India’s national programme.
The factory at Kanagala produces around 400 lakh napkins per year. In addition to Kerala, VENDIGO machines are also installed in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and West Bengal.