The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced to provide a packet of six sanitary napkins at the token rate of Re 1 to all girls in the age group of 10-19 under the ‘Taruni Suvidha Programme’. Around 40 lakh girls from Gujarat are likely to get benefit under the scheme. Declaring this, an official press release said that the programme will be implemented in all over the state in a phased manner this year. In the release, Health Minister Nitin Patel was quoted as saying that the decision was taken to maintain health of adolescent girls of Gujarat during their menstrual periods.
Patel added that the decision was taken at the behest of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel while keeping note of the fact that girls from poor and middle-class families were not using sanitary napkins during their menstrual periods which used to create health issues.
So far, Gujarat government, with assistance from the Central government, was providing a packet of six sanitary napkins to girls of four districts at the rate of Rs 6 per packet. Instead of that, now the packets will be provided in all the districts of Gujarat at the rate of Re 1 per packet in a phased manner.
The napkins will be provided to all the girls studying in schools and colleges. And for those girls who do not study, the napkins will be distributed by Asha workers.
It is to be noted that Gujarat Government has, in its budget for 2016-17, granted 100 per cent tax exemption to sanitary napkins.