Updated: March 7, 2021 6:36:47 pm
In a novel initiative, the Pune Zilla Parishad has set up Sakhi cells, period-friendly rooms for women, to be utilised by zilla parishad employees during menstruation.
During menstruation, it is very difficult for women to do eight to 10 hours of rigorous work. Most women experience minor pain while on period, but severe pain leads to disruption of day-to-day activities for some. Having pain before period or experiencing dysmenorrhea during menstruation are common, said Pooja Parge, chairperson of the Women and Child Welfare Department, Pune Zilla Parishad.
Officials said the Sakhi cells will be equipped with a sanitary napkin-vending machine (paid), bed, sofa, table, chair, fan, drinking water, mirror, hot water heater, sanitary napkin incinerator, first-aid kit (with medicine), computer and chocolate (paid). Local self-help groups and women shopkeepers will be involved in the initiative, encouraged by Nirmala Pansare, president of the Pune Zilla Parishad.
Beside the zilla parishad headquarters, the Sakhi cells are located in panchayat samiti offices at 13 tehsils, Dr Ratnaprabha Potdar, supervisor at the Integrated Child Development Services, told The Indian Express.
On Monday, more Sakhi cells and complaint boxes for sexual harassment will be inaugurated in Baramati, Bhor, Daund, Haveli, Indapur, Junnar, Khed, Shirur and Velha talukas. The Sakhi cell of Ambegaon Panchayat Samiti will also be opened soon.
The decision on the initiative was taken after the Women and Child Welfare Department organised a free dialogue for women recently with participation of over 100 female officers and employees. Several important issues, including establishing a period-friendly room to help facilitate work during menstruation, were discussed at the dialogue.
Issues like launching complaint box for sexual harassment, initiating transportation for employees to come to office, conducting special health check-ups and mentoring camps for women employees twice a year and constructing crèche on the zilla parishad premises among others were recommended at the meet.
Chief Executive Officer of Pune Zilla Parishad Ayush Prasad had instructed the group development officer of the Panchayat Samiti Sarva and the child development project officer of the Bal Vikas Prakalp Sarva to take immediate action on the recommendations.
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