Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said the state government has started the initiative to give free sanitary napkins to schoolgirls, which will cost the state exchequer Rs 35-40 crore annually.
He said several self-help groups are now engaged in making quality sanity napkins to cater to schoolgirls’ needs.
Speaking at a media workshop on “Health, Women and Development”, the Chief Minister said the government intends to set up about 10 lakh self-help groups of which about three lakh groups have already come up.
Nitish termed self-help groups “a silent revolution” towards women empowerment. He said the government has adopted women empowerment policy after having started a host of women-centric schemes and giving 50 per cent reservation to women.
Emphasising on education for girls, Kumar said a survey said if a girl was educated till Class XII, it would automatically address social problems such as child marriage, foeticide, high fertility rate and gender disparity.
“The government had started a school uniform scheme and followed it up with bicycle scheme for girls. Now we plan to open at least one Class XII school in every village in the next three years,” he said.
“It is good that people’s expectations from the government have gone high and we are ready to face criticism and know our shortcomings,” the Chief Minister added.
Kumar said: “If one would ask him to choose a picture of Bihar’s progress, he would go for a girl cycling her way to school. Reflect on it and you will realise its stand. Its not only increased school attendance and enrolment but most importantly changed mentality towards girls”.