THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The much thought out scheme to ensure ‘menstrual hygiene’ among girls, the `She Pad’ scheme for school students across Kerala was announced by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday. The scheme intends to provide sanitary napkins for girl students in all government schools and the government has announced Rs 30 crore for the project.
The scheme will be launched next month. Last year, Social Justice Minister KK Shailaja had announced the plan to launch a ‘She Pad’ project in higher secondary schools of the state, while speaking about the plan to set up Nirbhaya shelter homes in all districts. The Minister had said that the project will be implemented through Kerala State Women Development Corporation (KSWDC) which will distribute sanitary napkins, cupboards and incinerators to treat the pads in government higher secondary schools across the state.
In January 2016, the state government had issued an order that a part of the funds for sanitary pads will be from the Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) and KSWDC in the state.
“With the state government order in Jan last year, now 18 panchayats have transferred a total amount of Rs 1.36 crore till date for the She-Pad project. It is planned for launch next month. Subsidized high quality sanitary napkins will be distributed to the 16 lakh adolescent girls of 7,000 schools across 14 districts in Kerala,” KSWDC managing director VC Bindu.
“This scheme is based on the success of the pilot project launched in the government schools in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode in the last two years. Now, this scheme will cater to girls from 11 to 18 years in all government schools, she said.
“Menstrual hygiene is one of the major problems faced by girls and women in Kerala because very often it is veiled in secrecy and negativity associated with cultural and religious taboos. It is also neglected due to lack of awareness on menstrual preparedness and management among adolescent girls.