Sanitation, over the years, has grown to be of prime importance. However, certain rural areas in India still look at menstrual hygiene to be a matter of taboo and hence these discussions often go unaddressed. To beat the stigma and to get over the fence to a more progressive society, the state government of Punjab has taken an initiative titled the Punjab Free Sanitary Napkin Scheme 2020-21.
About the scheme
Under the implementation of the scheme, the state government of Punjab intends to offer free sanitary pads to girl students in governmental or government-aided schools across Punjab.
The scheme aims to serve the basic objective of normalizing public discussions about menstrual health and hygiene. This is a great initiative by the Punjab government as it would be offering avenues for girl students to opt for proper practices during their menstrual cycles.
Salient features of the Punjab Free Sanitary pad scheme
The most important features the scheme has to offer are mentioned herewith:
- These sanitary pads will remain available in specific protective packages and would be absolutely free of cost for girls.
- These sanitary pads would be easy to dispose of and will be biodegradable, thereby ensuring eco-friendliness.
- These Biodegradable pads will be of the highest quality and will promote the Swachhta, Swasthya, and Suvidha for poor women across the state of Punjab.
- The scheme will promote menstrual hygiene for women and provide relief to girls and women thereby leading to huge strides towards women empowerment.
- Through the implementation of this scheme, the Punjab government will also see a significant decline in waste as these pads would be biodegradable.
Menstrual Hygiene awareness through the scheme
The main objective of the scheme is to create avenues for discussion. It has been observed time and again that women miss out on better alternatives to menstrual hygiene simply because they do not indulge in conversations that involve menstruation more openly. This leads to a knowledge gap and compels women to resort to ineffective practices leading to further health complications.
Through this scheme, the Punjab government sends a progressive message to women in the state – menstruation is normal, and using sanitary resources to get through the cycle is not only good but highly encouraged.
With the implementation of the scheme, the discussion around sanitary napkins can now become all the more prominent. People will now realize the normality around it and ensure that they encourage more women to practice hygienic methods to deal with menstruation.
This could well be the first step in women empowerment – allowing women to practice hygienic methods for biological processes. This will make them less conscious about their bodies and thereby enable them to focus on their work or studies a lot more. A nation is only as progressive as it treats its women.
With this scheme, women would be well-treated as it shows that basic hygiene should not be a luxury; it should be a prerogative. And that is quite the message that the implementation of this scheme sends across.