Power to women

Gfiles - - ...BY THE WAY -

DO you re­mem­ber the first time you pur­chased a con­dom? Or, the first time you mus­tered courage to ask for the first packet of san­i­tary nap­kin? Al­most 99 per cent of the read­ers, or may be all of them, would re­mem­ber the feel­ings of em­bar­rass­ment, mixed with shy­ness and a bit of coy­ness. Cut to 2017. The Depart­ment of Per­son­nel and Train­ing (DoPT) has opened three vend­ing and three dis­posal ma­chines for san­i­tary nap­kins out­side three women bath­rooms at its main of­fice in the North Block. Each trans­ac­tion will cost Rs 5 and the ma­chines are equipped to ac­cept coins of dif­fer­ent nom­i­na­tions. Soon, more ma­chines will be in­stalled at DoPT’s other of­fices as part of the on­go­ing ‘Swachchata Hi Seva’ cam­paign. The six ma­chines were in­au­gu­rated with much fan­fare by two women joint sec­re­taries in the depart­ment, K Kip­gen and G Jayan­thi, and at­tended by scores of other women bu­reau­crats and we hope the idea takes off. In our still-con­ser­va­tive so­ci­ety, the women are more likely to glance around, en­sure that no one’s look­ing, and then quickly head to­wards the ma­chines. Only a few are likely to ap­proach them brazenly and con­fi­dently with­out a care in the world. The rea­son is sim­ple: pe­ri­ods are be­lieved to be ‘un­clean’ and women are ap­pre­hen­sive and ner­vous to re­veal it. We hope that the Swachchata Ab­hiyaan re­moves such un­clean thoughts from the minds of both the men and women. More power to the women!

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