Maha govt to give sanitary pads to 7L girls at ₹5 a pack
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has launched a scheme to make a pack of sanitary pads available to 7 lakh girls studying in government schools for a subsidised price of ₹5.
It intends to increase the percentage of usage of sanitary pads to 75 % from the current 17 % in rural Maharashtra.
The state cabinet, on Tuesday, approved a proposal to launch, Asmita (meaning dignity) — a scheme to make sanitary pads available to girls aged between 11 and 19. It has engaged three small scale manufacturers, to supply the pads using a network of selfhelp groups (SHGs) run by women in the state. The pack of 8 pads, costing the government ₹24 (240mm) and ₹29 (280mm) including profits for the SHGs, will be subsidised to ₹ 5 for the girls.
The annual burden of the subsidy for the state government is ₹12.75 crore.
Besides school girls, about 1.75 crore women in rural parts of the state will also be targeted by the scheme. But they will have to pay the actual cost of the pack. “The packs are still cheaper than their market price. The usage of pads in rural areas is even lesser than the national average of 17% ...”said Aseem Gupta, secretary, rural development department.
“The SHGs will get ₹5 per pack to market these packs. The scheme will be launched on World Women’s Day on March 8...” said rural development minister Pankaja Munde.