Maha govt to give san­i­tary pads to 7L girls at ₹5 a pack

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - Suren­dra P Gan­gan let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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