Women Factory Workers In Meghalaya To Get Free Sanitary Pads, A Teenager In Bihar Is Bringing Social Change
The state cabinet in Meghalaya has amended a decades-old factory rule so that women workers can get sanitary pads for free. A young agent of change in a Bihar village has started a conversation on menstrual hygiene and sanitary pads
Menstrual taboos are observed in many societies, and there’s significant resistance to even talking about them. To add to this grim reality, despite widespread campaigns on menstrual hygiene and the tax exemption on sanitary napkins in India, many young girls/women do not have access to essential menstrual hygiene products.
However, in a welcome development this week, women factory workers in Meghalaya will now get free sanitary napkins at their workplace. This battle was won after an amendment to the Meghalaya Factories Rule, 1980, was approved by the state cabinet. From here on, factories are also mandated to provide all the workers with personal protective equipment (PPEs).
Now, that is truly some good news!
Source: Press Trust of India (PTI)
A 19-year-old breaks the taboo on menstruation and sanitary pads
For 19-year-old Mausam Kumari of Hardiya village in Bihar’s Nawada district, you are never too young to bring about social change.
In the last three months, Kumari and her group of 15-16 girls have distributed 600 sanitary pads, free of cost, to the women and young girls of poor families in neighbouring localities. Kumari is also trying to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene and family planning through workshops and door-to-door campaigning.
Not just this, she has also helped set up 27 sanitary napkin banks (SNBs) in 16 panchayats of Rajauli block—girls and women can collect sanitary pads from these banks at a nominal cost.
A history undergraduate, Kumari got the idea of starting an SNB when she saw a poor girl experiencing period pain, she tells The New Indian Express. All of 15 then, Kumari, along with two of her friends, started the first SNB by pooling in their pocket money. Since then, Kumari and her group have distributed 4,000 sanitary napkins to young girls and women in her village and localities close by, either for free or at a minimal rate.
Way to go, girls, we say! Maybe the state authorities can take a leaf or two from the girls’ book to start other such beneficial, empowering initiatives.
Source: The New Indian Express