Panchkula admin ensures sanitary napkins supply for women in slums

Pallavi Singhal
National Girl Child Day, sanitary napkin, sanitary napkin dispenser, govt schools, education news

The administration as of yet, has a stock of almost 24,000 sanitary napkins that have been donated by Vishal Aggarwal, who had been donating several ration packets to the administration as well.

Undertaking the task of providing one of the most basic necessities for women, the Panchkula administration, started the distribution of sanitary napkins in slum areas and shanties across the city on Monday.

SDM Dheeraj Chahal, in-charge of overlooking the supply of rations and material of daily necessities, said he found it crucial to supply sanitary napkins to women. “The idea was suggested by one of our volunteers. I knew this was important. The women may have been deprived of them due to the ongoing lockdown and the high cost of sanitary napkins in the market. So we planned, asked for donations and started the campaign”, he said.

The administration as of yet, has a stock of almost 24,000 sanitary napkins that have been donated by Vishal Aggarwal, who had been donating several ration packets to the administration as well. “I got to know about the need of sanitary napkins through my brother who is volunteering with the administration. I wanted to help anyway I can,” said Vishal.

Dr Anu Goyal, the volunteer who suggested the distribution of sanitary napkins said, “Initially we were distributing only dry ration and food and I felt that more needs to be done for the women. We do not know how long this situation down will continue and sanitary napkins are an important product that all women need and definitely falls under an essential commodity.”

Within the span of two days, as many as 2,000 such packets have already been donated. Each packet has four stick-on napkins which cost around Rs four per packet. These are being procured from Jan Aushadhi Kendra, a PSU by the Government of India.

The topic of menstrual cycles has remained a taboo. Battling with them and coming out forward is another achievement, Anu pointed out. “When we reach a particular society, we notice that there is a certain sense of hesitation in the men and the women. We have to ask them to come outside and take it. Even though the women of the household are shy, young girls step out and take the packets from us,” she said.

Dr Anu said that she also noticed a huge gap in other sections and pockets.

Talking about one such incident, she said, “We even found women who did not even know what a sanitary napkin was. In an instance, we handed over a packet to a woman who gave it to a child, thinking it was a diaper. It then hit us that not all women know about such basic health necessities, even in the 2020. We are truly still developing and there is a long way to go.”

Dr Anu, along with her team, also ensures that women and girls are properly instructed about how to use the napkins, while also informing them about the coronavirus.