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HYGIENE IN FOCUS - Sanitary napkin vending units in colleges soon

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IN a move aimed at making girl students as well as women faculty and staff feel at home, sanitary napkin vending ma-chines would be installed in government arts and science colleges across the State. The Directorate of Collegiate Education (DCE) is processing tenders to install machines in €2 colleges in the first phase. In a move to make premises 'women-friendly', officials have already advertised tenders inviting private players to make bids.

Detailed processing is expect-ed to take place soon. Most girl students, especially those from rural pockets often miss classes during their menstrual cycle, so the new initiative would be welcomed by them. A study conducted in 2015-16 by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) functioning under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said around 93.5 per cent of urban women in Tamil Nadu aged 15 to 24 is using hygienic methods of protection during periods. The report added only about 89.5 per cent of rural women can make the same claim.

Across India, 482 per cent of rural women, 77.5 per cent of those in urban areas and over-all, 57.6 per cent of women use hygienic methods, the study noted Similarly, a survey by Nielsen in 2016 said around 80 per cent of women use cloth or homemade napkins - an alter-native to sanitary pads- considering the cost of the latter. About 93 per cent of girls miss out on one to two days of classes on an average every month, the report said. Aiming to provide enhanced facilities at current premises for women and girls in colleges and also to sensitise them to menstrual hygiene management (MIN), the DCE called for tenders on September 20 inviting private players to supply and deliver automatic napkin vending machines to the colleges. The bids were opened on October 20. Speaking to Express, J Manjula, Di-rector, DCE, said, 'The sanitary napkin vending machine would self-dispense a napkin when the prescribed amount of coins are inserted or with a swipe card. The price of a single napkin has still not been decided as the tender process is on." She said girls who come to college from far away places are often left in distress as they are unable find such hygiene products at nearby cooperative stores, so this project would be a boon to them.

source: www. readwhere. com/read/c/23507191 

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